Christ has risen from death! These days we are celebrating Christ, our Saviour, who died for our sins and resurrected to lead us to eternal life at our heavenly father. Indeed this is the basis of our belief, the foundation of Christianity.
These days my thoughts of death and heaven lead me to a bigger humility to the gift of life, love, trust and contentment. There are often things, circumstances or people that annoy us, that present us with a problem or a lack of understanding – sometimes fear, uncertainty, insecure and despair.
Why? Where is the big plan behind this? These and lots of other questions arise and will not disappear that soon, because we don´t receive an answer. And this is not satisfying – the most for those who are victims (and their relatives) of terror attacks, terrible accidents and inhumane deaths.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mat 27, 46) Even Jesus, knowing about the idea what would happen to him, was longing for God and an answer to his suffer. Nobody knows the big plan of God for us and our neighbours. We can only believe in Him, hope & trust that He guides everyone of us and love & be thankful for the people He sends to us in His eternal grace.
For this reason I´d like to invite you to light a candle these days – in your room, at home, in church, … – for all those victims and their relatives, for all the people that are part of your life and for yourself.
From the bottom of my heart: be blessed!
At the dawn of these terrible tragedies that have occurred in Brussels, in the heart of Europe, the JECI-MIEC European team would like to express its deepest and most sincere feelings of solidarity with the people affected and close relatives to the victims of such terrible acts. We condemn these horrific terroristic attacks which are attacks on our freedom and values. While understanding the feelings of anger and helplessness that this may cause, we would like to call upon the young europeans not to give in to dispair and not to lose hope in humanity. For it is of the utmost importance to unite in the spirit of love and compassion and to assist each other in building a better tomorrow. Join us in prayers for mercy and all the victims and their families.
„For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.”
(Lk 2, 11)
Looking at our realities the most wishful thing at the moment is peace. It is such a little word, but means so much and makes such a difference.
When there are terror attacks, I want peace. When there is military oppression, I want peace. When there is economic threat, I want peace. When there are racist assaults, I want peace. When there is violence, I want peace. When there is religious or political persecution, I want peace. When there is war, I want peace.
When people are suffering, I want peace.
Not everybody is aware of it, but peace has become more rare. Let us pray these days for all the countries, the people and our friends who are longing for this peace that is given by our Lord to the people of His mercy. Let us be thankful for the gift of having people around us, who love us and respect us and share their time with us. Let us be full of joy because Jesus is born into this world, the one who showed us how to live in peace.
Have a blessed, joyful and peaceful Christmas
and a healthy, lucky and successful year 2016!
7-9 October 2015 Romana Mysula (European Team member 2012-2015) took part in the Conference “Learning mobility in the Youth Field: towards opportunities for all”, which took place in Istanbul (Turkey). European Platform on Learning Mobility was created after the idea to talk about Learning mobility appeared in 2010. Since that time the Conference in Istanbul was the third one within the work of the Platform.
According to the web-site of European Union – Council of Europe Partnership in the Youth Field, that was co-orginiser of the event, Learning Mobility is transnational mobility undertaken for a period of time, consciously organised for educational purposes or to acquire new competences or knowledge. It covers a wide variety of projects and activities and can be implemented in formal or non-formal settings.
The main idea of the Platform is to create mutually beneficial links between Researchers, Policy Makers and Practitioners. Don’t you find it standing in line with the Concept See-Judge-Act that JECI-MIEC uses? The main question of this year’s conference was – How to promote inclusion in Youth Learning Mobility? The Conference was a combination of Formal and Non-formal. There were different key-note speeches, presentations and workshops related to the topic.
Very important phrase, from my view, was expressed several times -“Nothing for us without us”, meaning that not only the organisers have to prepare well for the Programme, but also the participants have to take an active role before, during and after the mobility. Some more interesting facts about Learning mobility.
There were Rapporteurs who will finalise the results of the Conference in the text form, but now I want to share with some highlights, which were depicted by a special rapporteur Siiri Taimla.
It was a very interesting event, where we were discussing, getting new information and of course, experiencing the culture outside the Hotel 😉
From the 7th to 13th September the JECI-MIEC European Committee 2015 took place in Rome. Thanks to all the helping hands of FUCI and MSAC Italy everything around this meeting went perfectly and thanks to all the people attending it was a good work and a fruitful week.
32 people from 14 different countries (including three guests and three internationals) participated this important event, brought in their perspectives, knowledge and competences and made this whole meeting very special.
We congratulate the new elected European Team 2016 being composed of Miriam Röcker (KSJ Germany), Tina Hocevar (Drustvo SKAM Slovenia), François Châtelier (JEC Luxembourg), Jan Szypulski (KIK Drum Bun, Poland) and Simon Fischer (AKH Germany), who is confirmed in his office.
Read now the impressions of Tina Hocevar (Drustvo SKAM Slovenia) from the European Committee 2015:
This years the European Committee was held in Rome from 7th to 13th of September. For me this was the first time to be an official delegate at the JECI-MIEC European Committee, so I was curious about how this week would be. And it turned out to be busy, a lot of reporting, co-deciding, seconding and also fun.
About the working part – firstly we have listened to member organizations’ updates on their work and there has been a lot of impressive work done by everyone. The European Team presented us what they have been doing, we went through the finances and we also made some plans for the next year. So there was a lot of work to do. Therefore, we spent all days in the conference room, which was not always easy, but we managed it successfully thanks to joint prayers, coffee breaks, Simon’s determination to work, Jacque’s fine music selection and overall good atmosphere created by the participants. We also had elections for the new European Team 2016 and I am happy to be part of that team. I am really looking forward to working with such great people (Jan, Simon, Miriam, Francois) and for the good of JECI-MIEC.
And about the fun part – getting to know all participants was fun and it was fun spending time with them. Johan had always some interesting stories to tell, Francois never forgot to put his thumbs up while taking a photo, Simon had serious working mood on, Mihaela can sing very good and she sang us very nicely during the closing Mass, Joao learned to never again make a bet with Jacques, Martin baught stones on auctions, Romana was all the time happy and spreading the good mood and more and more interesting and fun facts about the participants. We had social evenings (MO’s bazar, cultural bazar, talent show, etc.) and we had a city tour to explore the impressive history and beauties of Rome. Spending all this time together we became good friends and also developed some ideas for the future cooperation among MO’s. Together we have created memories that I’ll keep forever, because nice memories are ones to be remembered and not forgotten.
My overall impressions are very positive. Hosts and organizers made a special effort to organize the European Committee 2015 and they have done a great job. I came home full of new ideas, I have learned more about the JECI-MIEC and member organizations, I am impressed by the work of everyone, I have met great people that inspired me and I am really looking forward for the next European Committee!
God be with you,
24th July to 3rd August 2015, Tagaytay (Philippines)
by Evelina Manola (EKFE Greece)
Have you ever felt like the whole world can fit into a small place? That exactly was my feeling since the very first moment of the Global Training Session of IYCS and IMCS, which took place in Tagaytay, in the Philippines from 24th July to 3rd August 2015. The theme of the training session was “Salt of the Earth, Light of the World – Students Building the Kingdom of God” and it certainly had an impact on the lives of the young Catholic students that attended it.
During the sessions, we had the opportunity to learn a lot from experts and hear testimonies from people who shared their experience with us. We also had a day out where we – divided into small groups – got to visit various activities running by local organizations in an effort to fight the different forms of poverty and vulnerability. Last but not least, one of the most powerful tools that was used in order to empower the students was the sharing and exchanging among ourselves. Very often we had the opportunity to share our experience, knowledge and wisdom especially concerning crucial issues such as corruption, conflicts, youth participation, disparity, education and environment. Coming from different backgrounds and cultures, we all shared a breeding ground where everybody could express thoughts and views related to local, national and regional realities and even come up with ideas and solutions on how to make this world a better place.
The training session was followed by the World Council of IYCS and the World Assembly of IMCS. These are the higher decision bodies of the two movements that during their sessions discussed about several issues and elected the new International Teams. In the International Secretariat of IYCS, Richard Francis Apeh (Nigeria) was elected to be the Secretary General and fr. Charles Menezes (India) the Ecclesiastical Assistant. The new International Team of IMCS will consist of the President Edouard Karoue (Togo), the Secretary General Evelina Manola (Greece) and the Ecclesiastical Assistant fr. Masawe Fratern.
Besides the training and decision making parts, some of the most important and priceless moments of that meeting were the informal hours we spent with delegates from other countries. Especially during the “Global Village” and the regional thematic evenings, we had the chance to encounter different cultures and getting to know a little bit of their tradition, their food, their dances and their songs.
Meeting and working for a common vision with people coming from all over the world is certainly a blessing and something that none of us will ever forget. Finally, I believe that trying to be the salt of the earth in our personal daily lives doesn’t take much, yet it can make a huge difference in the world. After all, we are the Catholic Youth and we are everywhere. ?f we ourselves don’t give the light to others, who will?
Evelina Manola, National Coordinator of IMCS EKFE Greece
Dear friends from the National Organizations,
Greetings from the European Coordination JECI-MIEC!
As there are/were some problems with the communication with your offices, we ask you to take this information to your national offices as soon as possible.
We´d like to remind you to send your calls of delegates for the JECI-MIEC European Committee 2015, which will take place in Rome (Italy), from the 7th-13th September 2015.
Final deadline for the Call for Delegates will be the 1st August 2015, 11.59pm.
Find here the Call for Delegates, the Calls for the positions of the European Coordinator, Executive Board, European Chaplain, Internal Auditors and Hosting Organisations. Please read the documents carefully.
You also find an Application to statutes concerning the change of the postal address.
After receiving the data of your delegate you will also receive a digital report form for your national reports to be presented at the European Committee 2015, the minutes of the European Committee 2014, the narrative as well as financial reports 2014-2015 and a budget proposal for 2016.
Please pay attention to the deadlines and procedures.
As usual, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to approach the European Team.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
With best regards and united in prayers,
European Team 2015
The European Youth Forum (YFJ) invited its member organisations to the first Council of Members (COMEM) this year from 17th to 18th Aprile. For the European Coordination JECI-MIEC the European Coordinator Simon Fischer took this vote and set out for Brussels.
There was a meeting of the so called faith-based Member Organisations (MO) in the afternoon of the arrival day (16th April), but due to some traffic-related difficulties it was not possible for Simon to join this. As it was his first COMEM, he attended the introductory session for new delegates and in the evening the second meeting of the faith-based MO. They exchanged about the resolutions and the organisation-specific attitudes towards their contents.
There are two types of organisations within the members of the European Youth Forum: National and International Member Organisations. This structural difference in the past was normally also shown by separating these types of organisation spatially from each other during this meeting. The Extraordinary General Assembly on Friday started with a little innovation: all organisations were seated mixed. This measure was appreciated a lot by all attendants.
Contentually on Friday morning it was about the official decisions about adopting the agenda, minutes of the last meeting, report and questions and comments on these. After a short coffee break three experts presented their perspective on the theme of “Creating Quality Jobs for Young People” in a Public Plenary Session.
Michel Servoz (Directorate General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the European Commission) introduced this plenary. He expressed that there was a difficult start in the past with Youth Guarantee, but now the process has become more complex. It is not only throwing money (although it might help and support), but there´s something more structural to do: in many states the educational system kicks students out without any link to the labour market. Michel Servoz explained that the students should get “out of the system into the system”.
In his opinion this system contains
- feedback from the “customers” on the work appreciated;
- job offers in economic recovery, that are only temporary or not sure, should be long termed and fully allied;
- new jobs, that are made up for destroyed ones which won´t come back, and trainings of young people to get these jobs; and
- Improvement of entrepreneurship.
Caroline Jenner (Chief Executive Officer of Junior Achievement Young Enterprise – JAYE) started as one of the experts to share her main ideas around the issue with the plenary. From her view there are already lots of jobs invented in enterprises. This misunderstanding of non-existing jobs comes from the problems and difficulties with the access to them: “There´s not only one career path, but several.” She showed up the change of steps to entrepreneurship, where in earlier times the way was about creating an enterprise, try to get a loan for it, then look for a good infrastructure and finally get trainings and educations for the expertise on it. The new way forsees the education and training as the first step, then practical and financial content, financial support and then lead to self-employment and entrepreneurship.
Santo Milasi (Deputy of the Director of the ILO Research Department) turned away from the structural view onto the employment-orientated investment. This should target projects externalities (strategic infrastructure, transport, energy, etc.), there should be an emphasis on research and innovation and an ease on financial constraints for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He also admitted that this measure may have unintended distributional consequences.
Sebastian Koenings (Economist/ Social Policy Analyst at the OECD; Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs) picked then up on more the direct educational impact. He sees a more effective change in improving schooling outcomes:
- Early interventions to prevent the accumulation of disadvantage
- Comprehensive solutions that address educational problems along with social and health issues
- Alternative-learning options for youth with more serious difficulties
- High-quality apprenticeship systems can smoothen school-to-work transitions and provide youth with the needed labour market skills.
Mr Koenings also drew attention to the Youth Guarantees as a powerful tool for help as it prevents idleness and ‘scarring’ effects, it identifies human capital deficits and social issues and it ensures that youths are work-ready. He also made clear that the roll-out of these Youth Guarantees can be challenging, i.e. in reaching out to the most disadvantaged or the scaling-up of existing programmes. But finally “the Youth Guarantee is the ‘back bone’ for bring the Youth to work”.
In the afternoon the Council of Members started with four Policy Commissions, that every delegate was invited to take part in and work with in one of these. Following commissions were offered:
- Resolution: Time to act: more quality employment
- Resolution: Inclusive societies at stake
- Youth Work Convention
- Youth Participation and Structured Dialogue.
The second part of the afternoon contained offers convened by Member Organisations to the delegates: the Thematic Squares. The themes to choose were:
- Remembrance and learning from World War II
- Communication, Media and Youth: Are our messages received?
- Social Inclusion of Young Migrants – A Question
- COP21: YFJ Members´ Goals and Visions
- Skills for Life: measuring the impact of Non-Formal Education.
On Saturday there were lots of important documents and issues to decide on, but the most interesting was the Election of Council of Europe Advisory Council (AC) on Youth, where 27 organisations candidated for 20 seats (13 seats for the International Movements and 7 seats for the National Movements). From our friends of the Faith-Based group Alice Barbieri (WAGGGS), Patrick Hennelly (WOSM) and Tinna Ros (YMCA) made it into the AC. Special congratulations for that and the best wishes for your work!
After a very intensive work on the Resolutions and their passage through the COMEM this whole meeting ended with a party in a very nice disco.
There were really lots of nice people to meet, fruitful exchanges, lots of new things that I´ve learned and a short encounter with Márcio Barcelos (YFJ). I am looking forward to the next COMEM!
For this report: Simon Fischer.
The expresssion used by Jesus on te cross: “It is finished (tetelestai)” , means both that His appointed work was completed, the last installment was paid and that the lamb without blemish was found. Without the blood he sheded to spare us, we would not have known the joy of Resurrection.
Christ has risen! Let us rejoice and be the witnesses he sends out to share the Good News.
We wish that this time of Feast finds you with peace in your families and hope in your hearts.