The 2018 Regional Conference of Caritas Europa took place in Tbilisi (Georgia) from the 7th to the 9th of May. It was an opportunity for all the member organizations to send some representatives to attend it. 39 out of 49 did, bringing the number of participants up to 152. The attendees included Presidents, Directors and Secretary General from the different Caritas, but also some staff members and young people volunteering for Caritas.
The three days of Conference were split into electoral and statutory sessions on the one hand, and workshops on the topic “Youth and Solidarity” on the other hand. From the latter came up some recommendations on how to include young people in Caritas Europa’s activities. The main recommendations are the following:
For the member organizations
1. Ensure participation of young people in the decision making process at governance level
2. Build a network for young volunteers to share information
3. Develop a communication plan (including social media) to promote “YoungCaritas” (image and branding)
4. Map good practices and experiences in youth participation
5. Education, formation and networking experience exchanges for youth
For Caritas network (Caritas Europa):
1. YoungCaritas participation in the decision making (strategic planning of Caritas Europa, YoungCaritas Exbo member.s)
2. Develop a strategy for “YoungCaritas” in Caritas Europa
3. Professional coordinator at Caritas Europa level
4. Exchange Programme for youngsters and staff members from different countries
5. Caritas Europa fund dedicated for YoungCaritas
For our YoungCaritas in Europe network this result is promising ! We really look forward to see what will happen after the Vienna Conference
that will take place from the 23rd to 25th of November
. Its main aim will be to spread the concept of YoungCaritas all over Europe, thus enlarging the actual network.
Between these working sessions, the participants had the chance to discover the wonderful capital city of Tbilisi, Georgian welcoming people and tasty food, traditional dances, songs, and religious ceremonies. These cultural discoveries just like the different working sessions the participants attended showed that people can be united in diversity, whatever their nationality, sex, age or religion !
Here you can find the video that introduced the Regional Conference on the topic “Youth and Solidarity”. The members of the YoungCaritas in Europe network asked some young people questions about what they think will be the future challenges of Caritas and the role of the young generation in this. The answers are interesting !
Text by: Honorine Rey, youngCaritas in Europe