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Sukiennice in Cracow
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Education and Personal Growth
One of the main priorities of Polish YMCA has always been education directed at young people. Originally every branch of YMCA maintained a library. The very first active members of the movement were people from many diverse backgrounds: scientific, education and artistic institutions. They were professors of local universities, scientists, poets, ministers of education and social care.

Most of the work at the time was done purely on a volunteer basis. People who were coming to contribute their time had a chance to express their deeper desires to help in whatever form they felt it was most suitable. There was no restriction on what they could or could not do. Everyone was setting up his or her own individual program. As a step towards personal growth, it is also a part of non-formal education. This non-formal form of education flourished at camps, during sporting activities and club sessions.

Other educational programmes were mostly courses that were set up after WWII - Driver's Licence Schools, courses for Builders Certificates and Foreign Language courses, to mention a few. Now, youth of various backgrounds and interest meet on a regular basis and are able to exchange ideas and actively take part in stimulating discussions. As of today there are many examples of such activity. The Mountain Trekking Club organises many fascinating trips within the country as well as exciting international mountain climbing expeditions. There are regular exhibitions of such excursions. "Imciarz* Club" brings together most senior members of Polish YMCA. They organise a number of charity events. They also provide younger members with guidance and advice. The Book Lovers Club has their own library and organise popular book events while the Bio-Diversity Club organises overseas trips and collects some original zoological and floral specimens. Other active clubs are the Science-Fiction Club and Photography Club. There are also some artistic groups with exciting Theatre Workshops with English language instructions and a Pantomime Club.

* "imciarz" is Polish word for YMCA's member
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Young Men's Christian Association
POLISH YMCA