Carlos Sanvee: Stay awake to a world in need

Date: 14 January 2024

Carlos Sanvee

As 2024 unfolds, World YMCA Secretary General Carlos Sanvee extended heartfelt New Year wishes to the global YMCA Movement. He stressed the importance of staying awake and alert to the world’s needs, particularly in Ukraine and Gaza, where young people are caught in conflict.

“We cannot stay asleep with our heads under the pillow, trying not to notice the ills we see around us”, he said.

Carlos recounted his personal experience of spending the first moments of 2024 in contemplative prayer at his church in Togo with around 500 other attendees. This moment of reflection brought to his mind the powerful words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from his 1962 address “A Knock at Midnight.” King’s sermon, which uses a Biblical parable to explore the depth of social and racial injustice, resonates strongly with the current global situation.

The message is clear, Carlos said. The YMCA must not be indifferent to the suffering around us. Instead, he said, we should be active and compassionate, opening our doors to those in need.

“I urge you to hear the knocking and to open the door”, Carlos said. “Let people in, or go out and bring them into our home, the YMCA”.

See Carlos’ video below, or watch it directly on our YouTube channel.