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南京YWCA - 南京基督教青年会
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History of Nanjing YWCA

The Young Women’s Christian Association was first brought into China by an American, with their first school established in 1890 in the city of Hangzhou. However, it wasn’t until after 1908 that Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and various other cities established their own inner-city YWCA organizations. Today Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Wuhan, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Chengdu, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Honk Kong, Taiwan and various other regions all have well established YWCA organizations.

 Above:The Motto of YMCA: Not to Be Served, but to Serve"


In 1919, the YWCA was established in Nanjing when the United States Young Women’s Christian Association sent Miss Due Fee and Miss Davis to visit. At this time, Huang Lizhen, Shao Jingzhen and Hu Zhongying we put in charge of the first Nanjing YWCA. After this, the YWCA in Nanjing was influential in established associations such as a mothers association, husband and wife association and a tourism association. They also promoted activities such as lectures on special topics and provided employment services for women. These associations and activities received a warm welcome from the Nanjing community. During the War of Resistance against Japan, activities sponsored by the Nanjing YWCA stopped and it wasn’t until after the war was won in 1945 that the YWCA resumed work. At this time, Zheng Nuquan became the general secretary and actively implemented various service opportunities. At this time, they established departments for commoner education, adult education, young women and school children. They also formed classes that taught women how to type English, write in shorthand, how to cook, sow and playing the piano. This attracted many young women who participated in order to receive this professional training. After acquiring a foundation in schooling and education, the Nanjing YWCA continued to expand due to local need. They formed a cultural cram school (located on Xitieguang Lane, No. 35), a sowing school (Hanjia Lane, No.1), and a nursery (Shuanglong Lane, No. 15). Just before liberation in 1949, the YWCA had over 20 workers and over 600 members. Amongst them, around one third were Christians, with the rest being women from the community.

Above: "If you know the truth, the truth will set you free" in Chinese calligraphy


After the People’s Republic of China was formed in 1949, Nanjing YWCA and YMCA together participated and were influential in the Christian world Anti-Imperialism Patriotic movement along with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. YWCA has “and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” as its motto. The YWCA conducts activities that attract the participation of women and will benefit society. The Nanjing YWCA has continued to work side by side with Nanjing YMCA in setting up activities such as cultural training, lectures, holding youth summer camps and various entertainment activities. They have also traveled to places such as Hong Kong and Japan to participate in friendship exchange activities. These activities have received a positive evaluation from the community. 

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