"YMCA" is an acronym of the name "Young Men's Christian Association". It originated in London in 1844, when 12 young men, led by George Williams formed a club with the aim to assist the young men with moral, spiritual, intellectual and physical development, all in accordance with the Holy Bible. They emphasized the importance of self education and physical health as well. They started from organizing common everyday prayers, slowly involving more and more people.

In the beginning it was meant to be an organization for boys only. There used to be, though, a female equivalent of the Association (YWCA). But currently YMCA associates both men and women.

From the moment the idea of YMCA was presented during the Great Exhibition in 1851, the movement got a lot of well-wishers, not only in England, but in the whole Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia. In 1855 during the 1st World Conference of YMCAs, held in Paris the World Alliance of YMCAs was founded and the Paris Basis was adopted. There are more than 14'000 local YMCAs with around 45 million members in more than 120 countries around the world.

To learn more about YMCA see on pages of YMCA England or YMCA of the USA.