We’re going to ‘Ignite’ and take the Movement forward

In his 2022 New Year message, World YMCA Secretary General Carlos Sanvee gives two answers to the question as to how the YMCA Movement gets ready for the new – “and we hope more enlightened” – world which Covid has brought us.

First, he points towards the adoption in 2022 of Vision 2030: “one shared, Movement-wide Vision; one shared Mission; four shared priority impact areas”.

Second, he points to YMCA World Council (a hybrid event in July 2022), as the moment when “We’re going to provide the spark, the flame, the combustion to Ignite’ and take the Movement forward, to create the world the YMCA wants to see”.

All this, in a world in which, for all the damage it has done to young people, “Covid has done us a service in making us think again about the future of young people, and the future of the things we collectively believe in”.

Watch his full message

Full text below

Dear friends of the YMCA, welcome to 2022.

It’s now nearly two years that the world has been battling Covid.

This battle is not over yet.

Looking back, it’s been two painful years for an unprepared YMCA and an unprepared world.

Covid has taken a severe toll on young people, on vulnerable communities, and on marginalized people.

It has revealed profound inequalities and injustices in our societies …

and it reveals them still, for as long as many parts of the world do not have free and equal access to vaccination.

We keep hearing it, but we don’t see it: ‘none are safe until all are safe’.

Until every region of the world is vaccinated, the fight against Covid cannot be won.

And Covid is of course only one of our challenges.

The existential challenge is climate change and lost biodiversity.

The deep-rooted challenge is racism and discrimination.

The moving challenge is the humanitarian crises that continue to stalk the world, as the result of man-made crisis or natural disaster.

Each of these makes the vulnerable yet more vulnerable.

But, I also want to look back at the last two years and say that we have made massive strides.

I want to thank everyone in the YMCA Movement …

… for digging deep for courage and resilience,

… for asking new questions and finding new answers,

… for standing up to society’s wrongs,

… for being willing to reimagine ourselves.

… for responding to Covid as the opportunity to accelerate change.

And no one has made greater strides than young people, who have raised their voices on issues like racism and climate injustice … and been agents for change and a force for good in their own communities.

Covid has done us a service in making us think again about the future of young people, and the future of the things we collectively believe in.

So how do we get ready for the new – and we hope more enlightened – world which Covid has brought us?

Well, we in the YMCA have already spent two years talking about this …

And 2022 is the year when our Movement – all around the world – will finally agree its ‘Vision 2030’.

It will be built on one shared, Movement-wide Vision.

One shared Mission.

And four shared priority impact areas – whether we work on one of them, some of them, or all of them

… because every National Movement is aligning, while every National Movement remains uniquely itself, in its own setting.

And in July this year, our global YMCA Movement will come together as one for its 20th World Council.

It’s where we will adopt Vision 2030, and actually co-create our shared future.

However you join us in July – whether it’s on-line or in-person, because we’re at full speed planning both – it’s going to be very special.

We’re going to provide the spark, the flame, the combustion to Ignite’ and take the Movement forward, to create the world the YMCA wants to see.

Let’s journey together in 2022 and beyond.

Feel good to be part of the ‘great global good’ that is the YMCA.

No one will be left behind.

The world needs networks, ‘families’ like the YMCA … to build up young people, and to build and to rebuild communities …

So I pray for God’s protection in 2022 for all YMCA leaders, staff and volunteers, the world over.

May they continue to be ‘the light of the world’.

ENDS