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Montreal Young Women's Christian Association.
Young Women's Christian Association.
|Title||Montreal Young Women's Christian Association fonds|
MG 28 I 240
|Document source||Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada|
The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) is the largest women's organization in the world and the second oldest of its kind. First established in England in 1855, and currently based in Geneva, Switzerland, the organization is often associated with hostels and fitness centres; however, it sees itself as a human rights group meant to prepare young women for leadership mainly through sports and fitness. The original Christian focus is still strong in many of the national associations, but some have changed their focus more to social programs and services, and mission-based topics. The first local YWCA in Canada was formed in Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1870, and, in December 1893, representatives from five YWCAs met in Toronto to discuss forming a national co-ordinating body. The YWCA of Canada was formed and a constitution approved at an annual meeting in January 1895. In doing so, Canada became only the fifth national YWCA organization in the world at the time. The organization's purpose is "to unite in one central body all organizations existing and those to be formed in the future for the purpose of YWCA work which is to promote the spiritual, intellectual, physical and social condition of all young women". The YWCA is independent of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), though many local YMCA and YWCA associations have been amalgamated and provide programs belonging to each.
The Montreal Young Women's Christian Association (MYWCA) was founded in 1874. One of its first functions was to set up a library and reading room, along with a residence for working girls. The residence was enlarged in 1908 by the opening of branches in Verdun, Pointe St-Charles, and Fairmount. In the 1920s, the MYWCA's doors were opened to people of all religions. In 1968, 20 per cent of the membership was French-speaking, while the Board of Directors was comprised of women of the Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish faiths.
This collection consists of minutes, reports, training programmes, information on courses and seminars, memos on financial manners, and other general material.