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The World Alliance's main motto is "empowering young people".With regard to the history and purpose of the founding, this "organization and its female counterpart (YWCA) were established to provide low-cost housing in a safe Christian environment for rural young men and women journeying to the cities." It was associated with industrialization and the movement of young people to cities to work.The Blue Ridge Association for Christian Conferences and Training was formed in 1907, and shortly thereafter built the Blue Ridge Assembly conference centre. Paul had started rural development programmes for self-reliance of marginal farmers, through co-operatives and credit societies. He also coined the term "rural reconstruction", and many of the principles he developed were later incorporated into the government's nationwide community development programmes. The method also became very popular, and in 1923, it led to the founding of the Chinese National Association of the Mass Education Movement.In 1878, the YMCA was organized inside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem and the current landmark building was dedicated by General Lord Allenby in 1933 during the British Mandate of Palestine.These three angles are reflected by the different sides of the (red) triangle—part of all YMCA logos.From its inception, it grew rapidly and ultimately became a worldwide movement founded on the principles of Muscular Christianity.He and his colleagues were concerned about the lack of healthy activities for young men in major cities; the options available were usually taverns and brothels.
In 1959 the YMCA developed the first nationally organized scuba diving course and certified their first skin and scuba diving instructors.
The YMCA was very influential during the 1870s and 1930s, during which times they most successfully promoted "evangelical Christianity in weekday and Sunday services, while promoting good sportsmanship in athletic contests in gyms (where basketball and volleyball were invented) and swimming pools." Later in this period, and continuing on through the 20th century, the YMCA had "become interdenominational and more concerned with promoting morality and good citizenship than a distinctive interpretation of Christianity." In 1878, World Alliance of YMCAs offices were established in Geneva, Switzerland.
Later, in 1900, North American YMCAs, in collaboration with the World Alliance, set up centres to work with emigrants in European ports, as millions of people were leaving for the USA.
The YMCA "combined preaching in the streets and the distribution of religious tracts with a social ministry.
Philanthropists saw them as places for wholesome recreation that would preserve youth from the temptations of alcohol, gambling, and prostitution and that would promote good citizenship." The YMCA was founded by George Williams, a London draper, who was typical of the young men drawn to the cities by the Industrial Revolution.