Major sustainability issues of YMCA


YMCA has three major sustainability issues which include youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The movement has shown her commitment in ensuring minimal environmental impacts by acting in a very sustainable manner. YMCA understands the impact environment has on the future of humanity thus prompting it to build strong people, families and communities as a way of restoring the environment.YMCA has greatly influenced families and the societies living around them positively. YMCA has strategies indicatingtheir deep environmental and sustainability concern throughthe various social activities they are sponsoring and getting involved into. The movement employs responsible sustainability techniques in their course of business such as sponsoring youthsand sponsoring community health camps (“YMCA Australia” 2013, n.p).

By understanding the role community plays in sustainability issues, YMCA has also guaranteed individual and community empowerment in terms of body, mind and spirit. YMCA as a movement has really ensured continuous provision of services that warrants happiness and health amongst various communities. Every individual is concerned with their wellbeingand this is exactly what the movement has provided to the community. The movement has provided gym and other exercise facilities especially to the aged group to help them in their personal wellbeing. A good number of people have really benefited from these facilities making it one of the major steps of improving community’s wellbeing (“YMCA Australia” 2013, n.p).

Various health issues have been on the rise such as obesity and ageing amongst the population which comes with a number of challenges. The community is therefore concerned with such kind of issues in such a way that if an organization may tackle them, the community feels that the organization acts responsibly and values the society (Sharma 2004, p. 121-127). For instance, YMCA organizes for various health campaigns as well as numerous strategies that meet the definite health needs and abilities of individuals in the society. Furthermore, YMCA has maintained her sustainability by developing interest in developing future leaders through their YMCA Youth Parliament program. In this program, youths are trained and mentored on their abilities and qualities needed for future leadership. This program has seen many youths rising to top positions in various sectors and countries respectively (Horn 2006, p.120-130).

Additionally, YMCA understands the role families play in contributing to the strength of the community. Cohesion within the families is very important and every family is interested in ways in which they can create strong bond within themselves. YMCA largely contributes to the strong bonding within families of different kinds (Bowman 2011, p. 53-65). The movement has various recreational facilities that are attractive and play integral part in bringing families together. The movement has programs such as family friendly fitness classes and programs that children love such as swimming lessons and camps which attracts many families (Horn 2006, p. 134-140).

Generally, family and community needs have been served well by YMCA such as introduction of YMCA school in Brisbane which is meant for disengaged students. YMCA plans to introduce even breakfast to learners coming from disadvantaged communities and introduction of cheap housing complex as part of their sustainability strategy in various locations(Werther & Chandler 2011, p.53-67). Theorganization has identified key things lacking in many families such as skipping of key meals like breakfast which is a vital meal of the day. A number of children are benefiting from the YMCA breakfast program in various schools thus relieving their families from the burden of providing the meal for their (“World Bank” 2011, p. 201-210).

Additionally, YMCA through Brisbane school organizes frozen meals for the large number of young people in schools and providing affordable homes for low income families. Families would always want to hear information regarding their welfare and that is exactly what YMCA offers thus boosting their sustainability Provision of homes and accommodation to families is very important in bringing families together. This is indeed outstanding in the face of the many families assisted and therefore improves the name of the movement. YMCA normally creates an environment in which families come together and this is significant as far as social responsibility is concerned (Sharma 2004, p. 121-127).

YMCA has been entrusted with management of various social facilities by different local and national governments perhaps because of their credibility and transparency in handling and managing facilities(Jain & Kedia 2011, p. 192-200). For instance, YMCA was involved in campaign which urged Australians to learn to swim in conjunction with National Water Safety Campaign with SBS on a national television. The movement also collaborates with non-governmental institutions to provide various services to the community such as provision of high quality education in the Support Playgroup program that attracts both parents and children (“YMCA Australia” 2013, n.p).

Staff and all the other people involved in the operations of YMCA such as volunteers and interns are always concerned with their movement’s sustainability issues. They are deeply concerned with the ability of the movement to sustain them which is dependent on their work and the public opinion regarding the movement (Werther & Chandler 2011, p.53-67). YMCA has put in place support programs such as scholarship for their employees since they are part and parcel of the movement’s success which is a great social responsibility. The movement understands that unless the employees and volunteers are well treated, it cannot operate smoothly since the employees are major stakeholders in the movement (Jain & Kedia 2011, p. 192-200).

YMCA collaborates with different partners to address various communities’ plights. The movement works with numerous organizations such as Families Australia, Physical Activity Australia, Park and Leisure Australia and Surf Lifesaving Australia with very strong focus on supporting the community (“YMCA Australia” 2013, n.p). These partners are concerned with the way YMCA handle social and environmental issues. An organization would only partner with another organization with good attributes. YMCA intends to please the public by doing well in terms of social responsibility and environmental conservation. Management would want to hear positive comments and gestures from the public since this is what drives and motivates them (“YMCA” 2011, n.p). Management of YMCA is largely dependent on the public for their sustainability. Generally, YMCA’s sustainability issues are categorized into youth development, healthy living and social responsibility


Bowman, W 2011, Finance Fundamentals For Nonprofits: Building Capacity And Sustainability,  Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Horn, G 2006, Living Green A Practical Guide To Simple Sustainability, Topanga, Ca, Freedom Press.

Jain, S. C., & Kedia, B 2011, Enhancing Global Competitiveness Through Sustainable Environmental Stewardship, Cheltenham, Uk, Edward Elgar.

Sharma, S 2004, Stakeholders, the Environment and Society. Cheltenham,U.A., Elgar.

Werther, W. B., & Chandler, D 2011, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility, Stakeholders In A Global Environment. Los Angeles, Sage.

World Bank 2011, Strategic Environmental Assessment in Policy and Sector Reform: Conceptual Model And Operational Guidance. Washington, Dc, World Bank.

YMCA 2011, We Build Strong People, Strong Families Strong Communities, Sope, Australia.

YMCA Australia 2013, Community Impact Report 2012, South Melbourne.

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