We are at the pulse of youth development in Africa as we are in touch with the youth on a daily basis – their problems, their challenges and their successes – through the programmes and facilities of our national movements. The AAYMCA represents the oldest and largest pan-African NGO network in the continent. Managed by communities through locally elected leaders, African YMCAs have worked in youth education and grassroots development for almost a century. Broad cross-sections of African people participate in the identification, design and management of our community-based youth programmes, through our volunteer and staff structures. As a volunteer-driven organisation, the YMCA places strong emphasis on democratic leadership, transparent governance, and inclusive participation of the communities we work with.

Our African YMCAs serve about one million members and 7 million beneficiaries each year, the majority of these being youth and women from low-income families and communities. The Africa Alliance of YMCAs offers unique institutional development and programme collaboration opportunities across national, religious and ethnic boundaries.

People’s lives are changed by the YMCA. Our biggest impact is the opportunities for youth growth and development. At the core of our youth development is the concept of transformational leadership: we empower our youth to be citizens, rather than subjects. We offer life-changing and enriching development for our youth leaders, who implement their leadership capacity in YMCA work with our beneficiaries, in their professional lives, their civic involvement and in the communities in which they live and work.

We are the only continental youth movement with more than 330 branches located all over Africa. Our branches have both a rural and urban presence, which ensures that we have a pulse on the entire youth population in the continent. This is what makes us strategically positioned in Africa and what ensures that we offer African solutions to African challenges.

We are an integral part of the World Alliance of YMCAs and bring our unique brand of Ubuntu (the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects us all to each other) to the worldwide movement.