The Young Women’s Christian Association of Southern Africa (YWCA) was originally founded in Cape Town in April 1886. It was established as a Christian interdenominational non-profit-making Company with affiliated YWCA Local Associations on the 14th October 1929. 

The affiliated YW Local Associations developed in Pietermaritzburg (1896), Johannesburg (1903), East London (1905), Pretoria (1908) and Bloemfontein (1921). There were several other residences which opened over the years but they did not operate for very long, e.g. Parktown, Welkom. 

Affiliated YW Local Associations were also established in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), but when that country became independent they were forced to cut ties with the South African organization. Communication has been maintained, however, between the Christian Residential Association (Bromley House) in Harare and our YW National Office.

 In 2005 the YWCA in South Africa, changed its name to CHRISTIAN RESIDENCES FOR YOUNG WOMEN, known as THE YW, then, due to later changes in the South African Companies Act, the initials “NPC (RF)” were added to the Company name. 

THE YW CHRISTIAN RESIDENCES FOR YOUNG WOMEN is the longest serving Christian women’s organization in South Africa. 

What we offer

THE YW provides accommodation to all young women (aged between 18 and 25) regardless of colour, race, religion or creed, however we are a Christian organisation and therefore the ‘boundaries’ with regards to House Rules are in accordance with our Company’s MOI and THE YW Operations Manual, which are founded not only on South African Companies Act requirements but also Christian biblical values. 

All activities of the Company and its affiliated YW Local Associations take place within the confines of the Republic of South Africa.

Finding secure, affordable accommodation can be a problem – particularly for young women leaving home and spreading their wings. Whether they are students needing a ‘nest’, young women employed in the cities or visiting other cities for training, employment or holiday purposes, THE YW provides a caring home away from home.

Young female students find our residences exceptionally conducive to studying as they provide a safe and quiet atmosphere, even though situated in the midst of the largest South African cities. We currently have residences in Bloemfontein, Cape Town and Pietermaritzburg.

Many of our residents are from countries outside of South Africa, which offers all residents wonderful opportunities for making international friendships, as well as friendships that will last a lifetime. The ladies will always find a friend at THE YW.

Recreation facilities differ from residence to residence, but some indoor and outdoor activities are available in them all and all our residences have DStv and DVD facilities along with internet and wi-fi connections.

Our Aim

THE YW sets out to provide mutual development, help and support to our residents – spiritually, socially, physically and intellectually. Dedicated staff are there to meet their needs; praying for them during exams or illnesses.

Our aim at THE YW Christian Residences is to provide a home away from home, maintaining a healthy witness to a Christian way of life. Residents are encouraged to attend local Bible study groups, while Life Skills and Youth Development programmes are organised on a regular basis.

Our Statements

THE YW Basis of Faith

THE YW Mission

THE YW Vision


How to become a partner


Records of THE YW

THE YW Local Associations are:

Pietermaritzburg (NPO 000-824)

Bloemfontein (NPO 000-825)

Cape Town (NPO 000-827)