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Profile of YCW

Mission Statement

The Young Christian Workers Movement is an international youth movement which values the dignity and worth of each young person. It enables its members to challenge social exclusion and take action to bring about change in their home, workplace and society.

YCW is a movement of young adults who, by reflection and action, attempt to change and improve their lives and society. YCW is based on three fundamental truths: The Truth of Faith, The Truth of Reality and The Truth of Method. About the Three Truths:

The Truth of Faith

As Christians our faith tells us that we are created in the image and likeness of God and as such have a unique and special contribution to make to society and to the church.

The Truth of Reality

In reality we are not always treated as though we are unique and special and are often prevented from making our contribution.

The Truth of Method

Cardijn’s answer to the contradiction between what our faith tells us and our everyday experiences. His response was to establish the YCW, a movement that would serve represent and educate young people through the method of See, Judge, Act.

YCW is convinced that young adults have an important and vital contribution to make in the development of a just society and in empowering young people to be leaders of change in their own lives and their communities.

Who runs YCW?

YCW is organised and run at every level (local, regional, national and international) by young adults (YCW members are aged 18+ while IMPACT! members are 16-18 years old). They decide the programme of action after reflecting on their reality and the conditions of those around them.

Guiding Principles

As a Christian movement, the YCW promotes Christian values.

YCW is a movement of young people, for young people, run by young people.

YCW strives towards each person fulfilling their potential and through the unique method of YCW, See-Judge-Act, making real changes in their lives.

Our Code of Good Youth Work Practice is available here.

What is so good about YCW?

In addition to the fact that YCW is organised by the members themselves there are three other good reasons for being involved:

It is a chance to take action to improve the local community and wider society.

YCW helps to develop the confidence, social skills, faith and social awareness of the young people it touches.

YCW helps young people meet new friends from all over the country and world-wide, through its actions, meetings, training events, holidays and social occasions. YCW is an enjoyable worthwhile experience.

How did it start?

YCW was founded in Belgium by a young priest called Joseph Cardijn in 1925. He believed that each young person had a unique and special contribution to make to society. However he knew that the experience of young people was somewhat different, they were often treated unfairly and denied the opportunity to participate and bring about change. If this situation was to change the only way was to organise young people to take actions for themselves. And so the YCW was born.

The Irish YCW

Young Christian Workers was established in Ireland in 1937. Read more about the history of the YCW movement in Ireland.

YCW Ireland has its National Office in Dublin. More details about our staff.

International YCW

YCW is presently active in over 100 countries and every continent with more than 3 million members. Over the past seventy years it has been a dynamic force for change as it expanded throughout the world. YCW welcomes all young people as members irrespective of whether they are members of a faith community or not.

How do I join?

There are small groups at local level all over the country. These meet regularly to plan actions and activities together in order to serve, educate and represent young people.

If no group exists in your area why not start one yourself. You can contact the YCW National Office, they will be happy to assist you. Alternatively you could inquire at your local parish or youth information service.