The YMCA of Greater St. Louis began its international undertaking for world peace in 1953 when we joined YMCAs nationwide to raise funds to help rebuild YMCAs that had been destroyed during World War II. In 1964, St. Louis YMCA staff visited Bogotá, Colombia to help develop a YMCA camp. Since that time the Y has continued to provide financial support, board development, program skills and leadership training to YMCAs around the world.
Today, the YMCA of Greater St. Louis has five strategic international partnerships with YMCAs in Belize, Colombia, Ukraine and Chile and South Africa. Other international relationships extend beyond these five strategic partners in non-financial support, such as skill development and youth exchanges in response to global needs with China, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago.
A YMCA of the USA coalition, which includes the St. Louis Y, continues to partner with the YMCA of South Africa, providing financial and technical support for that association’s work in after-school care, music and arts, sports and recreation, and in the juvenile justice system.
The YMCA of Greater St. Louis’ participation in the international initiative develops global understanding, fosters world peace, cultural acceptance and strong relationships with others around the world. It also offers an opportunity for personal growth and an improved world.
Well, it IS a small world after all, thanks to efforts by the YMCA of Greater St. Louis!