6 June 1844 – the YMCA was born. 170 years later the ideas and freedom of expression for youth that then became the founding principles still hold true today. In the beginning, the ideas of founder George Williams, along with another 12 people, broke through the boundaries of their homeland in England. Today YMCA is active in over 119 countries, reaching 58 million people. Impressive, right? YMCA exists to create opportunities for every young person to develop both personally and professionally.
YMCA for many young people has been a spring board in their life. I can count a number of famous people through the world that has started just like me, by volunteering at the YMCA at the very beginnings. Volunteering allows freedom for youth to express their needs and uses that potential to gain experiences both locally and even through international volunteering.
Through the YMCA family all over the world, lifelong friendships develop between those from different countries, different professions and different interests. Many world class athletes can trace their roots to YMCA, as can many of the world’s greatest leaders.
Every year, on June 6th, the jubilee of YMCA is celebrated in the largest world metropolises and also in many smaller areas where are expressed ideas for assistance during realization of youth ideas. This year, there was an initiative for signing the Global Petition for supporting young people. With each signature everyone’s voice and needs could be heard by the most powerful people in the world.
YMCA Bitola was an active organizer of the Global Petition event in Bitola with the message “Stand up for Youth.” People from all ages gathered on the Magnolia Square in Bitola, Macedonia where they received information about young people and also expressed their personal needs and wishes. At the same time they were asked to sign the Global Petition. With their signature they created history, through the solidarity offered from the citizens of Bitola. Older people want the future of their children to be prosperous and young people want the opportunity to become successful, knowing that it won’t come that easy. Everyone needs to fight for a better future. The YMCA is building that today, so prosperity and peace can exist tomorrow on a global level.
Photo gallery of the event.