Helsinki YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) was founded in 1889. Its founding members included, among others, Sakari Topelius and Arthur Hjelt. Helsinki YMCA is known for its pioneering youth work. Helsinki YMCA has been launching significant forms of work throughout its history. The best known of these are the import of basketball to Finland (Vilho Nuoreva) and the launch of scouting activities (Verneri Louhivuori) and club activities in Finland.
Today, the YMCA in Helsinki offers various hobby opportunities for children, young people and adults. Activities include clubs, physical activities, music, scouting, adventures, various events, courses and a varied camp offering, among other things. Almost 6,000 children, young people and adults are included in the weekly activities of Helsinki YMCA. An impressive 490,000 encounters were realised through different modes of activity.
Helsinki YMCA is operated by a support organisation, which also includes Hotel Arthur, which is one of the largest private hotels in Finland. Its profits are spent on activities for children and adolescents. Helsinki YMCA employs 200 people and is part of the YMCA movement, which is active in 130 countries, emphasising the holistic nature of mental, spiritual and physical growth. Helsinki YMCA enables being an active agent both locally and internationally.
THE HISTORY OF THE YMCA
The YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) movement originated in London in 1844. The founder of the movement was George Williams, who was concerned about the growth and development of the young people of his time and the recreational activity opportunities. Today, about 58 million people in 11,220 local associations in more than 130 countries participate in YMCA activities.
The World Federation of the YMCA was established in Paris in 1855, when the Paris Basis defined the mission of the YMCA. These principles of action have been made clearer at the World Assembly of Kampala in 1973 (the so-called Kampala principles).
The YMCA came to Finland in 1886 and today there are around 40 associations across Finland. In Helsinki, YMCA activity began in 1889, when Helsinki YMCA was founded.
ORGANIZATION AND BOARD MEMBERS
Chairman of the Board
Deputy Chairman of the Board