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#07#EN - Newsletter December 2012


November-December 2012


Twelve years of the third millennium have gone by already, and we live in a world that has changed and which continues to change at an extraordinary pace. On the one hand, development possibilities are more tangible, we have more tools available (knowledge, resources, capacities) and yet on the other hand inequality is increasing and making its presence keenly felt on Northern shores. Paradigms are changing, as aresystemsand approaches, and we as citizens areleftdisoriented and weakened and run the risk of withdrawing into ourselves and becoming more isolated. Nothing is certain anymore, and we must take part in building a new world by adopting this approach: individuals, people and humanity must be at the heart of both theory and practice. Networking, pooling strengths, and fostering solidarity between individuals and organisations will help us to manage this weakness. Our vision of the world must be comprehensive and complex because everything is interconnected: we are linked to the poverty in the global South, in the same way as air and water and past and future are inseparable.

2012 has been a pivotal year for Dynamo International in the midst of a changing world: we have become stronger, we have learnt a lot, we have opened new doors and above all we have tried to share and connect with each other. Street social work in all its manifestations, styles and forms of informal education is better known and has been confirmed as an innovative and effective practice for combating poverty and social exclusion.

It remains for us to continue our work, forge new alliances, to make our voice heard by the authorities and imagine that another world is possible. Social street work and the network of street workers must take part in this globalisation of solidarity and collective construction of a new world which is taking its first baby steps. In the midst of all these difficulties, we would like to wish you a very happy 2013, full of opportunities, sharing and, why not, affection.

Jon Etxeberria

Dynamo International-Street Workers Network Communications Team



2nd Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion

From 5 to 7 December, the Second Annual Convention of the Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion took place in Brussels. More than 650 participants and speakers from around 40 countries, together with Member States' Ministers for Social Affairs, participated in the three days event.

The Convention aimed at reviewing the progress made towards reaching the poverty target and act as a forum for consultation on the upcoming Social Investment Package. The Social Investment Package will set out a new agenda for social policies to help Member States make the structural reforms needed to sustain investment in human capital and cohesion to emerge out of the crisis and become stronger, more cohesive and more competitive in the long run.

Dynamo International was one of the key stakeholders invited to the event. In line with the views of the Social Platform and EAPN, of which Dynamo International is a member organisation, we believe that the Social Investment Package should combat inequalities and poverty in the EU, and promote the well-being of all.

“Uncertainty of social services and lack of social protection contribute to enduring poverty” says Edwin de Boevé, director of Dynamo International and coordinator of the International Network of Street Workers. “This is unfortunately the result of policy developments that are far from strongly fight poverty and are limited to organisational management. In this context, social protection policies should be put at the core of national policies”.

On the same occasion, Dynamo International joined the campaign “Poverty is Not a Crime” of FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations Working with Homeless people) and called on the European Union and national governments to stop penalising the poor. This campaign is challenging the thinking of these repressive regimes and calling on NGOs, activists and policy makers to stand up for social policies that promote social inclusion.

Finally, the policy recommendations  of the Street Workers International Network on the EU Roma integration strategy were distributed at the Convention to advocate for effective anti-discrimination and inclusion policies.

For more information 



Czech Street Work Association runs a new project on street work in Europe

In October 2012, the Czech Street Work Association launched a project on street work in Europe funded by the European Social Fund. This three-year project aims to improve the quality of social services through sharing best practices within the EU.

The project aims to strengthen the quality and effectiveness of street work and cooperation with other European countries. The Czech associations need and want to enrich their working methods, in particular when it comes to issues which are not often addressed in the Czech Republic, such as migrants from developing countries, and second-generation unemployed migrants in the regions affected by social exclusion. The associations need support in these areas through the expertise of other countries such as the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland which are influential countries by virtue of the range of approaches they adopt in social work.

By Karolina Panuskova, coordinator of  Czech Association Streetwork, plateforme tchèque du réseau Dynamo International


Shedding light on the daily lives of street children in Nepal

Our Nepalese member, Child Protection Centers and Services (CPCS) has recently (November 2012) published a new book entitled The Street Children of Nepal; Anthroposociological Study of Social, Cultural and Communicational Practices.

This study is based on ten years of observation and intervention with street children and young people who are “isolated” on the street and excluded from all parental or family support.  A total of 302 street children were interviewed and in the different chapters there are various analyses carried out by professionals in Nepal and abroad. The study contains interviews with children, photos, illustrations and graphs which provide a broad overview of the phenomenon.  The little bonus is that all the profits from this book will be used to support programmes relating to street children in Nepal.

Below is the link to the new book from CPCS

By Jean-Christophe Ryckmans, coordinator of Child Protection Centers and Services CPCS - Nepal

An effective tool for assessing cannabis consumption in Norway

Here are the results of a Norwegian study on cannabis. The method used could prove useful to all street workers who wish to identify a specific local or social health problem as a starting point for their intervention. 

In Norway, the Centre of Competence at the Bergen Clinics Foundation set up a national project in 2010/2011 aimed at training people working in the field of drugs in Norway. The project made it possible to carry out a quick community assessment of the cannabis problem through a response method known as HKH (Hurtig Kartlegging og Handling).

The HKH method can be used to identify and prioritise problems at community level, and to come up with appropriate responses based on participation from local actors. The Bergen Clinics Foundation has developed, tested and evaluated the tool in four towns in Norway (Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Drammen). Three towns chose to focus on cannabis consumption amongst young people of 12 to 18 years old. 

This assessment resulted in a great number of observations and findings. Research at European and Norwegian level shows a stable, partially declining trend in the use of most illegal drugs such as cannabis. The results confirmed, like other studies, that young people are initiated into drug-taking by family and friends and / or through childcare.

Recommendations were drawn in each of the towns including a manual for early prevention which aims to set off a chain reaction for the Stavanger HKH action plan and can be used to intervene when a young person is taking drugs.

For more information: "Cannabis use and responses" report.

By Else Kristin Utne Berg


The Czech Street Work Association celebrates its 15th birthday

In November 2012, the Czech Street Work Association, in collaboration with the street workers from Vrtule - Youth Drop-in Centre, organised a conference for the network members of CAS in Prague.

About 60 participants from all over the country met at the Youth Drop-in Centre "Vrtule" to celebrate fifteen years of CAS’s work.

The conference began with a brief historical overview of the association, presented by Martina Zikmudova, coordinator of the Czech Street Work Association, and her colleague. This was followed by an explanation of the development of CAS from a group of volunteers to a professional association. Then, representatives of member organisations of CAS, Ivana Stefkova and Petra Blažková, spoke about two issues encountered in their work with the public; mainly children and families.

This conference was also an opportunity to introduce CAS’s national "Street Work" project. This pilot project promotes a safe Internet space for young people.

By Karolina Panuskova, coordinator of  Czech Association Streetwork, plateforme tchèque du réseau Dynamo International


International report on traditional practices which are harmful to children

The CRIN (Child Rights Information Network), which Dynamo International joined a few months ago, published a report in October that was put together by various NGOs. The report focused on practices which are still current in many States and are based on tradition, culture, religion or superstition and of which children are the victims all across the world.

In spite of the various international texts which ban these outdated practices, they are clearly still very much present in some communities. These practices undoubtedly have devastating consequences on the psychological and physical development of these children, despite the national child protection laws and the ban on any form of violence against children enshrined in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The consultation work carried out by CRIN, communicated by Dynamo International to the members of the International Network of Street Social Workers, shed light on dozens of practices, some known, others not. We would like to thank the platforms who took part.

Eradicating this violence is not an easy task: it involves the work of many institutional and grassroots actors, data collection, and advocacy towards the people who continue this type of abuse (village leaders, children’s parents, etc.) and who believe these practices to be customary rules that are an integral part of their culture.

We would therefore ask you to kindly read this report that includes a legal component but also testimonies and a list of harmful practices, although this list does not pretend to be exhaustive. Do not hesitate to send your comments to Adélaïde Trousselard: adelaide@travail-de-rue.net


By Adélaïde Trousselard - Progress Project Manager at Dynamo International



Marka sings for children in street situation in Kinshasa

On Friday 14 December, Marka’s concert for the benefit of Congolese children in street situation took place in the Cultural Centre of Watermael-Boitsfort in  Brussels. The event was organized by Dynamo International in collaboration with the Belgian association Equipages and with the support the Parliament of the French Community / Federation Wallonia-Brussels.

The concert began with a speech from Equipages, followed by a welcome of Edwin de Boevé, director of Dynamo International. Among the audience, there were some representatives from local public authorities.

The benefit of the evening was donated to an organization of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Committee to Support the Social Work Street (CATSR) which supports this year the school sponsoring for more than 95 children in street situation in Kinshasa. The funds raised are used to cover school fees and to purchase essential equipment to students.

The Dynamo International’s Network of Social Street Workers support the work of CATSR and its child sponsoring programme. This is why Dynamo International joined forces with the association Equipages to raise funds through a musical event.

The show was held in a friendly atmosphere, punctuated by Christmas classics and parts of duo, trio and quartet instrumental.

Thank you to all those who gave their support to this project!

Photos are available here

For more information on the school sponsoring, please click here 

 Operation 11.11.11

Hello everybody!

 As this year draws to a close, it’s not just the cold snap that has arrived in Brussels! 

My name is Aurélie and I have just been recruited to Dynamo International as project manager for International Cooperation for Development.  

One month has already gone by since the team in Brussels warmly welcomed me as a new staff member. It has been a busy month: from the very first day, hard work began with the launch of Operation 11.11.11!

At the start of November, the Centre National de la Coopération au développement (CNCD) (National Centre of Development Cooperation) launched its national campaign which, this year, carries the theme "climate justice". This initiative raises money for action plans and development projects in Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Asia, including some of our capacity strengthening programmes for Street Workers in DRC and Haiti.

It is therefore as a member of this umbrella organisation, which brings together over 90 French and German-speaking NGOs, that we have taken part in selling socially responsible products (calendars, tea, cocoa, postcards, etc.) as well as running events to promote the "climate justice" campaign.

This year, thanks to everybody’s efforts and support, we have managed to raise more money than last year! I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed, whether locally or from far away: THANK you and see you next year! ;)

For everybody else reading this article, supporters and network members: I look forward to meeting you!

By Aurélie Ladrière, Project Manager at Dynamo International


Training street workers in Haiti: an enriching experience!

I have been asked to pen a few words to share with you the intense experience I had during my trip to Haiti. I went with representatives of Dynamo International to a training course for street workers organised by the Centre d’Education Populaire d’Haïti (Popular Education Centre).

We were there for a fortnight. The first week was dedicated to training and the second week to coaching with Haitian street workers.

I rubbed shoulders with a world of warm and welcoming people, which contrasted sharply with the grinding poverty in which they live. The after-effects of the earthquake are still clear to see. The mere sight of the vast camps crammed with tents donated by NGOs, full of hundreds of people living in extreme poverty, is a sober reminder of the horror they must have gone through.

In this short article I would also like to pay tribute to the bravery of the street workers in Haiti.  They really put their heart and soul into their work but the training courses organised in 2012 (3) helped them to acquire a level of methodology and expertise that amazed me. These workers are currently paid through a grant from the Spanish government. This grant will come to an end on 21 December but they will continue to work voluntarily regardless. I should point out that the cost of living is extremely high in Haiti; even basic needs cannot be satisfied. The average wage of a street worker is 340 euros per month!

They showed me the shanty towns and brought me into contact with street children. This was the most moving moment for me. These children were adorable, to the point of being affectionate, climbing onto my lap and giving me a kiss. They wanted to surprise me so they went to the beach and brought me back some shells. An absolute delight!

By Michèle Vilain, Street worker and Coordinator of "Traces de rue", a French-speaking Belgian platform



From 2014 to 2020, students who wish to study abroad will be "covered" by YES

The new YES EUROPE (Youth Education Sport) programme will merge all the EU programmes for education, training and sport and Erasmus for higher education. 

On 27 November, the European Parliament adopted the new programme on the future of the European university exchange programme, Erasmus. More than five million students, of all ages, should enjoy greater mobility and cooperation abroad thanks to €18 billion in EU funding for the years 2014 to 2020.

Students wishing to take a masters degree in a different EU country will be able to apply for a loan which will be guaranteed from a new facility under the YES Europe programme. The culture and education committee voted for loans of up to €12,000 for a one-year master's programme and up to €18,000 for a two-year master's course. This is meant to complement rather than replace the other student grants or funding mechanisms that exist at local, national or European level.

This text adopted by the Parliament will be submitted to a vote in plenary in January 2013.

For more information

Feedback on the Conference on Social Innovation and Social Policy Experimentation

The conference on innovation and social policy held in Brussels on 26 November brought together several policy makers who discussed how best to shape EU support to social innovation.

The objective of the conference was to address challenges affecting social innovation and consider possible policy responses, on the basis of the lessons learned from social innovation policies and practices implemented by Member States to foster growth and cohesion.

The main questions to be discussed were:

• How to make the best use of European financial instruments (European Social Fund, PROGRESS Programme and future Programme for Social Change and Innovation)?
• Which type of support from the EU would be most useful (awareness raising, direct project support, capacity building, evaluation, etc.)?
• Which themes should be prioritised, in order to address Europe 2020 challenges?

The event was an opportunity to engage with experts and stakeholders on the contribution of social policy innovation to increase the efficiency of social policies.

More information 



Europe 2020 Conference: Employment and workers at the heart of the "Agenda for new skills and jobs"

As part of the Europe 2020 strategy, the conference entitled "Agenda for new skills and jobs" will be held in Dublin. It is planned for 28 February 2013 in Ireland (first country to take up the rotating EU presidency in 2013) and will discuss how local and regional authorities can improve education and respond to the need for more flexible careers.

Europe 2020 is the growth strategy adopted by the European Union for 2010-2020 in order to reach an employment level of 75% of 20-64 year olds by 2020. One of the seven flagship initiatives of this strategy is the "Agenda for new skills and jobs".

A call for good practice on this flagship initiative is now open. A selection of good practice proposals will be showcased at the conference and included in the Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform database.

For more information



My Communications internship at Dynamo International

In October this year, I started an internship in communications at Dynamo International as part of my studies. Two months of my internship have now gone by but as soon as I started I found that there was a warm and friendly atmosphere. 

I work with Mari, the communications manager, and I have dealt with the newsletter and promoting a concert for street children in Kinshasa. The newsletter highlights the activities of network members as well as any news or relevant information linked to street work, social exclusion and poverty. Putting this together for an organisation of over 48 members scattered all across the world is no easy task! First of all because of language differences: not everybody has a strong command of the working languages French, Spanish and English for communicating between member platforms and then also because it is important to make sure that the network’s international component is respected.

What I have noticed during this internship is the international scope and the warm welcome given by people working for Dynamo. Whether it is EVS volunteers, network coordinators training in Brussels who stay in the shared apartment above the offices, or indeed the young people of the local area who pop by to say hello, every one of them is given a warm welcome.

Above and beyond the communication-related work I have done, for me this was an opportunity to find out how an international organisation works from the inside, to take part in events/initiatives like the Roma conference at the European Parliament or occasionally helping to sell 11.11.11 products, in addition to meeting many people from different walks of life.

By Justine Darko, student in communication - Brussels


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