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 email@example.com. 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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Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw
Naamsesteenweg 37, B-3001 Heverlee · +32 (0)16 48 78 90
Deutscher Caritasverband e.V., EU Office
EU Funding Officer
Rue de Pascale 4-6, 1040 Brussels · +32 2 230 45 00
Our former general secretary Rein Meus contributed to the new publication of the EU-CoE youth partnership: "The history of youth work in Europe, volume 7".
In Chapter 4, he discusses the creation of DBYN and the origins and reasons of our particular working style.
We thank him again for this huge work and all the work he has done during his fourteen years at the DBYN office.
We wish you all a good reading!
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
Originally published on Building Citizens.
‘I, Youth Advocate’ was a seminar for youth representatives in partnership with MIJARC Europe organized as a study session in the European Youth Centre of Budapest and took place from the 06-11/10/2019. It aimed to train volunteers of DBYN’s and MIJARC Europe member organisations to become active in advocacy work, relevant for the network.
34 participants, 4 trainers and several experts from all over Europe came together to learn and teach about Human Rights based advocacy. The study session took place in the European Youth Centre of Budapest, which offered us both financial and content based support. Furthermore as the European Youth Centre stands for “Access to Rights” and “Youth Participation” their policy framework was an ideal basis for the learning programme.
The first day of the study session we learned about its aims. After that we tried defining ‘advocacy’. This way, the theme became a lot clearer to most of the participants. Next to that we also got an information session about the Council of Europe and how it works.
Some participants were already used to work in intercultural groups, but for some is was new and they needed more time to get used to it. The group was however very understanding about that and this only became better during the study session.
On Tuesday we learned about the 9 steps of the advocacy circle. Next to these 9 steps, there were also 3 actions explained that you can/have to keep doing during the whole advocacy process. While working in groups with a self-chosen topic, we learned to use the information we had gotten and doing so the information became clearer. After that, there was an information session about the European Youth Forum (YFJ), given by one of its board members. We learned about the Human Rights-based approach of the YFJ, about rights holders and duty bearers and also about the difference between policy and politics. A clear example that was given was about how the YFJ has a collective complaint / a legal case against Belgium about unpaid internships. A first, success resulting from this action was the ban from the European Parliament against unpaid internships. Now, the YFJ is waiting for when and how Belgium will react.
The third day, we played a very interesting and educational simulation game. It began with an explanation about the Council of the European Union and its president, the European Council and its president and The European Commission. This was needed to understand what the game was all about and to develop a strategy to play it. To play the game, we were all given a fictive role and in this way we were divided into four groups: the Commission, the European Parliament, the Council (of the European Union) and interest groups. While playing the simulation game, we learned a lot about the legislative procedures that are used in the given organisations and also about lobbying, setting up meetings, who to address and also about listening to the opinions of interest groups and other parties.
The last day, we worked in our organisation groups (MIJARC and DBYN). We discussed about what this study session and advocacy in general can mean for our organisations. In smaller groups we then worked on possible actual projects with self-chosen topics. After that there was an information session for all the participants about the European Youth Foundation (EYF), its available grants and how to apply for them. When applying, it is very important to explain to EYF the link there is between your project and Human Rights. The programming Committee (8 youth representatives and 8 governmental representatives) then decides about the approval of the projects.
Explore the categories to find information on the actions developed by Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw