YMCA Global Partners Map

For more than a century, we have believed that the best way for YMCA Canada to affect positive change and promote human development globally is to work collaboratively with partners in the YMCA global network.  

Through our partnerships with YMCAs around the world, we provide technical and financial support to community-based projects designed and delivered by YMCA leaders in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. These projects centre on nurturing the potential of children and youth, promoting healthy living, and fostering social responsibility through civic engagement.

For more information on our global partnerships, please contact global@ymca.ca

Africa

Africa Alliance of YMCAs & YMCA Canada

Africa Alliance of YMCAs logo

This partnership supports the growth of the African Alliance of YMCAs through activities, the development of new initiatives, strategic planning, resource mobilization, training and conferences on resource mobilization and governance, within the National General Secretaries network.

This partnership includes a Leadership Development Initiative between the Africa Alliance YMCAs and YMCA of Sudbury, YMCAs of BC, YMCA of Greater Toronto, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, YMCA of Niagara, YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo and YMCA Canada. This initiative is to accelerate opportunities for leadership learning and development within the YMCA in Africa that results in an increase in skilled organizational leaders.

YMCA of Ethiopia & British Columbia YMCAs

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This partnership supports youth-led education on HIV/AIDS prevention and other health issues through a peer education program. The partnership also supports Capacity Building within the Ethiopian YMCA, Orphan and Vulnerable Street Children’s Programing and provision of program equipment.

YMCA of Ghana & YMCA of Greater Toronto

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This partnership includes mutual capacity building, strategic planning initiatives, youth exchanges and community development projects focusing on youth.

YMCA of Liberia & YMCA of Greater Toronto

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This partnership involves opportunities for leadership development, youth exchanges and community development projects focusing on post Ebola recovery in affected Communities in rural Liberia.

YMCA of Senegal & YMCA of Greater Toronto

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This partnership includes mutual capacity building initiatives and international youth exchanges.

YMCA of Sierra Leone & YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

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Since 2005 the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka and the YMCA of Sierra Leone have held a mutually beneficial partnership to support one another as global citizens – a principle of YMCAs around the world.  The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s purpose for this partnership is to assist and improve the lives of the survivors of the devastating 12 year civil war; a war that has ravaged a country and its people. In return, the YMCA of Sierra Leone provides global education and experiences for Canadian YMCA participants. Once called “a lost cause, beyond hope”, Sierra Leone is slowly crawling out from under the stigma of the United Nation’s ranking as one of the worst places in the world to live.

The YMCA has been critical to the rebuilding of Sierra Leone in healing scars left behind after years of horrifying war and suffering. The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka supports the YMCA of Sierra Leone in delivering youth job training programs, women/youth leadership development, peace building/conflict resolution programs and HIV/AIDS education.

Since this partnership began in 2005, several groups of staff and volunteers have travelled between these two countries to share global experiences, and build an understanding of life in different parts of the world.

YMCA of South Africa & YMCA of Niagara

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This partnership supports the development priorities of the South Africa YMCA with specific focus on three core areas: Marketing and Retention YFIT program, enhancement of the relationships and partnerships with Government Agencies in South Africa, exploring how to effectively measure the impact of programs and initiative in South Africa.

YMCA of Zambia and the YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo, YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, YMCA of Stratford-Perth

Participant from YMCA of Zambia

Inspiring Change Locally and Globally

The purpose of YMCA Overseas Partnerships is to support community development projects, share resources, tools and expertise while learning about issues that affect us all. 

Our Current Partnership Work

Together the YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo, YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford and the YMCA of Stratford-Perth partner with the YMCA of Zambia national office strengthening our work in local communities. 

Current project work includes a Peer to Peer Education Project in the communities of Ndola and Livingstone.   Through their own education and leadership development, these young people volunteer their time to go into communities to educate citizens on the HIV/Aids, Substance Abuse and Early Pregnancy. 

Asia-Pacific

YMCA of Myanmar & YMCA of Greater Toronto

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This partnership promotes capacity building through staff exchanges.

Europe

YMCA of Ukraine & the Prairies YMCAs

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This partnership promotes sharing of knowledge and resources. Together these YMCAs are exploring ways to help the YMCA of Ukraine become more self-sustaining and to raise funds for local programs and facilities. Through exchanges, staff and volunteers learn from each other's strengths and benefit from exposure to a new culture.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin American & Caribbean Alliance of YMCAs & YMCA Canada

Latin American & Caribbean Alliance of YMCAs logo

This partnership supports the growth of the YMCA in Latin America & the Caribbean through activities, the development of new initiatives, strategic planning, training and conferences on resource mobilization and governance, within the National General Secretaries network.

YMCA of Bogotá, Colombia & Prairies YMCAs

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This partnership supports a program that strives to prevent children and youth from becoming involved in the street habitat, especially those that are in the first stage of street life.

YMCA of Chile (Antofagasta & Iquique) & YMCA of Western Ontario

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This developing partnership is focused on the exchange of expertise between volunteers and staff. This partnership supports the development of additional recreational spaces to help meet the social and health needs of the community.

YMCA of Guatemala & YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario

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This YMCA partnership supports institutional strengthening to build the capacity of the YMCA of Guatemala to carry out its programs for marginalized children and youth.  Through program sharing, cultural exchanges, and governance and leadership support the YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario work to improve the YMCA of Guatemala’s delivery on a wide range of issues including: civil responsibility, health inequality, marginalization of youth, and leadership development.

In recent years through these and similar program supports the YMCA of Guatemala is better able to deliver on its mission and various program goals including  the development of education programs and educational supports for youth and teachers.

YMCA of Haiti & YMCAs of Québec

Participants at the YMCA of Haiti

This partnership addresses the long-standing challenges faced by most Haitians and in particular, youth: poverty, lack of education and marginalization. Supported programs contribute directly to building a civil society and strengthening community involvement by providing a safe place for youth to meet and participate as volunteers.

YMCA of Honduras & Atlantic Canada Regional Development Centre

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“Working together to build the foundations of healthy communities locally, nationally and globally”

This partnership supports the YMCA of Honduras' citizenship training program which helps youth develop the skills for civic engagement to encourage involvement in community governance at the local and national levels.  The citizenship training is an extensive program and involves:

  • Youth and community development
  • Institutional development
  • Mobilization, organization and youth training
  • Advocacy and lobbying
  • Youth rights
  • And much more, from self-esteem to gender equality to computer literacy.

This type of programming helps foster self-confidence in Honduran youth to be able to access more opportunities in life, and gives access to programming for at-risk youth who would otherwise have limited options in schooling, and often end up on the streets, targeted by police or recruited by dangerous gangs.

YMCA of Jamaica & YMCA of Greater Toronto

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The partnership involves mutual capacity building initiatives and collaboration on program development, primarily through staff exchanges.

YMCA of Medellín, Colombia & YMCA of Greater Toronto

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This partnership involves community development projects that focus on Youth Leadership such as active civic participation, youth empowerment, participatory environmental education, Health Promotion and Education for Coexistence and Active Non-violence.

YMCA of Mexico City & YMCA of Greater Toronto

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This partnership involves mutual capacity building initiatives and collaboration on program development, primarily through staff exchanges.

YMCA of Nicaragua & YMCA of Northumberland

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This partnership began in 2000 and supports community leadership training, including democratic decision-making and peace-building for youth, no to violence against women training, as well local scholarships, land bank programs, and youth exchanges between the YMCA of Northumberland and YMCA Nicaragua.

Operating primarily in 3 communities with youth centres in Nicaragua (Managua, Santa Lucia, and Boaco), these programs have had a positive impact on thousands of youth, adults, and families in Nicaragua.

The YMCA of Northumberland recently partnered with other YMCAs in Ontario including the YMCA of Central East Ontario, YMCA of Kingston and the YMCA of Brockville and Area to enhance their support of YMCA Nicaragua.

The ongoing success of this program is due to the commitment of both dedicated volunteers and staff.

YMCA of Risaralda & YMCA of Greater Moncton

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The YMCA of Greater Moncton has built strong, supportive partnerships with the YMCA in Risaralda, Colombia based on the belief that human development is a right and that every person deserves opportunities to grow in spirit, mind and body.

Just like the work of the YMCA in our own community, the partnership centers on nurturing the potential of children and youth, promoting healthy living, and fostering social responsibility through civic engagement.

In Risaralda, Colombia, the partnership focuses on the recruitment and training of volunteers, who are the life force of their YMCA.  Volunteers of Risaralda’s Y offer all sorts of opportunities to their community, like the National Program for Conciliation of Cultural Development that provides neighborhood kids with lessons in theatre, dance and music, or the YMCA Recreate program, where volunteers use fun activities like Clown Theatre to educate youth on serious topics, like their rights as citizens or sexual health, and organize other awareness campaigns, cultural programs and special celebrations. 

Through help from the YMCA of Greater Moncton, the Risaralda Y is able to coordinate all of these amazing volunteer efforts that work to create better conditions for children and young people in the region.

Middle East

YMCA of Lebanon & YMCA of Greater Toronto

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This partnership involves collaboration on program development, primarily through staff exchanges.