History

  • September 9, 2013

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.

World YWCA Affiliated National Associations

Africa

Angola
Benin
Botswana
Burundi
Cameroon
Congo Brazzaville
Congo
Ethiopia
The Gambia
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Madagascar
Malawi
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
Nigeria
Rwanda
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Sudan
Tanzania
Togo
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Asia

Bangladesh
China
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Japan
Korea
Malaysia
Myanmar
Nepal
Pakistan
Philippines
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Thailand

Caribbean

Antigua
The Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Cayman Islands
Grenada
Guyana
Haiti
Jamaica
Montserrat
Puerto Rico
St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Suriname
Trinidad & Tobago
U.S. Virgin Islands

Europe

Albania
Belarus
Belgium
Bulgaria
Czech Republic
Denmark
England & Wales
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Great Britain
Greece
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
The Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Romania
Russia
Scotland
Sweden
Switzerland
The Ukraine

Latin America

Argentina
Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Honduras
Mexico
Peru
Uruguay

Middle East

Egypt
Jordan
Lebanon
Palestine

North America

Canada
USA

Pacific

American Samoa
Aotearoa/New Zealand
Australia
Fiji
Papua New Guinea
Samoa
Solomon Islands

Developing YWCA Associations

Africa

Burkina Faso
Central African Republic
Gabon
Ivory Coast
Mali
Senegal
Swaziland
Chad

Asia

East Timor
Mongolia
Vietnam

Europe

Armenia
Malta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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