The YMCA in Ireland covers both parts of the island, the Republic and the Northern region which is part of the United Kingdom. The associations are of various sizes and vary greatly in their programmes according to local needs.
For 175 years the YMCA has been delivering life-enhancing programmes to young people and families in their communities around the world and all across Ireland. We have responded to events in history that have changed the face of the world and today we face another of these challenges as we endure this Covid-19 pandemic. The world is rapidly changing before our eyes and so like you, we are uncertain how deep and for how long, this virus will impact our lives.
Our work is and will continue to be disrupted by this outbreak, but the YMCA will consistently put the lives of young people and the most vulnerable in our communities to the fore.
We seek to promote youth development, healthy living and community engagement, whether that be through youth work, childcare or fitness.
We are working to innovate and engage with young people in new ways as many traditional youth work methods are not possible in the current climate. In spite of the many challenges our staff will try to continue to provide support, advice and positive experiences for families and young people to enhance their lives. We will endeavour to ensure the health and well-being of all who avail of our programmes and services as well as our volunteers and staff.
YMCA understands that the present global situation is presenting challenges for governments, businesses, charities, communities, families and individuals on an enormous scale. We are also gravely impacted financially as creches, gyms, local centres and our outdoor learning centre have had to close.
Finally, we stand in solidarity with young people who are and will be badly affected by the economic implications of this crisis. No matter what comes in the days and weeks ahead, we will work to support young people, their families and their communities.
The world is living through a time of trouble but we remember ‘these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’
The key message for today is: stay home and keep your social distance!