• Our work

    Eurodiaconia links diaconal actors to examine social needs, develop ideas and influence policies impacting Poverty and Social Exclusion, Social and Health Care Services and the Future of Social Europe.

    Eurodiaconia also provides a platform for transnational networking and best practice sharing.  

     

  • Our vision

    As the leading network for diaconal work in Europe, we look to develop dialogue and partnership between members and influence and engage with the wider society.  We do this to enable inclusion, care and empowerment of the most vulnerable and excluded and ensure dignity for all.

     

  • Our goals

    We aim to see a positive social change in Europe through:

    Praxis, enabling membership engagement and partnerships

    Advocacy, creating a network of competence to impact policies at European and national level

    Identity and values, supporting the development of approaches and thinking on Diaconia in Europe today

     

Calendar Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Editorial
Read up on what has been happening this week on our weekly editorial.

This week

2 May 2014

This Week, through my involvement with Social Platform I have been in Greece to participate in a meeting of employment and social affairs ministers.  This was very interesting and an opportunity to share some thoughts on how economic and social policies in Europe could be better balanced. 

However, what was really interesting was the two hours I was able to spend listening to how churches in Athens are responding to the needs of people affected by the crisis.  The project 'Church in the Street' is providing food to around 800 people per day in Athens and is an ecumenical collaboration.  Support is also being given to migrants, to people with disabilities and there has been co-operation in the establishment of two hospices.  But it was the individual stories that the Anglican Chaplain in Athens Rev. Malcolm Bradshaw told me that show the gaps between the policy declarations and the reality of every day life; the migrant living on 250 euros a month, the young woman who can't finish school and go to university as her parents can no longer pay school fees and are living on the meagre pension of a grandmother; the migrants who are driven underground because of suspicion and bureaucracy.  The church is working in all these situations, all these realities and often supplementing income, paying school fees, helping with accessing social rights.

I am glad I could address representatives of 28 EU members states on why structural reforms are needed in social protection and social services but I am even more glad that while we wait for political will to catch up with the needs of people diaconal work continues to respond, react and relate to people where they are now, regardless of politics.

Have a good weekend

Heather

 
It's about Europe, It's about you

25 April 2014

In almost exactly one month from now people across the European Union will be voting for a new European Parliament.  This will be a decisive election and likely to show how the people of Europe really feel about the policies of the European Union and the impact they have on their every day lives.  Eurodiaconia, along with our ecumenical partners APRODEV, the Conference of European Churches and the Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe have launched a website which gives background to the elections along with some reflections on the issues that matter to churches, Christians and ultimately the people of Europe.  We aspire towards a European Union that places the well being of people at the heart of all decision making, where there is a positive combination of a social market economy and high levels of social standards and protection, where our collective values uphold and cherish diversity and care for the most vulnerable people.  We want to see a European Union that welcomes migrants and refugees, that will always stand up for protect human rights, that will work towards the eradication of global poverty and will ensure the effective care of our creation.  

This might seem like a big ask but in fact the European Union could make significant progress towards all of these goals over the next five years if the European Parliament and the incoming European Commission committ to them.  It is this committment that we are encouraging people all across Europe to call for.  We want you to ask candidates if they share our aspirations, if they are ready to work for a fairer Europe that promotes peace and justice for all.  Please go to www.ecumenicalvoices2014.eu and see how you can get involved.  Remember, if it's about Europe, it's about you.

Have a good weekend

Heather

 

 
Hope

16 April 2014

For those of us who follow the Christian faith, Easter is a time where we commemorate horror and celebrate hope.  We remember the horrifc way in which Christ died and the amazing resurrection that followed.  Horror and hope.  There is much horror in our world today. Horror at the injustices, inequalities and exclusion that plague the lives of many on a daily basis. Horror at the decreasing value we put on our own humanity.  Horror at our appetite for conflict rather than peace.  Yet there is also hope.  Hope that comes from seeing small moments of change.  Hope that comes from ordinary people doing extraordinary things, hope that comes from politicians and decision makers talking about what really matters. Hope that comes from a committment to the God given dignity of each person, hope that comes from the collective work of diaconal organisations all over Europe.

For Christians, Easter is a time of hope and whatever you may believe, we wish you a season where hope is stronger than horror and where "..the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth."  Job 5 v 16

wishing you a beautiful Easter,

Heather

 

 
Being recognised…

Being recognised…

At the end of last week I had the opportunity to visit our members in Italy, the Diaconia Valdese, where they have their head offices in the town of Torre Pellice, not far from Turin. I met with the manager of one of their residential homes and day centre which specialises in care for older people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s. I was able to hear about their project called “Ambassadors for Alzheimer’s’” which aims to create ambassadors in the local community and which recently won an award. See more about this project below. I could see how much this award meant to the staff there who were so encouraged to get their excellent work recognised, so congratulations to Diaconia Valdese! I also heard about one of their recent initiatives for youth which can be loosely translated as “social farming” which addresses the huge issue of youth unemployment in Italy. Read more about this social enterprise initiative here.

The visit was also an opportunity to talk about Italy’s upcoming Presidency of the EU (starting in July 2014) and how together we can make the most those six months where Italy will be leading negotiations of the EU Council to address some essential issues, including youth exclusion which is a huge problem across Europe, including in Italy.

We also congratulate the Ecumenical Humanitarian Organisation (EHO) for another Award they received this week for its work on Roma inclusion in Serbia. See more on this in the article below.

On a different note, Eurodiaconia is looking to increasingly support members in searching for funding, so as a start, we have a new section called ‘News on EU Funding” in our weekly e-news. You will find the most recent calls for proposals and other relevant information under this section.

Have a great weekend!

Catherine

 
From words to actions

4 April 2014

This week the European Commission is hosting the European Roma Summit, discussing how to ensure Roma Inclusion across Europe and how to ensure policies enable Roma persons to live in dignity and with full access to services, education, housing, healthcare and employment.  As many of you will know many members are vey active in this area and our Roma network is very dynamic and engaged.  It is my pleasure to represent Eurodiaconia at this high level event.  But as our members know, lots of talking without action will not change anything. That is why we hope that such a summit will agree to concrete actions that reflect the discussions and will recognise that actions that are already taking place across Europe from our members and other NGOs.

Moving from words to actions is something we also want to hear from candidates to the forthcoming European Parliament elections.  Please check out our ecumenical website www.ecumenicalvoices2014.org and our newly published toolkit for ideas on how you can get involved.

Have a good weekend,

Heather

 
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