history1

The Youth Christian Association (ACT-YMCA Romania) was founded in Bucharest in the year 1919. The initiative belonged to Queen Mary who, at the end of the world war, invited the YMCA volunteers from U.S.A. whom accompanied the American troop expedition to Europe for founding a similar organization here in Romania.

history2The first steering committee was formed by: prof. Nicolae Iorga, prof. Dimitrie Gusti, Romulus Voinescu, Principele Nicolae, ing. Stavri Cunescu, I.D. Protopopescu, I.D. Radulescu Pogoneanu, pr. Gala Galaction, ing. Ioan Bujoiu. This committee arranged a headquarters, then a sport center, lecture center and a camp (Timisul de Sus), giving countless ways of spending free time for the youth.

In 1925, the association begins a partnership with the Ministry of Labor which sent young apprentices to the YMCA camps. Between 1935 and 1940, ACT-YMCA Romania is preoccupied by solving the social and educational problems of the youth all over the country.

During world war II, ACT-YMCA Romania is very active behind the front lines, being involved in the domain of culture and social assistance. A more particular domain of activity during that period is the aid brought tot the hundreds of pole refugees which were accommodated in the association’s camp from Timisul de Sus. As a gesture of gratitude, they built there an altar dedicated to Virgin Mary. Along with the communist regime, one part of the YMCA Romania’s life is put to an end. The association is dissolved in 1948, a lot of members being incarcerated.

ACT YMCA Romania association is reestablished at the initiative of a group made up by some of the old YMCA members. After some research, it began do develop and the association opened new branches all over the country: Bucuresti, Iasi, Tulcea, Alexandria, Arad, Brasov, Cluj Napoca, Piatra Neamt, Oradea, Baia Mare, Sacel, Rozavlea. During the years 1991 and 2000 ACT YMCA Romania is actively involved in developing and implementing social programs. At the same time, it managed to retrieve the camp from Timisul de Sus which was confiscated by the communist regime in the year 1948. The camprecovery brought up a new perspective over social programs. A considerable number of camps with different themes where developed, and at the same time, it proves itself to be an excellent location for the trainings of future leaders.

history3Starting with the year 2000, the strategy of the ACT YMCA association changes, the representative and coordinating role of the branches being underlined. Furthermore, the association is involved in organizing different regional events for the youth from the Balkans. In the year of 2004, ACT YMCA Romania changes to YMCA Romania Federation, by this, trying to develop and respond to the needs of its branches, as well as it opens for other youth organizations whose mission, purpose, vision and programs respond to the same community needs. Besides this, the association’s motto changes to “Empowering young people”.

After more than a decade since it’s rebirth, YMCA Romania has succeeded in successfully responding to the individual and collective needs of thousands of young people, aiming to become an ambassador for them in relationship with the authorities and the community.



history4