Y Care International (YCI) is aits core a partnership-based organisation, working hand in hand with local youth-focused organisations in some of the worlds poorest countries to create opportunities for disadvantaged young women and men.  

We firmly believe that local organisations are best placed to understand their communities and their needs. Our role is to accompany them and offer support – technical, learning, financial, networking – to increase the impact and scale of their work.  Today, we are focused on building strong, sustainable partnerships to tackle the growing crisis of youth unemployment.  

We (YCI) grew out of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) movement.

Founded in 1844 in London, the YMCA is the oldest and largest youth organisation in the world, reaching 58 million young people.  

With its unparalleled reach and capacity to mobilise young people across 120 countries, the YMCA is well-placed to create significant impact at scale with and for young people. 

The YMCA works to bring social justice and peace to young people and their communities, regardless of religion, race, gender or culture.


Y Care International, was founded by Terry Waite CBE – who remains YCI’s President and passionate advocate – and National Council of England members John Naylor and David Bedford. YCI continued to be a subsidiary charity of YMCA England & Wales before becoming a fully independent in 2005.

Our Founder-Director

David Bedford, the Founder-Director of Y Care International, invited Terry Waite to become its first Chairman, and steered its vision and growth for the first eight years.

While Terry was in captivity, David worked closely with Acting Chairman, Archbishop Runcie, before succeeding Terry as Chairman, serving for ten years. By the time David stepped down, his vision of an agency supporting young people’s development projects through YMCAs all over the world had been achieved. In addition, under his leadership Y Care International began to respond to humanitarian emergencies across the world. David is a Methodist local preacher.

Our President

Terry Waite remains President of Y Care International to this day and is an active advocate of our work.

From the beginning, Y Care’s focus was on supporting development programmes for young people run by the world YMCA movement. In the early days, Terry Waite as Chairman, also personally set up a major disaster appeal mechanism which brought relief and long term hope to countless disaster victims around the world.

Over the years we have strengthened our role as a community development organisation, focused on supporting disadvantaged young people, whose needs and rights are too often neglected.