The YMCA association was founded in the 19th century and was meant to help the youth specifically men in the UK develop Christian values which would help them in spiritual development. However, this changed as the association spread to other parts of the world. This change also spread to accommodate the female gender and later on the whole family setup. This helped the association to get fully involved in development of leaders by ensuring all factors affecting an individual in the course of growth were addressed. It is this role of leader development that is the subject of this paper.YMCA is an acronym for Young Men Christian Association, a movement that realized much of its growth in the nineteenth century. It was founded in the year 1844 in UK. With time it has realized an international status with the current enrollment going well beyond forty million people and covering the entire globe.The movement is founded on certain principles which shape the activities of the movement. These are responsibility, respect, honesty and caring. The association runs programs which are aimed at developing young families and their members into prosperous individuals in future. The main concentration is ensuring that in future we have an all rounded society founded by strong values, introduced at the family level and cemented in the postulated Christian values (Winter, 2002).
The association which is a global entity is founded on the same guidelines but various divisions which are mainly geographical may not run the same kind of programs. This may also explain some differences in the administration of these associations. However, they have the same goals and often congregate to chart the way forward to share ideas and look for ways to adapt to the new requirements brought about by changes within the world systems.
The YMCA as indicated earlier, run programs which are aimed at modeling individuals to be independent and responsible beings in future. These are the foundations necessary to build strong leaders in future. It is thus alright to sum the overall objectives of the YMCA to be building future leaders: leaders in this context being a wider term representing leadership in all aspects from the family level to the societal and finally to the highest level which is the federal level. For this reason this research will be aimed at determining the various programs ran by these associations and their role in developing leaders, how exactly these programs are modeled to suit and meet the requirements of future leaders at the very primal value and the impact they have in the subsequent growth off the individual (Spanberg 2009).
Historical review of YMCA
Right from the inception of the association in 1844 there has been so much activity associated with the program but not all have been documented especially on the growth and development and how it got transformed from being a national association in the UK to what it is now.
However, this does not mean that there lacks complete information on the developmental issues of the association especially to do with leadership development. The information available indicates that the same values that are held by the current association were the same values held by the initial association only that with time the programs have been altered to meet the changes and requirements of the ever being transformed world.
These values just as the current ones were involved in every level of the family where they sought to make children and youth develop positive values, and become more community and work oriented. Besides this, they aimed at motivating young people to enroll in schools to ensure they learnt