In the 1990s, the World Alliance of YMCAs united a confederation of over 12,000 local YMCA associations from 130 countries. While each YMCA is independent and reflects its own unique social, political, economic and cultural situation, we share a commitment to health, community service, social change, human development and youth leadership.
Through co-operative and collaborative work here at home, with our partner associations and in other countries, we help promote peace, equality, respect, self-sufficiency and sustainability throughout the world.
The YMCA of Northern BC encourages awareness of international issues on many program levels, including:
- A partnership with the YMCA of Ethiopia
- Global awareness and cultural exchange initiatives
- YMCA World Peace Week activities
Although 2013 marks the end of our formal partnership with CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency,) the five BC YM/YWCA’s are pleased to announce that they will continue their financial support of Ethiopian health and wellness programs in 2014.
The five BC Y's representing Prince George, Kamloops, Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria will continue their focus on HIV/AIDS working closely with our German and American Y partners as well as the African Alliance of YMCA's.
HIV/AIDS is at epidemic proportions in Ethiopia and over the last five years the BC Y's financial support resulted in:
- 27,955 youth trained on HIV/AIDS and youth leadership (45% females)
- 133 YMCA staff and volunteers trained on HIV/AIDS education and leadership development
- Increased awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention and personal development among young men and women
- 2,676 orphans and Vulnerable Children participated in YMCA program activities and developed their psychological makeup
- 9,610 parents participated in reproductive health issues that concerns their children and youth
- 13,743 young men and women received education and discussion on gender related issues, like sexual violence, roles and responsibilities of women and men in the societies
- 12,780 youth trained on character building and life skill training
We will continue to work closely with the Y Ethiopia staff as part of the exchange of ideas and confirmation of mission.
"My name is Fanose Abera. I am a twenty-year old grade eight student. I born and grown up in destitute family. My father is a shoe-maker and my mother provides coffee and tea in the locality as means of income. Our life was hand to mouth; consequently I started on-street trade in early-childhood to complement the family's business. Unfortunately I ended up smoking cigarettes, chewing chat, drinking alcohol and sniffing sheesha (drug) etc.
Through time I have got the chance to join YMCA and realized youngsters' life and the tragedy of drug addiction. YMCA marked a turning point and changing the difficult moment I had in my life. My engagement in peer-education, created me not only a safe environment but also made me to develop healthy behaviours and healthy friendship, tolerate ex-peer pressure, understand behaviour of young people, internalize volunteerism and able to continue my education. In addition to this I am helping my family's business by making shoe in my spare time."