There are YMCAs in more than 119 countries, each serving the unique needs of their community.
Country with a YMCA presence
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Founded in 1844 in London, England, the Y has grown into one of the largest volunteer organizations in the world, serving more than 45 million people in 119 countries. Ys in the U.S. have played a key role in the growth and strength of the global organization and continue to partner with other Ys around the world to address critical social issues. Collectively, we use the knowledge and resources of our global network to help people reach their potential. From welcoming newcomers in the U.S. to working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia, Ys have the expertise and commitment to strengthen communities and bring about positive change.
Founded in 1889, World Service raises awareness of and financial support for the powerful work the global Y is doing every day. World Service support helps Ys around the world deliver the life-changing programs that help people thrive and reach their full potential.
Often operating in difficult social and economic conditions, Ys empower people with the knowledge, life skills, values and resources to create a better future for themselves and their families. Learn more about or donate to World Service.
One of the most important aspects of building a global community is giving young people and adults opportunities to understand and celebrate diversity. The Y helps people to develop cultural competencies and the key skills to collaborate with their peers around the world. From global curricula in camping and afterschool programs to international service-learning opportunities and partnerships, the Y gives people the knowledge, experience and confidence to successfully interact in our increasingly globalized society.
Global community building begins with providing Y staff and volunteers the opportunity to grow as global leaders, both personally and professionally. Learn how global service-learning trips support cultural competencies and global connections for Y staff and volunteers with this video from the Central District YMCA (New York).
The Y was created by young people trying to navigate their way in a new city -- far from family, friends and a familiar way of life. This premise has extended throughout our history. Welcoming and engaging newcomers continues today with Ys across the United States offering people the integration support they need to better transition well into their new communities.
Through services such as refugee resettlement and adult education classes like English as a Second Language (ESL), the Y helps people to be self-reliant, productive and connected to the community.
Learn how the Y helps newcomers transition into their new communities by watching this video from the YMCA of Greater Houston's International Services.