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NEWSLETTER 24

September-October 2012

EDITORIAL:

The International Network of Street Social Workershas just finished its major biannual meeting, theInternational Pilot Group, which was held in Rouen (France) this year, from 21 to 26 October. This meeting, co-organised by the Dynamo International secretariat and by the French platform (CNLAPS), addressed an abundance of key issues such as expansion (48 countries are now represented), training (theStreet work Training Institutein Lisbon was presented and approved), communication (new website, DVD, recent and future publications), organisationof platforms and the Network (a major diagnosis is currently underway) andrestructuring. This final point will be the subject of extensive consideration and discussions at regional level(continents) in the coming months andthere will be a Pilot Group meeting exclusively dedicated to this issue.Thisextraordinary Pilot Groupmeeting will be held in October 2013 in Romania. An interim provision has, however, already been confirmed: the inclusion, on Dynamo International’s Board, of 4 Network representatives, one per continent. All of this bears witness to the wonderful vitality of a network that is already celebrating its tenth birthday.In Rouen, all of these issues were discussed and debated in detail, and let’s not forget the essential topic: street social work in action in our different countries, how it is developing and the challenges involved. Meeting points and opportunities for discussion were incorporated into the agenda (the seminar organised by the French platform, the conference on Social Participationand discussions with French, Belgian and Quebecois street workers) allowing us to go back to the heart of the foundations and ethics of street work. And thanks to a refreshing breeze from Latin America, we even dared to talk about love again.

Olivier Pourbaix _ Directeur du Street work Training Institute(Lisbonne)

 

COMBATING POVERTY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION

Poverty and social exclusion in Turkey

As Turkey is now officially a candidate country to the European Union,  research  about  and strategies  devised  against poverty  in Turkey must  be  in  line  with  the stance taken by the EU. 

 Today, it is widely acknowledged that poverty constitutes the most serious social problem faced by Turkish society. Almost every day, we come across a policy-oriented report full of  statistical data on the incidence of poverty and quantitative methods of threshold estimation, categorization, and eligibility criteria. Families who are fed by charities are exposed to the  public by TV programs and newspapers greedily cover the stories of “undeserving poor” abusing the system. It seems that the more we exclude the poor the more they attract our attention.

 To read more about social exclusion in Turkey, you will find here a paper that provides an overview of the socio-economic situation and the street workers’ perspective.

Par Özgür Karademir


From 2014, a new European fund to help the most deprived

 The European Commission has proposed to set up a Fund to help the most deprived persons in the EU. The Fund would support Member State schemes providing food to the most deprived people and clothing and other essential goods to homeless people and materially-deprived children.

The Commission foresaw a budget of €2.5 billion for the Fund during the period 2014-2020 as part of its June 2011 proposal for a Multiannual Financial Framework. Member States would be responsible for paying 15% of the costs of their national programmes, with the remaining 85% coming from the Fund.

European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: "The proposed new Fund would provide tangible aid to help Europe's most vulnerable people to integrate into society. It will be a concrete demonstration of EU solidarity with the weakest - those who have been worst affected by the economic and social crisis. I hope Member States and the European Parliament will adopt this proposal, and the accompanying budget, swiftly so that the support reaches those in need without delay."

For more information  

 

NEWS

Building Solidarity for Tomorrow: Dynamo International at the 58th Europa Forum of the Lions Club International

From 6 to 8 September 2012, Dynamo International took part in the 58th Europa Forum of the Lions Clubs International in Brussels.  The event aimed at building European networks of solidarity, strengthening the links with the European Union as well as developing the participants’ professional skills.

Under the theme “Building Solidarity for Tomorrow”, around 2000 people attended the official opening ceremony. The event was honored by the presence of Her Royal Highness the Princess Astrid of Belgium, who we had the privilege to meet as she showed a special interest in Dynamo International’s work (photos available here). 

Prominent speakers took the floor, including the European Commissioner Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium Ms. Laurette Onkelinx and Mrs. Margarita Barroso.  

Ms. Onkelinx in particular made outstanding statements of support to Dynamo International. She stressed the invaluable role that street workers play in building social cohesion and sustainable development (video of Ms Onkelinx’s speech here).

The activities of the International Network of Street Workers were presented there by Edwin de Boevé, director of Dynamo International, together with Antoine Ketilkila Mbala who talked about the activities of the Supporting Committee for Street Work (CATSR) in Africa. A stand allowed participants to learn more about street work and its specificities.

For 25 years, the Lionism has been supporting the street work. To know more about this longstanding collaboration: letter of Bertrand Schiltz, Lions Club Bruxelles Centenaire.

Press release available here.

For more information, Europa Forum website   

Roma People, Street Work and EU policies: what’s next?

We would like to thank all people who participated in our conference on “Roma People, Street Work and EU policies” at the European Parliament on 16 October.

 Dynamo International and its partner organisations La Rupe (Italy), ARSIS(Greece) and European Alternatives (Romania) were much pleased to count on the presence of high-level speakers and enthusiastic participants.That made it a successful event and motivates us to keep on working towards the actual inclusion of Roma people in the European Union and beyond.  

We hope that this is the beginning of a fruitful and long-term partnership between the different actors engaged at all levels. We believe that multilevel, cross-sector cooperation by engaging Roma people directly is the key for change.

Here you find some key material on the conference:

Final report of the “Street Work and Roma People” project

Press release on the event

Briefing note on Dynamo International’s positionon street work with Roma populations

Policy analysis on the video-reportage on Roma people in Serbia

 A video will be also available online shortly.

For more information: Mari Fresu, mari.fresu@travail-de-rue.net

Street work Training Institute _ Workshop # 3 _ Social marketing

The Street work Training Instituteis organising its third and last workshop of 2012. This training session will be held in Lisbon from 17 to 21 December. The topic, little-known and intriguing, arouses curiosity and sometimes suspicion, owing to its apparent ambivalence: Social marketing. In any case, participation is already a successas registration is practically complete, with 8 European and 8 African participants enrolled at the moment. The working languages will be French and English and the trainer, Jan Schellekens, is from the Netherlands, where this methodology applied to street social work has already been up and running for several decades.

Contact: institute@travail-de-rue.net

Street social workers speak out against homeless children being turned away from shelters

 In New York City, street social workers highlight the dysfunctions in their systems and the disgraceful lack of appreciation for their knowledge and experience amongst government employees. In particular, they draw attention to the invisibility of unaccompanied young people under 18 years’ old within policy and service structures, the result of which is that they are systematically turned away from shelters and public assistance programmes.

This echoes the experience of street social workers in the United Kingdom who have helped support the young people affected by child sexual exploitation. On26 September, a report was published on this issue(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-19739073). The reportreveals that social services had shown concern about the issue but disregards the well-being of older young people (supposedly consenting, adopting the "lifestyle" of prostitution).

There are other parallels between the United States of America and the United Kingdom; falsification of statistics in something endemic, exacerbated by performance.

 This iswhya cooperationexistsbetween the USA/United Kingdom, as well as on an international level.The aim is to get involved in programmes and international networks in order to share results and expertise to make services to homelessyoung people effective.

 By Graeme Tiffany, United Kingdom

To read the full article, click here

Sources:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/sep/26/new-york-homeless-children-rise

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-19739073

 

Poland: when street work helps to socially engage excluded children

 Street worker from the Help for children association from Rybnik-Boguszowice "17"

 Since 2007, the Help for Children Association from Rybnik-Boguszowice "17" in Silesia (Poland) has expanded its activities through street work. All efforts are to counter the negative factors that lead to children’s social exclusion.

Silesia is an industrial region with a specific character, where a rather significant number of children spend their free time in the street. Street workers aim to socially engage these children and teenagers through different activities and events in the streets, but also through educational projects in small groups.

These activities were carried out in the districts of Rybnik, ever since the programme began. As of 2011, two extra towns (Niewiadom and Niedobczyce) are also benefitting from the street programme.  At present, the street workers from the Help for children association from Rybnik-Boguszowice attest to the benefits of pursuing their "socialising" goal and intend to keep working towards it. Document.

 By Kinga Szulik

THIS WAY Project: Euro 2012 against a background of urban art

As you are all aware, the latest European football championships (Euro 2012) were held in Poland and Ukraine. The high price of tickets meant that it was not accessible to everybody. That is why the "THIS WAY" project focused on the young people from these two cities (Kiev and Warsaw) who did not have a chance to take part in this event other than watching the match on television.

"THIS WAY" focused on urban art; an artistic form that expresses the voice of the local community. Whilst emphasising the international and social dimension of the Euro, the project aimed to help young people discover the different forms and techniques of street art. Since February they have carried out their own project, in collaboration with street artists: painting large frescoes in open public spaces in the city – on the walls of buildings in their local district.

This experience meant that Polish children from Warsaw had the opportunity to paint a fresco in Kiev, and then to host a group of teenagers from Kiev. This was a really great experience: travelling abroad, seeing another way of life, visiting the city, meeting other teenagers at the same time as discovering urban art and through it reclaiming their city.

To find out more, write to andrexor@yahoo.com or visit the project website

By Andrzej Orlowski - street worker from GPAS Prague

Validation of Informal Learning in Mobility Actions

The Harvest Project(projet vendanges)by the Institut Communal Professionnelof Polders

Do we know enough about and do we effectively assess the impact of youth mobility experiences, which are becoming more and more numerous?

The European Quality Charter for Mobility emphasises recognition, evaluation and certification for informal (as well as formal) learning acquired through mobility.

This learning features: empowerment, flexibility, self-esteem, attitudes to other groups or improvement of "soft" skills.

The European VILMA project aims to assess and evidence the development of competences by participating in transnational mobility actions; such as Youth in Action. Three aspects are considered: cognitive, activity-related and affective.

The target groups of the project are: stakeholders in mobility actions, trainers and staff involved in European, bilateral and other kinds of mobility actions.

A pilot project for skills validation is being conducted with students from ICPP,in Uccle-Brussels, that take a class trip to France for the grape harvest every year.

 By Esther Gelabert, BELIES Consulting

 To seethe full article, clickhere

 Website on informal learning in mobility actions 

For more information: egelabert@beliesconsulting.com

 

INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES

When Mobility and the Network meet

It’s was really cool! All of Dynamo International’s Mobility team, Anupa, Aude, Laetitia, Sylvie, Irene and Véronique, had the opportunity to meet the coordinators of the International Pilot Group. Social workers from all over the world, deeply interested in projects for young people, came together in Rouen (France) from 21 to 26 October (see editorial).

We were delighted to find out about the work that everybody is doing and to share helpful information on how to get young people moving.

We had the opportunity, thanks to the creation of a workshop "International Youth Mobility Project", to meet 12 workers from 11 different countries. We were able to discover their experiences on the ground, their needs, desires and capacities to take on a young person in difficulty within their structure or organisation forming part of their platform.

We hope to set up concrete projects and create lasting partnerships.

Thanks once again for your hospitality

 By the MOBILITÉ team of Dynamo International aka the MOBILEttes 


 

THE EUROPEAN UNION AND YOU

EU Youth Report: development and results

The EU Youth Report published on 10 September calls for youth employment, social inclusion, health and the well-being of young people to be top priorities in Europe's youth policy. The report, which is produced every three years by the Commission, underlines that the EU and Member States must do more to support young people, who have borne the brunt of the economic crisis.

Across the EU, more than 30% of young unemployed have been jobless for more than a year. There are, however, signs of hope on the horizon: the report finds that since the previous report in 2009, Member States have strengthened education, employment and entrepreneurship initiatives aimed at young people. Measures to tackle youth unemployment and related issues are at the heart of the country specific recommendations, adopted by the Council in June.

Before the end of this year, the Commission will present a proposal for a Council recommendation on 'youth guarantees'. The aim is to ensure that all young people are in employment, education or training within four months of leaving school. In addition, the Commission will launch a consultation with employers and unions on a quality framework for traineeships.

Erasmus for All, the proposed new education, training and youth programme for 2014-2020, will be at the heart of the new EU Youth Strategy.

To read the full article, click here 

For more information 

 

AGENDA

“Clothes made in Cambodia, working for next to nothing”, conference organised at the Bibliothèque Sésame in Brussels

In Cambodia, collective blackouts are becoming increasingly common in clothing factories. The reason: malnutrition and stress at work.

Jean-Marc Caudron (achACT, formerly-"Vêtements propres") will present the daily reality of the clothing workers, their campaign for better working and living conditions and for responsibility on the part of brands and fashion labels.

He will also present possible initiatives to help support these workers.

The conference will take place on Thursday 29 November 2012 at 12.30 p.m. at the Bibliothèque Sésame (Boulevard Lambermont, 200 – 1030 Schaerbeek –)

Free entrance!

Website

By Jean-Marc Caudron

WORDS FROM THE STREET

Estela, 14 years old: dreams and hopes of a Roma girl in Greece

Estela is Roma; she and her family come from Albania. They came to Greece on foot through the mountains when she was a baby. They were heading for the town of Katerini but they moved to Thessaloniki where, according to their relatives children can earn a lot of money working on the street. 

Estela has met street workers on several occasions. They can tell us about her story starting from the age of 6, when she sold tissues on the street, to today ("Estela" is an assumed name in order to protect her private life).

The first time we met Estela, she was 6 years old. She told us in broken Albanian (her mother tongue is Romani) that she and her family (father, mother, grandmother and two brothers and sisters) were living in Greece while her older brothers on her father’s side were in Albania. She also told us about her hopes and dreams and said (in tears): "What I want more than anything in my life is to be baptised Greek Orthodox and to go to school".

And thus, for the first time in her life, she entered into a school playground. Soon afterwards, she was baptised Orthodox Evangelist. Estela is very happy to have achieved these things that she had dreamed so much about. However, her frequent absences at school have meant that she has not passed her academic year. 

Her mother had problems trying to find work and her father (builder) did not earn enough to support the family’s needs, so Estela had to work. She was spotted several times in the street by the police department for protection of minors; and her parents were "punished" with a fine for begging and negligence; yet Estela, now 14 continues to work in the street.

 By Valbona Hystuna, street social worker for ARSIS, Thessaloniki, Greece 

The full article is available here


L’information contenue dans cette publication ne reflète pas nécessairement la position ou l’opinion de la Commission européenne.