A lot has happened in the YWCA's long history in Aotearoa New Zealand! Here are a few cool facts you might not know.
The YWCA was a pioneer of sport for women.
The first YWCA recreation programme was held in Dunedin in 1883 and there was gymnasium work in Auckland by 1886, which was developed into Eurythmics by the YWCA Wellington in the 1940s.
The YWCA provided support and shelter to young working class women arriving on immigrant ships.
This led to the first hostels – for these women. Later, they attracted young rural women coming to the cities. In the 50s and 60s they were used as student accommodation, and by the 80s they were focused on emergency accommodation and boarding houses.
The YWCA ran The Girl Citizen Movement.
In the 1920s and 30s, thousands of 14-20 year old women learned the skills of running conferences and meetings, speaking in public, organising fundraising, holiday camps, plays and outings as part of The Girl Citizen Movement. Almost 100 years later, this spirit of developing young women leaders continues in the work we do with Future Leaders.