YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSO CIATIONS. Organizations for the advancement of the physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual life of young women. The first Young Women's Christian Association was formed in London in 1855. There were a Prayer Union among and for young women, and a home in London for young women in independent pursuits, especially for returned Crimean War nurses.
The World's Young Women's Christian Asso ciation. organized in 1894, includes national as sociations, one from each country, and is on an interdenominational, evangelical basis. The headquarters are in London. The supervision of work is delegated to a committee of thirty three active and eight corresponding members, resident in sixteen countries. They employ trav eling and office secretaries; appoint secretaries for foreign fields: arrange quadrennial COBVP11 lions (London, 1898; Geneva. Switzerland. 1902) ; call a week of prayer in November; and assist in establishing national organizations when the number of local associations warrants it. Their organ, The World's Quarterly, is published in three languages. The eleven organized coun tries are as follows: Great Britain. affiliated in 1894. embraces under the British National Conn ell live divisions, London, of and North Wales. South of England and South Wales, Scotland. and Ireland, each with departmental committees and officers; total membership, 100, 1)00, of whom 00,000 are Prayer Union members. Branches are either parochial or have head quarters in an institute or home. The Sunday Bible class is the chief feature of each British association. The Nurses' Union, Teachers' De partment. Restaurant Department. Holiday Park Alission, and many other forms of work are included. A national traveling seere tary is employed. Closely associated are the Factory TIelpers' Union, the Traveler's Aid and the Associated Guild of Registries. National organs, Go forward, Our Onward Way. Our Own Oazette, Warkers.—Norway. a 'Minted in 1894, has S branehes.—Sweden, affiliated in 1894, has 31 branches: religious, educational, and foreign mission work is undertaken. Organ, affiliated in 1902, has 7 brandies and 938 members.—Prance, affiliated in 1900, has 246 associations, 7000 mem bers, and 10 regional divisions; Bible classes, foyers or cheap lunch rooms, and temperance so cieties are included. Organ, Journal de la jenny fille.—Ilernmng, affiliated in 1899, has 1000 branches, chiefly parochial, and 86.000 members.
—flungary, affiliated in 1903.—Italy, affiliated in 1897, has associations in all principal cities and many small towns; annual conferences are held.—India, organized in 1897, has 120 branches, one-half using English, one-half various local dialects; there are twenty-seven student branches. Bombay, Rangoon. and other cities own their own buildings. Camps and conferences for Bible study are held annually. Organ. Young Women of India.—Canada, affiliated in 1898, has 14 city and 23 student associations, with a traveling secretary for each department ; biennial national conventions are held. Organ, The Dominion. Tie.
—The United States of America. The American
Committee, in 1894, embraces 83 city associations, membership 41,836. and 450 stu dent associations, membership 26.032. There are 23 State organizations which hold conven tions, comprising associations in 40 States. The first association connected with this body was formed in the Illinois Normal University, 1872. Student associations especially in coeducational institutions of the Middle West, and town asso ciations, were united in nine State associations, and in 1886 formed the National Young Women's Christian Association, with headquarters at Chi cago. Among the fundamental principles adopted are: The definiteness of the work, being solely for young women along both religious and secu lar lines; the basis of membership, voting and office-holding members being communicants of Protestant evangelical churches: the preventive and educative character of the work, and its conduct by volunteer boards and committees and by paid professional workers known as secre taries. Of the 83 city associations, 4 are gospel settlements for women and girls. There are also 12 branch associations in S cities; 24 own buildings, 20 conduct boarding homes, 37 hold regular meetings in factories, 51 have noonday rests. 65 offer instruction in physical training to 7155 students. There are S809 in educational classes, 4777 in Bible classes. There are also 12 association Bible circles in small towns. Of the 450 student associations, 14 employ general secretaries, advisory hoards being formed from faculty members. All hold social and religious meetings. One hundred and sixteen colleges have missionary libraries; 10.412 students are in as sociation Bible classes. The student department of the American Committee is one of the three constituents of the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, and joined with the Inter collegiate Young Men's Christian Association, forms the American branch of the NVorld's Stu dent Christian Federation. The American Com mittee holds biennial conventions and four an nual slimmer conferences: at Capitola, Cal.; Asheville, N. C.: Silver Bay, N. Y.; and Lake Geneva, Wis., with a total attendance, in 1902, of 2025. It supports.four foreign secretaries in the India Young Women's Christian Association. The International Board of Women's and Young Women's Christian Associations of the 'United States and Canada was formed in 1891, conven tions of the associations now included having been held biennially since 1871. The first asso ciation under this board was formed in Boston in 1865. In 1901, 53 associations were reported, 40 having boarding homes; 23 haw restaurants; 28 have employment bureaus; '21 traveler's aid; 2S own buildings; 29,794 members are in edu cational, physical, and religious classes. The value of property owned is 84,206,980. The 'World's Committee also includes associations in Africa. AustralM, South America. and the more remote European countries. In mission lands work is being undertaken at the solicitation of denominational missionaries, and secretaries are under appointment to work in the colleges and cities, as in America.