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  • Birthplace of the Youth Cultural Movement: Seoul YMCA

    SMG 2013
  • After the conclusion of the Eulsa Treaty in 1905, many patriots wanted to materialize their passion for independence and civilization through the YMCA movement. Their request to the International Committee of the Young Men’s Christian Associations of North America to establish a YMCA branch in Korea through the two missionaries Underwood and Appenzeller led to the creation of the Hwangseong Young Men’s Christian Association (today’s Seoul YMCA) in 1903. However, the Japanese Governor-General of Korea forcibly renamed the ‘Hwangseong Young Men’s Christian Association’ to the “Joseon Central Young Men’s Christian Association” and scrapped some of its education programs. Seoul YMCA, however, did not despair under such hardship and focused its energy on strengthening Koreans’ capabilities and skills and encouraging their enlightenment. It also engaged in an economic reform movement to revitalize the national economy. In 1967, after liberation from Japan, Seoul YMCA built a new building in 1967, because its original building had been burnt down during the Korean War, and embarked on the basic task of reviving its business by engaging in various activities and programs. Today, Seoul YMCA serves a crucial role in building a healthy regional community by devoting itself and conforming to the purpose and spirit of the YMCA movement.

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