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Showing posts from June, 2018

The Second Time Around -Anniversary Review Part 7

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Tea Cars and Bombed-out Birthday Celebration Almost as soon as the second world war broke out in September 1939, the YMCA stepped in with a new idea for bringing comfort to the troops.  The first “Tea Car”, or mobile canteen, a second-hand van fitted out with a small kitchen and painted camouflage green, was in use on the streets of East London by September 23. By the end of 1940, there were 500 vans in service.

 As well as visiting isolated army outposts along the British coastline, these vans followed the troops into France and Flanders. As the German armies pushed the British back to the French coastline the vans raced alongside the withdrawing armies, serving tea and selling cigarettes, chocolate, cake, hair cream, tooth-paste, and stationery. The crews, many of the woman, stayed with the armies until the very last moment. As rowing boats arrived from Britain to evacuate the army from the beaches of Dunkirk the crews of three mobile canteens saw their vans and supplies burnt by ince…

The World-wide Movement -Anniversary Review Part 6

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It was 1851 and the whole world was in London for the Great Exhibition - a grand showcase of British industry held in the specially constructed Crystal Palace. For the YMCA it seemed the perfect chance to try to spread their ideas worldwide. More than 300,000 leaflets about the YMCA's work were handed out and as result, branches were set up in the U.S.A and Canada. In 1852 George Williams himself set up a YMCA in Paris, and associations were formed in Adelaide and Calcutta. Over the next few years, letters were sent and visits were made between the countries and in 1855 it was decided to hold a conference of the YMCA's.  By this time Holland, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Belgium were also involved. The delegates decided to form a confederation, soon to be named the World Alliance of YMCA's.

The resolution they made about the aims of the YMCA, which became known as the Paris Basis, is still at the core of the movement today. It said: " The Christian Associations …

The YMCA in Peace -Anniversary Review Part 5

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After the war, as Britain was changing so was the YMCA. The new programme used ideas and equipment left over from the war and adapted them to meet the needs of a country recovering economic recession.

At this time youth work, education and physical fitness became a more fundamental part of the YMCA’s work. Rather than just fringe activities.

In the aftermath of the war, the YMCA spent years picking up the pieces. From 1916 until 1927 its Employment Department for men discharged from the forces found jobs for 38,000 ex-servicemen. It was not until 1923 that the association began to settle down once more to peacetime work.

The thousands of huts which provided comfort for troops during the war were dismissed and put together in cities, towns, and villages as “Red Triangle Clubs”. In 1932 there were 406 of those across the country. They were centers for YMCA activities and provided a meeting place, with billiards or pool and bar serving tea. Some of them died out, others went to become fully-…

The YMCA in War -Anniversary Review Part 4

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For many people, the name of the YMCA conjures up memories of the organization’s work during the two world wars. Through its work with the forces and their families, civilian victims of war and prisoners of war, the organization touched more people and gained more publicity and recognition than ever before. In 1917 the association was mentioned 143 times in the “Times” newspaper - more than at any other time before or since.

Certainly, during the first world war, the YMCA suddenly began to come into contact with a much broader section of society. Work with soldiers had first begun in Britain in 1890 when Colonel Goldsmith, a YMCA president in Devonport, suggested the association should provide activities and support at Summer training camps for army volunteers. Over the next few years, the YMCA became involved with the expanding Territorial Army.


The moment war broke out in 1914, the YMCA immediately put out an appeal for £ 25,000 to fund emergency war work. The money was raised within …

The life of George Williams - Anniversary Review Part 3

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Born The Son of a Somerset farmer, George Williams died a wealthy businessman renowned for setting up a world-wide Christian movement with more than 7,000 branches in 45 countries. With his commercial empire and a lifetime of good works behind him he had become the "last of the merchant philanthropists".  His life began humbly at Ashway Farm, Dulverton, Somerset, on October 11th, 1821. After going to school in Tiverton he returned to the family farm, but it soon became clear that he was not cut out for a life on the land. By the time he was fourteen, he was apprenticed to a draper in nearby Bridgwater. Far from showing signs of being a potential Christian leader, he said of himself:  "I entered Bridgwater a careless, thoughtless, godless, swearing young fellow." But he was soon to be converted. His apprentice's indenture agreement said that he must attend the Zion Congregational Church. Gradually he was influenced by the service and by some of his fellow appre…

The Early Years -Anniversary Review Part 2

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The YMCA was not the first of its kind; there had been other groups set up for young man, some with a religious basis. Its rapid growth, however, was unmatched by anything that had gone before.

 The strong evangelical Christianity of its members, which was not confined to one denomination, was a firm foundation for success. The time and the place of the YMCA’s foundation were also important. As Britain became industrialised, communications improved-the first railway opened in the 1830's and 1840. The drapery trade was the fastest growing, most efficient business and London was its heart. Hitchcock and Rogers had a wholesale business with contacts across London and in other towns and cities, making it easy for news of the YMCA to spread. This, along with the influential friends George Williams had made while worshiping at the King’s Weigh House Chapel, helped to seal the YMCA’s growth.

The association expanded quickly. Members sent a letter to other drapers’ houses across London and…

The Birth of YMCA -Anniversary Review Part 1

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The world-wide YMCA movement began in a small bare room above a  shop in St Paul’s Churchyard, in the heart of present day London. London at that time was a dirty, chaotic city.

Mingled among its population were about 150,000 young, male shop workers. They were supporting more “respectable” than the manual workers of the metropolis, but they worked very long hours- from 7am to 8 or 9pm, six days a week. With such little time for themselves, and usually living cramped in their employers’ homes, usually living cramped in their spare time to blot out their boredom at a local tavern or gambling house.



According to a shop assistant at the time, who went on to become a clergyman: “No class was more degraded and dissolute, none were sunk deeper in ungodliness and dissipation, than the shop-men of London.”



One of these 150,000 was Georges Williams, a farmer’s son from Somerset. George had taken up a post at Hitchcock and Rogers, a draper’s shop with 140 young assistants in St Paul’s Churchyard, …

Today is the day to choose if we want a better tomorrow or not! by Diona

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To be honest, I had never heard about SDG’s or anything like this in my life. The reason why I wanted to be a part of this training was that I knew that the YMCA has always something valuable to tell us, something we would need through our entire lives...And I wasn’t wrong!

The first day of the training was a little bit confusing for me because we talked about things Inever heard before. However, I did not regret even a second of joining, because I knew from the beginning that the time that I would spend there it would be precious and interesting. SDG training had something that everyone could relate to or think about but the topics are huge and this meant our groups sometimes didn’t know how to express themselves or how to see things from a different viewpoint. In this project, we found a place where we could speak openly or what we thought about the different sustainable development topics in the world and our community.


I feel very privileged and happy that I became a part of this ki…

It is such a good feeling when you try to change something for good by Rina

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The SDGs are a collection of 17 goals set by the United Nations. The broad goals interrelated but each one has its own targets to achieve!! The total number of targets is 169. SDGs cover a broad range of social and economic development issues. These include: poverty, hunger, health, education, climate, change, gender equality, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice. The SDGs are also knows as 'worlds transformation in 2030'.
In YMCA we promote SDGs whith a focus on SDG 4 within Kosovo. This project is training over 60 young people with a specially curriculum in Peja & Gjakova. We were trained about three months. Where we did various activities about SDG 4.


Then we separated the goals in the cities of Kosovo where we thought we should work harder to achieve these goals
But we are focused more on SDG 4 that is Quality Education. We all gave our ideas about how we are going to achieve this goal till 2030.

I really had a good time on this training. These three m…

I am very grateful for the YMCA and UN by Lira

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My name is Lira Shabi ,I’m 19 years old and I come from Peja, I joined YMCA 3 years ago and I’ve been part of Leadership training also I’ve been a peer trainer and an Youth ambassador.

After hearing that there will be another training in my city about SDGI was very happy because , I would be even more engaged in YMCA. I havethe right to say that I haven’t heard about SDGs before and about their function in the world . After my training, I was filled with a lot of knowledge about the goals of United Nations to stabilize the world in different aspects and in many areas. Each of the areas of the SDG has it’s importance. During the training we focused more on the education field because it is one of the main problems affecting the Kosovo state because of the results shown in the research conducted by Pisa also a lot of illiteracy in Kosovo. Training was done in different ways and it was very creative, those things made the training even more interesting to us. The last part where we had to…

Above all it was a pleasure to become part of this program: SDG/YMCA by Vullnet

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The SDG program, in the YMCA, enabled us to raise some higher degrees and learn something new. During these weeks we were part of the program, the many activities open up our thinking about the change that we can bring if we pursue the goals which has been presented by the UN, inspired by results that preceded.
 How will we make our country a better place to live? Well, the activity that took place in one of the sessions gave each of us an opportunity to think about how we would change our country, in accordance with UN goals, the SDGs.

SDG 4 Quality Education
What do we need to develop more in our country? Education. One of the most profitable sessions. Since education is the main pillar of human development, in their best. From this session we came out with some big ideas and full knowledge, about that what we learned in SDG Program, we became unique. We created our game which is called SDG Check. We have got challenges that everyone crossed.There were so many happy moments when we …