YMCA Cape Town was established in 1865 as a Christian “home away from home” residence for young men coming to live in Cape Town, with its first meeting held at Green Market Square. Our YMCA, which is the oldest in Africa, had been based in a couple of places in the city over the years – Hout Street, 44 Long Street, Queen Victoria Street – before finally relocating to Observatory. The move to Observatory was the result of a merger between YMCA Cape Town and Louis Botha House YMCA based in Observatory. Since the 1990s, Observatory has been the home of YMCA Cape Town, and it was at this new home that YMCA Cape Town first allowed female residents.

After the founding of YMCA Cape Town, various other local YMCA associations were formed before the establishment of the South African National Council of YMCAs in the1940s.


YMCA Cape Town’s vision is to proclaim the Christian gospel according to the Holy Scriptures, help the youth develop in spirit, mind and body, and uplift communities in the Greater Cape Metropolitan area.


Our mission is to empower those most at risk in the Greater Cape Metropolitan area through the provision of leadership, educational and developmental programmes.

Thank you to all our supporters and funders who enable YMCA Cape Town to continue working and providing our services to those most in need.


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