World Service Funded Programs
World Service-funded programs empower young people and adults by giving them the knowledge, life skills, values and resources they need to reach their full potential and create a better future for themselves and their families. World Service funding supports six key areas:
By providing valuable resources to help YMCAs around the world operate more effectively, World Service builds strong, self-reliant YMCAs that are better equipped to deliver responsive, innovative and sustainable programs.
Employment & Vocational Training
The ability to earn an income is critical to family and community stability. Unfortunately, in many countries unemployment rates exceed 50 percent. While individuals may have the relevant skills, job opportunities are scarce.
Ys in every region of the world are committed to addressing high unemployment rates. Through career counseling, skills development and business management training, Y programs help ensure that people have the ability and opportunity to secure productive, stable and rewarding work.
Millions of people around the world lack access to basic medical information and services. Young people are especially vulnerable. In response, the global YMCA promotes healthy lifestyles, particularly among young people. In fact, YMCA programs focused on reducing health risks, raising awareness of adolescent reproductive health and preventing drug abuse reach more than 1 million youth annually. Through education and socially relevant programming, YMCAs empower people to make healthy choices. The Y also offers extensive support to youth and families struggling with health crises and often acts as an advocate to ensure open access to social and economic opportunities within the community.
Youth Leadership & Service-Learning
Investing in young people is critical to a community’s strength. When youth are seen as part of the solution, their creativity, values and energy stimulate positive changes throughout their world. Through Youth Leadership programs, Ys provide young people with the support and experiences they need to become healthy, caring and self-reliant adults. They also develop a strong sense of responsibility and compassion, as well as an understanding of the strength of one’s role in a democratic society.
Likewise, our service-learning opportunities in Ys around the world develop and capture the untapped potential of youth and empower them to define, build and deliver their own solutions to social issues. YMCA service-learning engages young people in community development initiatives such as peer-to-peer HIV prevention education, environmental conservation or the revitalization of community parks and other safe spaces.
Recreation, Camping & the Arts
YMCAs around the world use recreation, camping and the arts to promote physical, mental, social and spiritual development for young people and families. In areas impacted by social and economic challenges, these programs help people develop leadership skills, self-confidence, multicultural understanding and a respect for diversity—and are a great outlet for creative expression.
Youth & Technology
Young people have better academic and professional opportunities if they have access to computers and information technology. In many communities where unemployment rates are high, access to computer training is critical for youth to create a better future for themselves and their families. YMCA training not only teaches participants the necessary technical skills for employment but also explores how technology can positively drive social, political and economic change within communities.