YMCA is the oldest and one of the largest youth organisations in the world. YMCA helps young people to better themselves, to better their communities, and to better their world. Its goal is to be a global youth empowerment organisation: empowering, inspiring, and mobilising young people to find and share their voice on the issues that matter to them and to the world. Founded in London in 1844 as the Young Men’s Christian Association, YMCA has grown to reach over 60 million people a year across 120 countries. First established as a safe space for young Christian men, YMCA now welcomes men and women of any or no faith, of any race or background.
Who We Are
Y.M.C.A. Barbados was founded in 1880.
The Barbados YMCA was formed in 1880, 36 years after the 1844 start of the movement in the UK, thanks to the enthusiasm of Admiral Henry Duncan Grant, CB, RN, who visited the island in 1879. Mr John Brathwaite was the first President and Mr Malby Trimingham was First Honourary Secretary. The first meetings were held in school rooms, and then rented rooms of WL Johnson Company, 49 Roebuck Street, and Manning’s & Company at Cavan’s Lane.
During the Second World War, it played a major role in service to many British naval personnel serving in the Caribbean region. In the 1970’s the Y’s Constitution was amended to give voting rights to members and to embrace a wider range of members. Female membership in the Y also became a reality during this time.
Over the years the Barbados YMCA has provided a place for the youth to develop their sporting skills, particularly in basketball, football, cricket, hockey, table tennis among others. Indeed the ‘Y’ has been the traditional home for basketball in Barbados.
In addition, the ‘Eye-on-the-Y’ courses have trained generations of Barbadians in a wide range of income-earning and self-help skills in areas attracting both male and female participants. The ‘Y’ has also provided training in academic courses and the instilling of strong Christian values along with allowing for the interaction of youth with outstanding, positive role models in the society, who were able to provide mentoring and guidance in life skills. The Association moved to its current location at Pinfold Street, Bridgetown in 1944. The YMCA has also provided help to the disadvantaged in society through the opening of its facilities to other groups and subsidising activities so they could participate.
The YMCA is an international organization with roots in the communities it serves. The foundation is the Christian principle of love which embodies and promotes the comprehensive well-being and development of the spirit, mind and body of every human being,
The YMCA continually seeks to promote the harmonious development of individuals by encouraging them to higher moral concepts, which give significance to their lives and guidance to their natural abilities. To achieve its goals and objectives, the YMCA partners with the business community, government agencies and local community leaders to pull together the resources and leadership required for its initiatives and programmes.
In addition to being a member of the World Alliance of YMCAs, the Barbados YMCA is also affiliated with the Latin America and the Caribbean Alliance (LACA) of YMCAs. LACA supports the Barbados YMCA by helping to build our capacity, fundraising, building strategic partnerships at the regional level, and facilitating communications in the region.
Patron of the Barbados YMCA:
The Barbados YMCA is dedicated to the development of the spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual well-being of the youth of Barbados.
Build Youth, Build a Better Barbados.
Offering affordable courses in vocational and academic training to benefit interested persons of any age. The Programme is run 3 times each year for 12 weeks.