The following articles frequently highlightthat to really get to the bottom of the problems encountered by street children, research and discussion groups have become indispensable. It is worthwhile distinguishing between what is temporary and what is structural.
Dynamo International’s borderless network has become increasingly proactive in this areathis is illustrated through initiatives with Austria, or the Lisbon workshop with seven European countries.Practically speaking, Dynamo also strives to provide financial and material support to street children living in complete distress in the DRC and Haiti. We must deal with the most pressing matters first when we are faced with children and young people who have been completely neglected. The two accounts detailing the dramatic and lethal circumstances that have befallen young,innocent human beings stir up feelings of both pain and outrage.
At the start of this NewYear 2013, I would like to encourage and extend my bet wishes to all of youwho have embarked on this wonderful humanist initiative.
President of Dynamo International
COMBATING POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION
Angry youth workers and civil servants. New warning for social work
Whether in the SAMU (French emergency services system), Prévention Spécialisée (Specialised Prevention) or in Street Pedagogy, there are increasing numbers of teams who have already borne the brunt of various "budgetary restrictions" by their supervisory authorities (State, General Councils, Local Councils, etc.).
And this has been carried out with widespread indifference as to the disastrous effectsemerging for young people, families, people in street situations, and yet these are populations which are already heavily impoverished, isolated and vulnerable.
And they will be even more so once there are no more street workers in these areas. Street workers are often their only (or, at least, first) point of contact when faced with situations that become more complicated every day, and"uphill battles" to go through in order to find truly insufficient institutional responses.
Here, for example, is a glimpse of the current efforts being made by street workers in Seine Maritime (French department), who are desperately trying to make their voices heard by political leaders who are apparently little concerned about the future of people such asthose employed by social services (and, more indirectly, other social actors);and make them see the importance of their work with these populations and the additional injustice to which they will become victims by losing these points of contact which provided support for their daily needs.
Video Educateurs et fonctionnaires en colère
By Theo L'Huillier, Youth worker, Le Havre (France)
Final Conference European Project TOUCH
On 9 January 2013, Jugendstreetwork Graz/Austria, member organization of the International network of street workers, participated in the final conference of the TOUCH project (DAPHNE programme), a research focusing on effective interventions related to street violence against young people.
The event took place at the NEWMAN University College in Birmingham (UK). The Austrian street workers attended the event with four youngsters who were involved in the TOUCH project before. Media professionals and radio journalists were present as well.
Mr.Lutzeier, the Principal of the University, welcomed the participants with warm words. Highlight of the day was the screening of the 65 minute-film produced out of the research. This key outcome of the project allowed providing an overview of street work with youth from various organisations in different countries. We hope this movie will be an important tool to address street violence.
Lesson learnt: If we want to know more about violence in street context, we shall listen to young people living in the street!
Many thanks to NEWMAN University College Birmingham and especially to the investigator Mike Seal, the investigator, who was responsible for the whole research.
Find interviews and further information
More on the TOUCH project
Review of the day “10 years of street social work in Zamora (Spain)", 14 December 2012
In 2002, the Centre Menesiano Zamora Joven and the Town Hall of Zamora (Spain) started to set up Zamora’s Street Work Programme. Two youth workerstravelled the rocky road to build a street work programme.
10 years on, the programme is well-established and is part of the services offered by Zamora Town Hall. For this anniversary, a public open day was organised to take stock and showcase this socio-educational practice in the region. Amongst the speakers, a member of the Spanish platform of street social workers presented the latest publications of the Dynamo International-Street Workers Network.
By Rubén Iglesias
Get ready for the OUR STREETS Microfilm Competition!
The communication team at Dynamo International – Street Workers Network is preparing a Microfilm competition entitled Our Streets for the spring.
This competition will be along the same lines as 2011’s Photo competition.
The aim is for groups of people, supported by associations and based on sharing and discussions, to illustrate, through a small video clip,their perspective on their neighbourhoods, towns, villages, on public areas, on the street, on our streets. The competition will be launched in March 2013.
More detailed information to follow!
News from the Street Work Training Institute
Workshop # 3: « Social Marketing »
The third international workshop organised by Dynamo International’s Street Work Training Institute was held in Lisbon, from the 17 to 21 December, with the participation of street workers coming from Albania, France, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic and Romania, on the enigmatic topic of social marketing.
Just like in previous training sessions, this third training session organised by the Street Work Training Institutewas a success. The interaction between the participants, trainers and organisers (and interpreters) once again worked extremely well, and this is always one of the main goals for the Institute (sharing of experiences). This was the case in spite of the fact that (and this was pointed out by several participants during the evaluation) there was not enough time to take the floor and have a discussion duringthe training itself (except during the group sessions on Thursday morning and the final evaluation on Friday).
Good practical conditions (accommodation, room, interpreting, transport, extra-curricular activities) helped create an excellent atmosphere that was mutually enriching for everybody. Although the participants had a relatively similar profile (all European street workers), they were able to share their experiences from situations as different as the Netherlands and Albania, for example.
The participants have three months in which to complete an assignment putting into practice the social marketing techniques and then submit their report.
By Olivier Pourbaix, Director of the Street Work Training Institute
New organisation founded: “Professional Open Youth Work in Europe” (POYWE)
From 14 to 16 January 2013, Helmut Steinkeller (Austria) and Henk Geelen (Netherlands) participated on behalf of Dynamo International Street Workers Network in the first conference of the Professional Open Youth Work in Europe (POYWE). The meeting, which took place in Vienna, was organised by BOJA, Austria, with the financial support of the Youth in Action programme.
96 participants from 21 European countries made it a real intercultural event. Useful information was provided about the concept of Open Youth Work and about the new European Youth Policy. In particular, many participants asked for clarification regarding terminology.
The conference highlighted that there is a need for more exchange of information between street workers across countries. The fact that many people were not aware of the existence of an international network of street workers showed that there is urgency for effective coordination and better communication at European and national level.
More information on the POYWE work is available online.
By Henk Geelen and Helmut Steinkeller
Members of the Dynamo International Street Workers Network
Fundraising to buy equipment for street children in the DRC
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have collected around 200kg of equipment to support street workers working with street children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This initiative was implemented following an appeal made by Bernard de Vos, General Delegate of the French Community for the Rights of the Child (DGDE) in Belgium.
Indeed, street workers in the DRC face such a lack of facilitation tools for children that they cannot do their jobs in optimal conditions.
The collection enabled the Supporting Committee for Street Work (CATSR), Dynamo International’s partner in DRC, to gather together board games, DIY equipment and sports equipment.
The recent visit by representatives of Dynamo International to the DRCfor the signing of the Protocol for Collaboration between the DRC and the French Community of Belgiumto implement the Congolese Children’s Act was also an opportunity to send and distribute some of these donations.
Organisations will be made during the month of February for the distribution of the rest of the collection.
We would like to warmly thank everybody who contributed in one way or another to this initiative. This generous gesture is part of building together a fairer and more solidarity-based society.
Since we have collected enough equipment for the coming months, we are no longer collecting equipment but a financial donation is still welcome: street work never stops;there is always time to support street children!
For all donations, here are the bank details:
Dynamo International, BE65 0682 3748 2396, BIC: GKCCBEBB
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
End of the project for improving living conditions for street children in Haiti
The project lasted 16 months and took place in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and Petit Goâve, areas which where badly hit by the earthquake of 12 January 2010.
Children in Haiti were already in an extremely vulnerable situation before the earthquake, due to a lack of legal protection, forced labour and systematic abandonment of minors in the streets or in orphanages. With the earthquake in 2010, this situation was worsened, particularly for street children.
This is why the Asociación Navarra Nuevo Futuro and local partner Centre d’Education Populaire d’Haïti (Popular Education Centre), with support from Dynamo International,set up a project at the end of 2011 with funding from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation.
This project has just come to an end and we can see significant results.
First of all, the psycho pedagogical centre, set up on an experimental basis,has worked with 1,170 childrenin three towns. Then, coordination between people from civil society working to protect children has improved. In particular, the Haitian Platform of Street Social Workers is stronger. Fortystreet workers in three towns took part in a training programme.
This project also helped to raise awareness about the plight of street children. It is important to continue to work for the rights of the child. The project and its funding end here, but the Haitian Platform of Street Social Workers will continue the work.
THE EUROPEAN UNION AND YOU
Get involved in the Youth in Action Programme!
Youth in Action is the Programme the European Union has set up for young people aged 15 to 28 years (in some cases 13 to 30 years). It aims to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and to involve them in shaping the Union's future.
With a total budget of 885 million euros for seven years (2007-2013), the programme supports a wide range of activities for young people and youth workers.
The Guide of the Youth in Action Programme 2013
European Conference “Home-less & Home-first”
The European Conference " Home & Home-less-first " will take place from 6 to 8 March 2013 in Rome, Italy.
The event will focus on the elderly living in precarious social and health conditions and who are at risk of marginalization and social exclusion.
For more information and to register.
Training for trainers
Sharing of practices + Leading e-Learning training sessions
Dynamo International’s Street Work Training Institut organising a Training for trainers session on the topic "Sharing of practices +Leading e-Learning training sessions" which will be held in Lisbon from 25 February to 1 March. Participants will learn how to train street workers all over the world from a distance (e-Learning). The training session will also include several workshops for sharing experiences led by the participants who will be coming from Norway, Spain, the Netherlands,Vietnam, Guyana, Martinique, Mexico, Senegal, Congo (DRC), Brazil, Burkina Faso, Greece, Albania, France, Belgium, Quebec and Portugal.
The objectives of this training are:
To promote international sharing of practicesamongst street social work training professionals;
To planeight modules designed by the Network’s Training Group, in e-Learning format;
Put togetherateam of trainersfor the Network to boost online training;
Equip the participants with pedagogic strategies for leadingandmotivating online learners.
There are still a few places left.
Price: 600 euros
For information: email@example.com
WORDS FROM THE STREET
Death of a street child from Bulgaria, hit by a school bus in Greece
ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth expresses its grief and sorrow for the death of the eleven-year-old girl from Bulgaria, who was hit by a school bus on Lagadastr.
On the occasion of this tragic accident, ARSIS protests intensely and in public against the unhindered continuation of the phenomenon of child labor in the streets during all these years, denounces, once more, the absence of essential measures of prevention and protection of these children, who are victimized morally and physically on a daily basis and calls the citizens’ and the society’s attention to the phenomenon of child labor in the streets.
This child was one among many children that the association meets in the streets of Thessaloniki, where the everyday danger they are facing was confirmed, in a tragic way, unfortunately, in this specific case. Let the tragic outcome of this case be, even now, the starting point for the prevention and the effective confrontation of this phenomenon on behalf of institutions, as well as of the official public authorities.
ARSIS proposes that this event has to be taken into consideration by the competent authorities, which should inform children and their families of the risks of working in the street, of their integration in the system of education and of the possibilities in order to support these families.
Here there are photos from the place where the accident happened (the bus and the bicycle of the girl).
SELLING DEATH …. A SPECTATORS’ THIRST?
The human life cycle involves being born, growing up, getting old and dying. Some die before they get old, others when they are born, and some in old age.
During this entire process, humans go through many experiences, some more intense than others, some more unpleasant than before, but throughout our lives and when we give our last breath, and indeed afterwards, we all deserve respect, regardless of our economic situation, lifestyle, situation, etc.
Our last cycle is death. Some of us are taken by surprise, others go through agony and some simply wait. People living on the streets are at risk and are more vulnerable to epidemics of deadly diseases, armed street fights, etc. and their life cycle can be very short because life on the streets is not easy, it is full of dangers. There are a great deal of risks that go with living and surviving on pavements and canals.
The death on the streets of somebody who ate, lived, slept, washed, combed their hair and prayed, on a roundabout in the town centre of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, is no less and no more than the death of anybody else; living on the street does not give anybody the right to make a cold, lifeless human body a source of financial gain.
Full text available (in Spanish).
By Julia Mamani, DEPSICOM
Réseau départemental pour les droits des enfants et adolescents en situation de rue, Bolivia
L’information contenue dans cette publication ne reflète pas nécessairement la position ou l’opinion de la Commission européenne.