For over 40 years, YMCA of Northern Alberta has affected positive change and promoted human development globally through collaboration with YMCA Bogotá, Colombia and YMCA Ukraine.   

As a direct result of generous donors and dedicated staff and volunteers, YMCA of Northern Alberta has shared ideas, created awareness and financially supported the important work happening in Bogotá, Colombia and Ukraine. Communities are becoming safer every day and there continues to be amazing stories of resilience, change and hope in young lives.

All YMCA global initiatives focus on nurturing the potential of children and youth, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility through civic engagement.

Our Partners

YMCA Bogotá

40 Years of internal armed conflicts has created a situation in which approximately 60% of the population (23 million people) are living well below the poverty line. In the last 15 years, more than 1 million children and their families have been displaced and are living in poverty in the cities.

The violence in the country is not only from war itself, but also from the conditions that poverty creates — violence in the streets and abuse in the home. One million children, between the ages of 5 and 17 are working in order to help their families meet their basic needs; as such, sexual exploitation, international trafficking and trade have increased. Although adult literacy is high, the average number of school years completed is only about 3.7 years.

YMCA Ukraine

Ukraine's YMCA has been in existence since 1993. They now have a national office as well as 24 local YMCAs. The National Board is made up of local YMCA volunteer presidents. In fact, all YMCA personnel in Ukraine, with exception of the national staff are volunteers.

The plan for the Prairies YMCAs working together in support of our Ukraine partnership is to build capacity, leverage strengths and local support, as well as develop local to local connections and build relationships.

Building dreams and a better future for youth: Valentina's story

20-year-old Valentina has been through a lot as a young adult. Her parents were abusive and often fought in front of her and her younger sister. Thankfully, YMCA Bogotá was her saving grace.

"My parents wanted to turn me in somewhere, as they said that I had gotten out of hand – so on October 2, 2015, I eventually made the decision to leave the house and was determined to not come back."

Transforming the lives of youth: Daniela's story

Daniela was morbidly obese at the age of 10. Often bullied in school, she would often close herself off to most people. Then, her school counsellor sent her to YMCA Bogotá for support.

"I began to experience bullying and cyberbullying, which affected me even more, and resulted in me falling into a deep depression. My school counselor realized what was happening to me and could see how depressed I was, so sent me to the YMCA workshops."

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