Couple’s new journey with YMCA

YMCA Pietermaritzburg will celebrate 140 years of ministry to the youth and will be hosting a gala dinner at the sports centre on 25 July themed “Christmas in July”.

Clinton George, YMCA general secretary and CEO, moved his family from Johannesburg to PMB a year ago to take on the position and return it to the active place it was.

YMCA - Young Men’s Christian Association - began in 1844 in London by George Williams and a group of men. The organisation was so popular and well attended that it was not long before the idea expanded into other parts of the world. It is currently operational in 128 countries.

Initially the focus was evangelical however, this has evolved and become a group no longer exclusive to religion, race, age or gender.

George said his goal is to grow community awareness about the work the YMCA does and to create holistic youth development programmes focusing on the mind, body and spirit.

“We decided to start at home first and work within a 2.5km radius around YMCA. We’ve hosted a summer day camp where children from schools and children homes were able to spend time here. We try our best to create an environment where everyone feels welcome,” he said.

George and his family are originally from Cape Town. He has a long history in the NGO sector and began his community work in the Cape Flats community where he grew up and worked with primary and high-school children as well as youth involved in gangs. His work involved life skills and leadership training, among others.

Since then he has worked in charity companies in various parts of the country with his wife Allison. She is involved in the work at YMCA and has a background in lecturing and community work, but has a passion for teaching children.

“Our move here has truly been a step of faith and it’s been a good move. We’ve just had fun and walked the journey together. YMCA has become our life,” said Allison.

“I am privileged to be leading YMCA this year and there are many plans in the pipeline for us, so watch this space,” said George.

They are appealing to anyone who would like to become YMCA volunteers to contact their offices.

For more information about YMCA or to buy tickets for the Christmas in July gala dinner, contact Allison on 078 053 3510, 033 342 2469 or email 140years@ymcapmb.co.za

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