asmien Beckers (first standing on the right), youth representative for DBYN participated in the first meeting of the European Youth Forum's Migration and Human Rights network. This is a short press release on the event.
On 19 and 20 June the European Youth Forum’s Migration and Human Rights Network (MHRN) held its first meeting of 2017 in Brussels. The Network focuses on promoting the social inclusion and empowerment of as well as combatting discrimination against young refugees.
Eight youth organisations participated in the meeting, some of which are joining the Network for the first time. The Network took stock of the work that has been carried out since 2015, while participants exchanged on their organisations’ initiatives and projects.
Furthermore, participants agreed on the aims of the network. Among others, the Network aims to motivate youth organisations to include young refugees within their structures, and to ensure that young refugees are involved in decision-making processes.
The two main priorities the Network identified for 2017 are:
On the occasion of World Refugee Day on 20 June, Network members participated in the conference ‘Time to be welcome: youth work and integration of young refugees’, where they showcased their projects on non-formal education, advocacy for refugee rights, empowerment and skills development and raising awareness about refugees. The joint press release from the European Youth Forum, the World Organisation of the Scout Movement and the EU-Council of Europe partnership in the field of youth who organised the conference is available here.
The youth partnership between the European Union and the Council of Europe is going to publish a knowledge book on youth work with young refugees. When we received the call for abstracts, we thought this to be an unique opportunity to contribute to the topic from a Salesian perspective. Our German member organisation took the initiative of submitting the abstract: "Living under the same roof - a home for young apprentices and unaccompanied minor refugees right in the middle of Munich" by Benjamin Henn and Niklas Gregull. We are happy to announce that the abstract has been accepted, and we are invited to send the full article.
You can read the abstract here
Hi There! is a play project focused a young refugees and asylum seekers in Brussels. The project aims at developing the soft skills and competences the young refugees and asylum seekers need to successfully integrate in their local community. By the summer of 2018 the project aims to engage several as volunteers in the project as well.
Hi There! was initiated by Belgian participants of DBYN activities. During the "Speak up" training course they developed the motivation to do something for young refugees in Belgium, during the "Travel Beyond!" training course they developed the project management skills required to set-up such a project. The volunteers looked for peers who wanted to join the project, resulting in a larger team of volunteers which is still growing. They applied for funding at Droomfonds of the Don Bosco Foundation, for the necessary funding to start the project.
At the same time this project shows how institutional funding by the Council of Europe's European Youth Foundation (Speak up) and the European Union's Erasmus+ programme (Travel beyond) can lead to a longterm impact on local level. However, it still requires local financing and a huge effort of volunteers to actually implement the project.
Since its creation DBYN joined the working group on Migration & Human Rights, which was created within the European Youth Forum to tackle youth policy issues related to this field of work. We had several of our youth representatives joining in the first meetings, and we even hosted a part of this expert group's first seminar in Vienna. After the part elections at the General Assembly of the European Youth Forum, November 2016, the YFJ decided to make this a more formal working group of the Forum. Seeing the work several of our member organisations, as well as the whole global Don Bosco Movement is doing in this field, we wanted to support this working group. Therefore we are happy to announce that our youth representative Elisabeth Graf has been selected to join the working group. Through this blog we will keep you updated on her work in this working group.
We received the news that Claire-Eline Theyskens was selected to join the European Youth Forum's expert group on Education. Claire-Eline is member of DBYN's pool of trainers, has a long standing experience as trainer for our Belgian member organisation, and is currently studying pedagogical sciences. She has finished an internship at the Collegio Don Bosco in Zaragoza. This gives her a unique expertise both in formal and non-formal education, within the Don Bosco educational style. We are convinced that her engagement will be a strong support for the European Youth Forum's efforts in strengthening European educational systems
As observer members our youth representatives were not involved in the elections of the new Advisory Council of the Council of Europe, nor voting on the resolutions proposed by the membership. We do however consider our membership a benefit for the network as we are able to exchange opinions and ideas a wide variety of youth work organisations in Europe. At this COMEM we for example learned from EEE-YFU about the "Badgecraft initiative" as online tool for working with competences, or about the "I act, for the prevention of sexual violence" of IFM-SEI, which is their newly developed campaign against sexual violence.
The next Council of Members' meeting will take place in Cascais on the 24th and 25th of November 2017.
Raphael Ruppacher is one of the DBYN representatives. He explains what is his function as volunteer in advocacy work.
Lilli Graf is one of the DBYN representatives. She explains what is her function as volunteer in advocacy work.
On the first anniversary of the acceptance by the United Nations of the Sustainable Development Agenda till 2030, Don Bosco Network is launching A Salesian Response to the 2030 Agenda, emphasizing the commitment of Don Bosco organizations to the advancement of “poor and abandoned youth”. The Sustainable Development Goals were signed exactly a year ago and represent a challenge for the next 15 years. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were destined for developing countries, particularly the poorest, these apply to all countries, rich and poor. There are 17 Objectives that, with the accompanying 169 goals, constitute an agenda of progress and social transformation that will be achieved only if all stakeholders (governments, civil society, religious and private organizations) come together and work together. Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw is one of the 18 co-signatories of this policy statement from the worldwide Don Bosco Movement.
In this blog is Don Bosco Youth-Net collects and publishes its news, VLOGS, policy statements and other information linked to our advocacy work.