Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has noted that the Ghana Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) was one institution that impacted greatly on his leadership as a President of the country.

He said the Association in the 1950s was a transformational and still a centre that deepens the sense of responsibility and shapes the attitude of the youth to face leadership challenges in the future.

Former President Kufour said this at a fund raising dinner event to support intervention programmes of the Association from 2012 to 2015 in Accra on Thursday.

The goal of the interventions was to introduce and implement contemporary and innovative programmes that address the current and future socio-economic needs of the youth.

It was also to deepen the outreach and sustainability of activities so as to improve upon the livelihood of young people.

Former President Kufuor said, he was impressed with the activities of the Association in providing 100 students with training skills to develop themselves for the future.

He commended the leadership of the Association for the transformational guidance they had provided for the future leaders of the state.

Mr Kwame Gyimah-Akwafo, National President of the YMCA, said the vision of the Association was to empower young people in Ghana for the African renaissance.

He said the Association is a Christian community-based organization that seeks to enhance the development of the mind, body and spirit of young in the country for a holistic transformation of their communities, nation and the continent.

Mr Gyimah-Akwafo noted that the Association as of now operates in about 70 communities spread over eight out of the 10 administrative regions of the country.

He explained that some of the strategies to be adopted in the achievement of the intervention programmes included, capacity building events and grooming of young people in leadership, business and livelihood skills, exposure of young people to useful learning experience and partnering organizations into youth development to implement relevant programmes.

The Ghana YMCA traces its history to 1890 when a young Gold Coaster, Wilkins Micaber Abbey, who had come into contact with the Association in Scotland during his study tour to Europe, brought it to the Gold Coast.

The Association has spread its tentacles to many cities, towns and villages in the country and are engaging thousands of Ghanaians in meaningful pastimes, volunteer services and community animation. GNA

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