The year 2023 is drawing to a close and it can certainly be said that it has been a year full of exciting international events for our members and volunteers from all over Europe. Highly formative experiences that represent important opportunities for reflection and intercultural exchange for all our young people!
And it is just in the last few days, from 26 November to 2 December 2023, that the last international activity of this year took place: the training course "Rise: Design for emerging futures", organised by Don Bosco Youth-Net, in cooperation with the Council of Europe's Youth Department, and hosted at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg (France).
We will know have the testimonies of three Italian participants, who represented our member TGS Nazionale:Beatrice from the local TGS group Macerata (Macerata), Nancy from the FMA Institute "Maria Ausiliatrice" (Catania) and Gabriele from the TGS Don Bosco group Salerno (Salerno) took part in it.
"When the Rise project was presented to me, seeing all the activities that would take place, I was really excited. At the moment of leaving, however, being the first experience of this kind for me, fear and agitation took over a bit.
When I arrived, all the initial tension disappeared to leave room for the desire to learn and get involved. I met people from almost all over Europe, they were all welcoming, and like me they all had the desire to be part of something as big and beautiful as the project was.
I left with a wealth of new knowledge and skills that I hope to be able to put into practice in my small work groups. It was a truly unique and exciting experience that I hope I can repeat."
"When I was given the opportunity to participate in this study session in Strasbourg I thought what many people would think: 'I"ll try, if they won't accept/pick me, at least I will have tried'.
This choice to try was made on the basis of personal curiosity: having studied pedagogy and having read the general programme, I thought it would be an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Indeed it was.
The topics we covered, the way they were presented, the interactions with the trainers and the other volunteers was something that left me with so much.
On a professional level, I assimilated new methodologies for tackling problems and finding solutions, I internalised new methods that can be used in training and beyond, I delved into human rights and the contexts in which they must be applied.
On a human level, I made friends with truly wonderful people with whom I shared unique moments, "High Level" moments, to borrow one of the most used aphorisms of this beautiful week. "
"It is only possible to find a solution to a problem if first of all you keep everyone affected in mind, working together and in harmony to reach a common goal - A valuable lesson I take from this course that we perhaps too often take for granted.
I have now almost lost count of my DBYN activities... but each time continues to bring intense excitement and novelty as if it were the first, and this experience was no different. This study session was an unexpected breath of life and much-needed oxygen.
A week that brought with it an increased understanding of the fundamentals of human rights and the concept of polycrisis, saw the reunion of long-standing friendships and the formation of new bonds with unique people, was the accomplice of light-hearted laughter but also of important moments, the scene of profound conversations and debates, all immersed in the fantastic city of Strasbourg, a wonderful setting to discover and experience a perfect Christmas atmosphere.
I will undoubtedly return enriched with new methods and techniques to apply, with new wonderful friendships, with the reflections exchanged with the people who accompanied me on this adventure, with countless memories to cherish, and above all with the confidence of new and solid ideas for the future!"
Thank you to all our participants this year. We look forward to the outcomes of all the activities and to welcome you again in 2024.
Thank you Gabriele for gathering the testimonies.
"My participation in the project "The Future is Europe" as Italian representative of Salesiani per il Sociale APS is an inestimable gift and a privilege for me. Being part of Don Bosco’s big family means not stopping in the usual context, but exploring the world, embracing new points of view, not staying in the comfort zone. Don Bosco challenges us and wants us to be brave!
Looking over is sometimes the solution. It was the solution for me. I went little by little further and further, discovering that beyond my existence, there is a magnificent collective experience, which passes through the richness of those who are different from me... who are also surprisingly similar to me. As a group of young Salesians from 7 European countries, we made a journey together through important issues that lead us to ask ourselves about the future of local and international volunteering in our realities and abroad.
Traveling through Germany (Benediktbeuern), Belgium (Leuven) and Spain (El Campello), we covered the topics of digital transformation, solidarity and employment: we put ourselves at stake by bringing to the group our personal stories and experiences from our home countries. This gave us the opportunity to deepen interesting themes, finding practical solutions and new tools.
Our last experience in Spain focused on employment and recognition of skills acquired thanks to volunteering, through seminars and group activities, in the wonderful atmosphere of the Salesian house of El Campello (Alicante), just steps from the sea. "Reflection moments" on the beach, role playing activities, creative moments, the intercultural dinner, strong hugs, incredible synthony at first look and shiny eyes of those who understand and recognize themselves: these are memories that will always remain imprinted in my heart.
Only the last stage of this adventure remains… Venice will host the last round of the project on the topic of sustainability from August 31st to September 3rd.
I can’t wait to live this last trip with many international friends in my beautiful Italy!
Dear all, let yourselves be surprised by the wonderful encounter with diversity!
Go beyond your borders and embark on international experiences with Don Bosco Youth-Net!
Amazing friends are waiting for you!"
"The future is Europe" project is financed by the European Union.
In August 2022, the participants from "Volunteers for digitalisation", the first seminar of "The Future is Europe: Voluntary service for social change" gathered in Benediktbeuern, Germany for a few days. Here are the outcomes.
Definitions of Digital transformation that the participants came up with
Outcome of the evaluation
Let's have some participants of Yout(h)echnology share about their experience. This training course took place in May 2023 in Benediktbeuern, Germany, with the financial support of the European Union through the Flemish National Agency JINT.
Yout(h)echnology was a very interesting and nice experience. It was full of networking as well as sharing experiences on different paths of Technology.
Compared to previous DBYN activities such as school of animators the difference was that many people here were not animators but yet still had a different way of helping their youth organisations whether it comes to technical or technological stuff and were active volunteers for their organisations, together with everyone I have managed to share experiences, and learn new apps to use for our youth projects.
As an international individual who left everything in her country and came to Italy to embark on an adventure, it was one of the most significant experiences I have had. It provided a comprehensive experience from various perspectives, particularly for young people.
Professionally, the Yout(h)echnology course was intriguing to me as it clarified the methods and models of technology, including the essential risk elements associated with using the internet in today's world. The course covered various topics such as social media, tools and skills for promoting and establishing personal organisations on mobile phones and computers, GDPR guidelines, photo and video editing, among others. This knowledge served as an excellent foundation for entering the modern market through the right channels. Additionally, the materials and activities we shared among ourselves enhanced our understanding and knowledge.
On the social side, we were fortunate to have encountered exceptional trainers and participants who were all part of the productive youth in the Salesian community. There was a sense of equality and respect among us and the trainers, which facilitated productive communication and provided a wonderful opportunity to learn about different cultures. Despite the language differences, we approached one another with respect, affection, and understanding, creating a comfortable atmosphere. The coordinators further encouraged and motivated us.
On a personal level, I cherish the beautiful memories and laughter we shared. I gained new vocabulary and knowledge that expanded my understanding. Moreover, I formed new friendships and found a sense of belonging within the DBYN community. The activities I engaged in during my time may even become part of my future career. I hope to have the opportunity to relive this experience again. Overall, this opportunity was a productive experience in all respects to build professional and social life.
We had a fantastic experience with Don Bosco Youth Network in their Yout(h)enology seminar in Benediktbeuern, Germany. We met amazing people from Europe, learning about their cultures and Salesian organisations. We got to learn what DBYN is, what they do and all the opportunities that they provide. The training itself was very informative and covered several subjects such as understanding what GDPR is, the advantages and risks that technology brings to the youth, and introduced to several new tools and skills to help us within our respective organisations. The Salesian spirit was radiant throughout the seminar which created amazing new friendships, a sense of belonging and everlasting memories. We cannot wait for the next opportunity!
Owen, Joseph and Kyle, Malta
This is the summary of the participants’ evaluation of DBYN’s training course 'Yout(h)echnology'. This training course took place from the 1st to the 7th May 2023 in Aktionszentrum in Benediktbeuern, Germany. This summary shows the evaluation as well as the educational impact of the individual participants, based on an online survey.
Let's have some participants of the European Summer School of Animators share about their experience.
Hi, I’m Sabrina and I wanted to tell you what this week meant for me. I would like to say that I promised myself that I would be amazed without too many demands. As soon as I arrived I immediately felt welcomed and I do not deny that I had a lot of anxiety about my level of English. I immediately noticed that both the team and the other animators have always tried to help me without ever putting me in difficulty. I can definitely define this experience as one of the best in my life, in addition to growing as an animator I got to know great people with stories and experiences that leave more than you can think. I would recommend to anyone an experience like this even to the most shy because it is an environment where at least I have never felt judged. In addition, we also had the opportunity to compare, dance, sing, play and have fun together creating relationships and ties even at a distance of km and hours.
I had lots of expectations regarding this week and all of the activities that we were going to do as I had the timetable, those expectations wasn't only fulfilled but surpassed. I had a great time in every activity and that was amazing, but what surprised me the most and made this week as enjoyable as it has been was all of us working together and sharing lots of moments, it almost felt like a family and I won't forget all of the things that we created
I wouldn't give up this experience for anything in the world. I adore that anyone can find a place for themselves there, no matter their background or previous experiences in youth work. During my time there, I met many people who are animators just like me, and I had the opportunity to exchange ideas and listen to different points of view on various topics. It was a great learning experience, and I had so much fun!
Thank you for invaluable experience. At the school of animators we shared our traditions, ideas and projects. It was so nice to know more about teambuilding, TEAM PACO and to discovered new methods of non-formal education. We became a real friendly team, knew more about the games of different countries. Thank you for an amazing intercultural evening with food, singing and dancing ❤️And also for visiting Don Bosco Church and the museum. It was really great to be in the same place, where he [Don Bosco] was. I collected all memories about beautiful Rome and its places of interest. Thank you for the programme, for your care and kindness. Remember all what we do and will leave it in my heart forever. With love from Ukraine.
I felt so proud that I am a part of Salesian-animator community. This project reminded me of why I became an animator and what it means to truly be one while also following the path of Don Bosco. It was a nice experience meeting everyone and being able to share our positive animator energy and experiences. Looking forward to more experiences like this one ☺
This is the summary of the participants’ evaluation of DBYN’s training course Mental Health in Youth Work. This training course took place from the 1st to the 7th Aprils 2023 in Savio House in Bollington (UK). This summary shows the evaluation as well as the educational impact of the individual participants, based on an online survey.
This is the summary of the participants’ evaluation of DBYN’s training course European Summer School of Animators. This training course took place from the 19th to the 25th March 2023 at the Centro Nazionale di Opere Salesiane in Rome (Italy). This summary shows the evaluation of the individual participants, based on an online survey.
This is the summary of the participants’ evaluation of DBYN’s training course CAMINO. This training course took place 26/08-02/09/2019 at the Aktionszentrum in Benediktbeuern. This summary shows the evaluation of the individual participants, based on an online survey.