The World Service Council (WSC) is a philanthropic arm of the YWCA USA that raises money for World YWCA projects around the globe. The WSC grew out of the War Work Council founded by Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Mrs. Stewart Cushman in 1917 at the request of President Woodrow Wilson who asked the YWCA USA and six other organizations to help with the war effort.
Between 1917 and 1920, the WSC raised large sums of money, which continued after World War I, supporting wartime services and providing financial support toward establishing YWCAs in 17 countries.
In 1920, Mrs. Dave Hennen Morris suggested that the World Service Council be formed to continue this work on a permanent basis. Seven founding members traveled in a private railroad car from Maine to California, recruiting 100 members, who each contributed $5,000.
The Council has as its mandate “to spread interest in the work that YWCA is doing in other countries, and to discover and secure special gifts from individuals toward financing these programs.”
In conjunction with the World YWCA and the International Building Fund, the World Service Council has responded to requests for capital funds from YWCAs in more than 70 developing countries.
The Council has actively participated in International Leadership Training Institutes, giving YWCA women insights into each other’s lives and developing their professional skills to strengthen needed programs. Additional support is provided for the work of the World YWCA in training young women with talent, skill and commitment for leadership in the YWCA, their countries and the world.
The Council has been committed to assisting the World YWCA in the revitalization, expansion and development of YWCAs in the Baltic countries, Africa, the Caribbean and Russian Federation.
The Council also seeks to increase the number of understanding friends and interested contributors who support the work of the YWCA USA and World YWCA. Its members are deeply committed to the ongoing mission of the YWCA, giving annually as generously as possible and securing gifts from others.
Investing in women is investing in development. Investing in development is investing in peace, a World Service Council priority.
Today, the YWCA, at work in 122 countries, is the oldest and largest women’s membership organization in the world. For more than 150 years, the YWCA has worked to elevate the status and improve the lives of women and girls, and continues to be a vital force in the creation of understanding and cooperation worldwide.
St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Trinidad & Tobago
U.S. Virgin Islands
England & Wales
Papua New Guinea
Central African Republic