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Records of YMCA international work in Pakistan

Identifier: Y.USA.9-2-41


The collection of YMCA International work in Pakistan is composed of documents and records ranging in date from 1900 to 1987, although the majority of the material was created after 1947. The bulk of the collection is composed of reports and correspondence from YMCA International staff and fraternal secretaries in Karachi and Lahore. The collection also includes files from YMCA work in the cities of Dacca (modern day Dhaka, Bangladesh), Sialkot, and Islamabad.

Sizeable portions of the collection include documents concerning building projects, program proposals, and financial records. In addition, newspaper articles, building plans, photographs, and promotional handouts can also be found. Areas of special interest include documents concerning YMCA work with USAID, the YMCA Technical Institute in Karachi, refugee work, and scattered correspondence and newspaper articles concerning political events in Pakistan, such as military conflicts with India. The correspondence of fraternal secretaries Raymond D. Healy and David R. Wilson, along with the movement's first Pakistani general secretary, Charles Revis, can be found within the collection as well.


  • Creation: 1900-1987
  • Creation: Majority of material found within ( 1947-1987)


Language of Materials


Use of Materials:

This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.


The roots of YMCA work in Pakistan date back to 1875 when an association was established in Lahore and another in Karachi in 1905. These associations were part of the YMCA of India until the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. Subsequently, the Pakistani YMCAs became members of the Council of India, Pakistan, and Ceylon until 1954 when the Lahore and Karachi associations established the National Council of Pakistan.

The early program of the Pakistani YMCA was focused on the traditional physical, spiritual, and educational development of boys through organized sports and religious and educational activities. Both the Lahore and Karachi associations also placed emphasis on community service work, especially among Pakistan's Christian minority. The associations also offered hobby clubs, reading rooms, and hostel facilities. Pakistanis of all faiths were welcome at the associations, and in fact a majority of the members were Muslim.

Raymond D. Healy was sent to Pakistan as fraternal secretary in 1952, and David R. Wilson followed in 1953. Healy and Wilson sought to address the losses of English and Indian staff, who had left following the 1947 partition, by encouraging the indigenization of the association staff and the board of directors in Karachi and Lahore. Also under the direction of fraternal secretaries, both associations used funds from the Buildings for Brotherhood program to construct new buildings in the early 1960s. The Karachi Association also received funding from the German YMCA to open the YMCA Technical Institute in 1961, which grew to become a well-known vocational training program.

The National Council made several unsuccessful attempts to expand the YMCA to other areas of Pakistan. However, YMCA associations failed to take root in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Sukkar, and Quetta, partly because the National Council could not afford to provide secretaries to each new association. In addition, it was not easy for the YMCA to operate in a predominantly Muslim nation. In 1957, students in Lahore protested outside the YMCA because of its refusal to rent a room for a political rally on the Kashmir dispute. In addition, growing anti-Western sentiment, especially following Pakistan's 1965 War with India, was a determent to the expansion of the YMCA. However, the associations in Karachi and Lahore continued to develop; each association served over 1,300 members by 1975.

During the 1970s, the YMCA expanded its traditional program to include more community development work. The Karachi YMCA began to operate a recreation center in the Korangi refugee settlement, and the Lahore Association launched a program to feed impoverished children with funding from the Refugee Work Committee of the YMCA World Alliance. The YMCA also established the Urban Uplift Program to teach technical skills to illiterate young men in urban slums. With the support of the Karachi Association, the YMCA opened a vocational training program in the city of Quetta in 1977, while the Lahore Association established a vocational school earlier in the decade to teach typing, steganography, accounting, and other commercial trades. The YMCA also reinitiated efforts to establish a YMCA in Islamabad. The YMCA's development work was partially supported by funding from USAID into the 1980s.

The following is a list of individuals who served as YMCA secretaries in Pakistan, along with their dates of service, if known:

Coan, Frank Speer (1948-1953) Sutliff, Ralph Calvin (1962-1963)
Healy, Raymond Delosse (1952-1958) Wilson, David Ross (1953-1973)


1.9 Cubic Feet (6 boxes)


Correspondence, reports, building records, and other material documenting YMCA international work in Pakistan, especially in Karachi and Lahore, as well as Dacca, Sialkot, and Islamabad.


Biographical information on most of the secretaries involved in Pakistani work (see list of individuals in the historical note) is available in the YMCA Biographical Files, separately cataloged in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.

See also the records of YMCA International Work in India, separately cataloged in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives

Processing Information:

Processed as part of Fast Processing Project II, March 2009, as collection FP034. Material has been minimally processed. Folder descriptions may be general and material has not been grouped into series.

Catalog Record ID number: 6414786

An Inventory of Its Records
Finding aid prepared by Lara Friedman-Shedlov and Cody Haro.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area