Heverlee (Belgium), 16th December 2019: In the fight against climate change, Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw, the European network of Salesian youth organisations, has become a member of the Don Bosco Green Alliance, the worldwide collective of young people from the Don Bosco family of institutions, who contribute to global environmental action, thought and policy.
The COP25 in Madrid is just over and many people are saying that “We've lost an important opportunity”. Just before the UN Climate Change Conference started, DBYN became a full member of the Don Bosco Green Alliance (DBGA). To become a member of the Don Bosco Green Alliance, you first need to be an organisation or institution in the Don Bosco world: we are. Secondly, you need at least three specific commitments towards protecting and bettering the environment. Here, we have asked you for ideas through a survey a few months ago and the three following commitments came out, which DBYN has approved for joining the DBGA:
Together with your suggestions, there were also some questions related to these commitments and our membership in the Don Bosco Green Alliance. Here are our answers (we have summarised some questions):
Will it be an extra cost for DBYN? Or an investment?
Let's be clear: to stop or limit climate change, we (human beings) have to pay and we have to make investments. Sometimes with money, but even more importantly, we have to change some of our habits and our “Western” way of living: this seems to be the tricky part. Why should I take the train when I can save 5 hours taking a flight? In order to do this, we have to invest time and maybe money, but booking in advance makes even a train ride cheaper than a flight. Some people might have the feeling that they are losing flexibility and we have to change our habits. But on the other hand, if we are not doing it, we will have to invest much more in a later time. That is the overall truth.
There is also the option to save money and resources: for example, if DBYN manages to organise online meetings (commitment 3a), our expenditures for travelling will get less. It is the same with commitment 3b: if we recycle and reuse material on our own, we can save money and resources and more vegetarian food also means lower costs for the meals (commitment 1). For the second commitment, we just have to use the knowledge and resources that we have in our network meaning that no further investment is needed on this level either.
The possibility also exists to allocate new funding possibilities for DBYN and its MOs if we get more engaged in the topic of sustainability.
Is it possible to offer organisations customised information about this subject (sustainability, environmental protection, Laudato Si, etc.)?
Sure it is. As soon as we will have developed a session on the topic or developed/found good practice within our network, we will let you know. We also cooperate with other INYGOs on that topic on a European level.
But we also need your help. If you have a really good practice, example, success story, etc. let us know and we will share it online, but also during our activities.
To stop climate change, everybody has to do their part, but overall, we have to work together. The survey for the commitments and our membership in the DBGA are just the start, let us work together for the rest. 🌍
Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw
Naamsesteenweg 37, B-3001 Heverlee • +32 (0)16 48 78 90
Don Bosco Green Alliance
+91 - 982 182 2057
On 26th April, in the premises of COMECE (Commission of Bishops’ Conferences in the EU) took place the first European gathering of International Catholic Youth Organisations, in which Don Bosco International, as a facilitator and coordinator of the meeting, and Don Bosco Youth-Net as one of the most active Catholic Youth Organisation were represented.
The meeting was opened by Fr. Olivier Poquillon op, secretary general of COMECE, very supportive of this process, as there is a clear need and will from the bishops’ representation in Brussels to have young people’s voices heard by the institutions. The content of the meeting was very diverse: the presence of some organisations in the European Youth Forum, the new policy updates at EU level (such as the new Erasmus+, European Youth Strategy or the difficulties with the current EU grants), the work done with migrants and refugees by the different youth organisations, and the follow up of the Synod on Youth, in order to find possible ways to establish social and political dialogue with different stakeholders at national and EU level.
Don Bosco Youth-Net was created in 2001 to offer educational opportunities for Don Bosco youth in the growing EU. But Europe and its young people have changed strongly since then. In order to address these changes, DBYN organise a strategic network meeting 16-19 March 2017 at the Salesianum in Munich.
During the first day of work, representatives of member organisations were divided over 4 thematic working groups: Participation & Impact, Education, Representation and Spirituality. The working groups focused on bringing a new clarity on the needs of our member organisations and its youth. The outcomes fed into the annual meeting of DBYN’s General Executive Body. This is the main statutory meeting of the network, which apart from adopting the annual reports, started the development of a new strategic plan for 2018-2020 and a new work plan for the coming year.
DBYN also elected a new leadership. The network voted Aktionszentrum Benediktbeuern from Germany, Salesians of Austria, SPYS Malta and The Salesian Youth ministry office of Great-Britain as new members for the Administrative Body. They are responsible for the operational follow-up of the network. Fonny Grootjans was elected as a new president, who is taking over the presidency of Francesco Bagiolini.
Expert seminar: Journeys to a new life - understanding the role of youth work in integrating young refugees in Europe
On 23rd and 24th of November, Don Bosco Youth-Net participated in an expert seminar of ‘the EU-CoE Youth Partnership’. This is a cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the youth field. The Expert seminar “Journeys to a new life” was organised by this cooperation in order to gather knowledge concerning the role of youth work for the inclusion of young refugees and migrants in Europe. By opening space for researchers, policy makers, youth workers and refugees to discuss this topic the aim is to find possibilities to improve youth work and its role in social inclusion in the three dimensions research, policy and practice.
As a participant from a practitioner’s point of view, Don Bosco Youth Net could share expertise and experience in working together with and for refugees. Especially the focus on refugees and Human rights education and the participation of young refugees in the seminars of DBYN, as well as two initiatives from Vienna (Sale for Youth, Don Bosco für Flüchtlinge) contributed as examples on how youth organisations and initiatives are important actors in social inclusion of refugees.
Although the background and situation of European countries and their role of youth work is often different, the output of the seminar showed important messages for improvement. It contains experienced good practices from the case studies, identified fields where deeper research is missing and policy recommendations to support youth work. More information, including the analytical papers and case studies can be found on the website of the seminar:
Sunday 27th April 2016 brought 22 participants from 9 different countries to Vienna for the 6-day European training course ‘Speak Up!’. An intensive course on youth advocacy and refugees ran by Don Bosco Youth-Net. The training course aimed to develop competences of the participants in developing and implementing advocacy actions while focussing on the impact on local, regional, national and European level, in particular policies affecting young refugees.
After almost 8 years, DBYN is soon to release its new website. The previous website was developed in a time when social networking and other web 2.0 applications were in full development. In this time we worked together with a Belgian youth work organisation, specialised in web development for the youth work sector. We were ambitious, integrating many web 2.0 applications allowing us to make simple mash-ups and personalized mailing lists. However, we were surpassed by the rapid development of the internet itself. Many of the functionalities of our website, were soon taken over by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google apps.
Since 2012 DBYN started to develop dedicated project websites. First with web-application EDICY, but when this European platform changed their business plan, we moved to the WEEBLY platform. After a few years of experience with project websites, we decided to transfer also our homepage to this platform.
Explore the categories to find information on the actions developed by Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw