Last month I had the chance to represent CID at the 2017 German Child and Youth Welfare Congress (DJHT)n with the topic „Creating a Social and Fair Europe for all Young People”. Held between 27-30 of March, the congress gathered 400 youth workers and other experts from the youth sector from all over Europe in Dusseldorf, Germany, with the aim to discuss the challenges of youth work across Europe.

The congress was designed to incorporate field visits, expert forums, workshops and evening events, all with the purpose to network, share experiences and have formal and informal discussions about the current situation of youth work in Europe.

I participated in the expert forum „Resisting the trend – European and international youth work as a backbone for social cohesion in Europe”. One thing I really appreciated was that I could not feel the difference between young people, policy makers and experts, because of the non-formal atmosphere. We discussed and managed to come to common grounds on many topics, despite our diverse backgrounds and experiences. Having myself limited experience in the filed of youth work, I appreciated a lot the opportunity to discuss and share my ideas with all the participants.

One of the most interesting moments of the congress was an NGO fair with over 5000 organisations represented. Over 30.000 people attended the fair and walked around the stands, and still it did not feel like it was crowded. On the fair I had the chance to see how other youth organisation work; I learned about federalisation and I liked the fact that Europe has so many opportunities for youth. The Balkan region has still a lot to learn from our counterparts and we can import and implement a lot from these good practices and innovative approaches in our own communities.

I would appreciate my participation in the congress as a fruitful one. Despite my young age, I was listened to and my opinions found support with policy-makers and other representatives of institutions all over Europe, which gave me the necessary motivation to want to grow and continue working in the field.

More information about the congress can be found here.