Participation in "Work and loneliness: Quality resting time for an improved mental health of workers"
On the 26th April 2023, DBYN was invited to participate in a European Parliament’s Breakfast Event titled: ‘Work and loneliness: Quality resting time for an improved mental health of workers.’ The Event organized by the European Sunday Alliance was co-moderated by the Members of its Steering Committee: the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI), The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) and The Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE).
Sara Sechi & Simona Di Dio (DBI), Begoña Ros Gras (DBYN)
In preparation for its General Executive Body meeting in October the Administrative board of DBYN met in Leuven from the 15th-16th May 2023. Aktionszentrum - Germany, Bosco Base - Belgium, and the Salesian Youth Ministry - UK as well as the president and the staff were in attendance for the meeting and met to discuss the state of affairs, updates from the member organisations, looking at the projects that have already taken place in 2023, as well as the projects that are coming up. There was also a discussion about the different working groups and the process for hiring a communications officer.
From left to right: Br. Mike - AZ, Jonny - SYM UK, Auberie, Niklas - President of DBYN, Begoña, Marieke - Bosco Base.
From the 12th to the 15th October, all member organisations will meet again for a network meeting and the next general assembly to network, to discuss upcoming projects and to brainstorm ideas for future projects.
Also, after 3 years, there will also be the elections for the next Administrative Board, and the next president, with the previous elections taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an opportunity for member organisations to better shape the work of the network and ensure we meet the current needs of young people.
From Friday 11th to Sunday 13th March 2023, the member organisations (MOs) of DBYN came together in Sliema, Malta for their Annual General Executive Body (G.E.B) meeting.
13 representatives from as many countries attended the meeting hosted by our Maltese member organisation SPYS (Salesian Pastoral Youth Service). The first day was an opportunity to get to know any new representatives and for the more experienced members to re-connect with each other. We also took the time to present the member organisations and to ask ourselves questions to go deeper in our work and to know the other MOs better.
The group were then given the opportunity to visit St Patrick’s Salesian School & Residential care in the late morning, and then visit Valetta in the afternoon with several stops to get to know the work of SPYS and the Salesians in and around Malta (Friends of Don Bosco & Past pupils, YES – Youths Engaged in Senglea, the oratories, SPYS).
On the Saturday, the work of the G.E.B began. The body met to look ahead to the activities that were scheduled in 2023, and to hear about the activities of each member organisation present. It was also an opportunity to look at the state of affairs of the network.
We were also introduced to the newest staff member to DBYN, Begoña Ros Gras. Begoña is joining DBYN as Project Coordinator and Fundraising officer and has been volunteering for DBYN as an international representative since 2019.
Once we had concluded the business of the network, SPYS took us over to Dingli to see the sunset from the Dingli cliffs before visiting Savio college and sharing a nice meal with Maltese specialities.
During the next G.E.B meeting in October, the elections for the presidency and the board will take place and we will also continue working together in the network to offer opportunities to young people.
Our stay in Malta was appreciated by all representatives and we have been able to get even more connected to each other than before. We would like to thank the whole hosting team for the preparation of the meeting and their warm welcoming.
Aktionszentrum Benediktbeuern, Don Bosco Ukraine, Jeugddienst Don Bosco and the Salesian Youth Ministry GBR, all members of the administrative body of DBYN, met from 12-14 January 2023 in Jünkerath for the first administrative board meeting of the year.
Auberie Samson, Br. Mike Goldsmits, Jonathan Dearden, Oleksii Dyshel, Lien Vanhecke, Niklas Gregull
From Thursday 12th January 2023 to Saturday 14th January 2023, the administrative board of DBYN met in Don Bosco Jünkerath to organise the year 2023 and work on the outcomes of the General Executive Body of October 2022. Our Ukrainian delegate joined the meeting online.
On the agenda were the approval of reports, an update on all 2023 activities for young people, the brainstorm session on the future open vacancies in the international secretariat but also a visit to the Don Bosco projects in Helenenberg and Trier.
The next general executive body and administrative body meetings will take place from 9th to 12th March 2023 in Malta, hosted by our member organisation Salesian Pastoral Youth Service (SPYS).
Heverlee (Belgium), 24/05/2022, Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw, the European network of Salesian youth organisations, and its partners announce their 2-year project on the topic of volunteering: “The future is Europe: Voluntary service and social change”.
“The Future is Europe” is an Erasmus+ small-scale partnership in youth Key Action 2 project starting in spring 2022 for the duration of two years. It was written and applied for by the Don Bosco Youth-Net Working Group on Volunteering and is aimed at young volunteers.
The project’s aim is to help define a vision for voluntary service for the next years in setting long-term goals helping all partner organisations to develop concrete actions.
All activities implemented for this project are built around four pillars: digitalisation, solidarity, employment and sustainability. These activities aim to raise awareness of young people on issues such as European citizenship, civic engagement and common values. They will connect young people from various countries and help them develop their soft skills, competences and their employability. This will help all partner organisations to create a model of education for active and European citizenship to be implemented in all countries involved and beyond.
Presentation of the project and expected impact
The project “The Future is Europe” consists of four activities build around an online preparatory meeting, an in-person seminar and an online follow-up meeting for each topic:
● “Volunteers for digital transformation” – Benediktbeuern (Germany), 29/08-01/09/2022
● “Volunteers for solidarity” – Leuven (Belgium), 20-23/10/2022
● “Volunteers for employment” – Campello (Spain), 27-30/04/2023
● “Volunteers for sustainability” – Mogliano V.to / Venice (Italy), 03-06/08/2023
Expected project results include the strengthening of the voluntary service at European level for all partners involved, in order to reach more young people through quality projects, to have a strong impact on employability of young people through recognition of competencies gained during the experience, to provide digital solutions for networking and learning environments, including mentoring and general support during all the stages of a project.
A final document, implemented during the whole duration of the project in the form of a policy paper, will be then disseminated at international, national, regional and local level, aiming to inspire other organisations active in the field of volunteering service and international youth mobility.
About the project partners
Don Bosco Youth-Net (DBYN), based in Belgium, is the lead partner and coordinator of this project. It is the network of European Salesian youth organisations. Its own working group on Volunteering has made this project possible.
Aktionszentrum Benediktbeuern, based in Germany, is a youth centre for young people providing activities in the field of non-formal education, training of youth leaders and voluntary service.
Confe Don Bosco, based in Spain, is a youth organisation that works to defend and promote children and young people, offering volunteering experiences, training opportunities and international camps.
Jeugddienst Don Bosco, based in Belgium, is a non-governmental organisation offering participation in youth-led events and youth participation activities, providing activities in the field of non-formal education, training of youth leaders and voluntary service.
Salesiani per il Sociale (SxS), based in Rome, Italy, is a network of more than 100 organisations engaged in the protection and support of minors and young people throughout Italy.
Turismo Giovanile e Sociale, based in Rome, Italy, is a network of groups and associations actively promoting youth and social tourism all over Italy.
TGS Eurogroup, based in Mogliano V.to / Venice, Italy, combines youth training activities in its home country as well as abroad with a concept of active, social and sustainable tourism.
Salesian Pastoral Youth Service, based in Balzan, Malta, accompanies young people to discover authentic life values through local and international volunteering and training activities.
Youth to Connect, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is a youth-led project offering young people a volunteering experience within Europe, including guidance, preparation and evaluation.
Group picture of the Working Group on Volunteering in Benediktbeuern, Germany on 17-18 May 2022
Viviana Condorelli has started her new internship today and she will be with us part-time until October 2021 from Italy. We are very happy to welcome her into our team at the international secretariat.
This isn’t the first time that I meet DBYN. My first experience has been at the Youth Incubator in Bratislava, an experience that opened my mind to a new world, and that also signed my future career. Then I also took part of the ISEC camp in Czechia, under the Summer Exchange of Animator program. Both those experiences turned me a better person and made me meet many new friends. Now, this is my third (and I hope not last) experience with DBYN. I’m excited to start this new journey on the Salesian world, and I’m happy to work with the amazing people at the DBYN office, who immediately made me feel at home.
If you asked me what I expect from this internship, I would answer to improve my skills and to apply practically what I’m studying at the University. I think it will be very useful for my future career, but also for my life in generally, to work in a team such as the one I found here. My main tasks will be in communication management, so I expect to learn how an organisation such as DBYN handle its communication channels, and how they work behind the scenes. Likewise, I’m looking forward to improve my skill in project management. I hope that when the internship will be concluded, I will be more confident in my ability and in how my “future-me” will look like.
To conclude, to all the ones who are wondering if it is worth it, I say: yes!
Heverlee/Vienna – May 2021. We are very happy to announce the launch of the workbook “Act Now” dedicated to assisting young people and educators in project management of sustainability projects and more.
It was created and written by our member organisation, Salesianische Jugendbewegung Österreich (SYM Austria), building on their expertise and management of sustainability projects. The workbook presents very practical steps to follow when creating a project. Starting with the inception of a project to its evaluation “Act Now” gives its readers tools, tips, exercises and methods both on an individual level and for group settings. Additionally, it provides inspiration through the words of Don Bosco, quotations, prayers and the Encyclical Laudato Si.
This workbook is written by young people for young people to create their own project but also to support educators to help young people take full ownership of their project.
First written in German, the English version is an augmented translation with additional content, which is available both for self-printing and digital use. We hope that this workbook will be made available for as many people and organisations as possible, to guide young people in the creation of their own (sustainability) projects.
Why do it with DBYN?
This is my second time at Don Bosco Youth Net, the first was during the summer 2018: three intensive months of working and volunteering experiences, travels and international activities. I later became a member of DBYN’s pool of youth representative and I continued to collaborate representing the organisation in international events. This cooperation stimulated me during my last year of university and motivated me to do another and last Erasmus+ traineeship.
DBYN represents a very important stage of my formation, as a young person and as a future employee. I learned, and I’m still learning, about the world of international NGOs, Salesian educational system, European youth policies, non-formal education, European funding, advocacy and human rights protection. I’m really enjoying the working environment at the Secretariat office, always welcoming and friendly. It is like a second family for me.
What to say about Leuven?
It is a lovely student city, close to Brussels, where you can easily go out and meet young people from all over the world. It gives you a great opportunity to improve your language skills and make new friendships.
How to sum everything up?
I will say “yes” again for an internship at DBYN thanks to its passionate approach to youth issues, its strong commitment to human right and European values. If you are thinking about a working experience at the organisation, just put aside the fear of trying something new and only ask yourself: “In the end, why not?!”.
Thank you so much Sara for your testimony! It is a pleasure to be working with you and we'll miss you at the office once your internship finishes.
If you are interested in doing an internship or Erasmus+ internship at Don Bosco Youth-Net, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking forward to meet you as our new intern. ☺
We are facing strange and difficult times now that the Coronavirus is active worldwide. Countries, organisations, whole populations are facing challenges in finding the best way to cope with this unknown situation. And so does DBYN. We have to keep in mind a lot of measures since we are a European network. Not only national measures, but also these from E+, CoE, local governments, institutions and member organisations have an influence on our work. Therefore, we are forced to take tough but well considered decision.
It is still uncertain how this will influence our projects within DBYN. Therefore, we decided to postpone all DBYN projects that would take place before the 31st of August 2020.
More concrete this would mean that following activities will be postponed:
These activities will be postponed to a later date (to be decided) following the rules of the E+-contracts.
For the Summer Exchange of Animators (SEA), we count on our member organisations to make their own wise decisions.
Activities taking place after 31st of August 2020:
DBYN will follow on the developments in the countries and on the information it gets from the member organisations. Good and clear communication is essential in these matters: therefore, we ask every member to keep us posted regarding changes within their organisations and countries. The secretariat will ask for regular updates about new developments. DBYN will also continue to follow the official communication from Erasmus+, European Commission and Council of Europe. Having gathered all necessary information, we will make a conscious and wise decision for the planned activities in consultation with the A.B. and G.E.B. The priority in this decision will be everyone’s health and wellbeing.
We want to commit ourselves into making our next decision two months before the start of a project. That means that you will receive a next update the latest on the 30th of June 2020. This gives our member organisations enough time to book flights if a project take place as planned. Until then, we kindly advise you not to book any more flights for any project within DBYN.
So, upon further notice following activities are still scheduled:
To allow DBYN, the A.B. and DBYN’s secretariat to continue its work, DBYN-statutory meetings (A.B. and working group meetings) can take place offline if needed. These meetings are meant for small groups (> 7 people) and will only be organised if the local conditions can meet the required measures. The international secretariat, A.B. and president stay available for questions, advise, comments etc. Feel free to contact us.
Alternative activities during the period till 31st August 2020
DBYN commits itself to organise alternative activities to keep the link with members, volunteers and young people. These activities will be done through virtual meetings and will be developed by the secretariat, a group of volunteers and will, as always, focus on the education of young people. Activities can have different formats and objectives and can reach out to different target groups (member organisations, volunteers, young people, youth workers, …).
DBYN will also gather more information on the virtual activities organised by its member organisations. It will use it communication channels to share activities from members.
The international secretariat, A.B. and president stays available for questions, advise, comments etc.
Feel free to contact us.
Heverlee (Belgium), 02 March 2020: Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw, the European network of Salesian youth organisations, participated in the writing of the joint Position Paper: Inclusive Youth and Education Programmes. The document, subscribed by a large number of European and national civil society organisations, is an urgent appeal to political decision makers to take measures regarding more inclusive EU youth and education programmes.
Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw, connecting 18 organisations in 16 countries dedicated to youth and to young people with fewer opportunities, sees inclusive youth work as an essential part of their daily work. As implementers of inclusive youth work projects, DBYN strongly believes that truly inclusive education programmes at European level should be accessible for every young person.
This position paper presents 9 recommendations and concrete practical suggestions for an inclusive implementation of the European youth and education programmes Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. These recommendations are based on the gathered experience of implementing the programmes in the areas of youth work, adult education, vocational training as well as school education and voluntary services. DBYN hopes that these recommendations will improve the new generation of programmes in order to facilitate the participation of ALL young Europeans.
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