• 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 Monday, November 24, 2014
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Editorial
Read up on what has been happening this week on our weekly editorial.

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

 
Looking back

28 March 2014

After a busy previous week focused on EU funding this week we have been focusing on reporting on what we achieved in 2013.  It has been very interesting to review what we as a network achieved in 2013 and identified the outcomes that we have achieved across our network.  What is always harder to do is to measure the actual impact our actions have had and to trace back the change that has occurred. This ties to our discussions last week on EU financing as more and more not for profit organisations are asked to evidence the direct impact of work that has been done and to often produce measurable impact in a short period of time.  This is of course a challenge as real impact, and in our case real social change, is not something that will necessarily happen in a short period of time but it is rather a process that is both complex and lengthy.  Another challenge is how to define impact.  Should impact only be economic or can it also be about measuring well being.  These are key discussions for organisations in our network and our forthcoming AGM could be the place for us to discuss impact and measurement in more detail.  I would encourage as many members as possible to sign up for this key event as soon as possible.  You can read more about how to register for the AGM here.

Impact has also been on our minds as we say good bye to Katharina Meichenitsch from Diakonie Austria who has been on secondment to our office for the past month.  It has been a real pleasure to have her with us and having a national perspective in our office has had an impact on our work and we hope the European experience will have an impact on the work of the Diakonie in Austria.

Have a good weekend

Heather

 
The Funding Maze

20 March 2014

This week 30 of our members have been in Brussels for a training on the new EU funding programmes.  Thanks to the Otto Per Mille Foundation we have been able to provide an overview of all the new possibilities for funding for diaconal work from the European Union.  This is no easy task.  The programmes are new and in many cases have not been formally launched yet and with some we are not sure if NGO's will be able to apply directly or if they can only be partners in projects led by local authorities.  At the same time the whole application, monitoring and reporting process can seem overwhelming, especially to first time applicants.  However throughout the week, thanks to expert input from those in the European Commission who run the various programmes, we at least started exploring the EU funding maze and started to see the different ways in which we could go.

Of course EU funding is not just about the money but about building a project, often with a European dimension and transnational characteristics that aims to reach certain goals.  For our members they want to build projects that have a clear social impact and that acheive a better sense of well being, inclusion and empowerment.  Building projects can take as much time as searching for funding but it is important that we know what we want to do before we search for funding.  It was good to have members exchange on their experiences with project development and related funding and learn about both good and bad practice!

We know that the financing of social services is a challenge for nearly every member state at the moment and as a result times can be tough for our members.  We hope that this weeks' training can contribute to making Diaconal organisations better equipped in searching for fundinhg in the EU maze and coming out the other side with actions that have changed people's lives.

have a good weekend

Heather

 

 
Members in Focus

13 March 2014

This week has been focused around members news which is always encouraging.  Our Serbian member EHO informed us that for the first time the City authorities of Novi Sad have concluded a partnership agreement with EHO for the Children’s Shelter/Day center for street children.  I have visited this shelter a couple of times and it is absolutely essential for the care of some extremely vulnerable children. Such funding is a huge step for EHO and for the recognition of the important work of the shelter and the important work of the staff there.  However EHO’s success don’t stop there.  Their project ‘e-Accessible Education’ has been selected as an innovative practice for people with disabilities.  The project was particularly noted for the impact, scalability and impact along with its innovative nature.  Well done EHO! 

At the other end of Europe I have had the chance to discuss in person how the context for delivering social services, such as those EHO have been developing in Serbia, has become much more competitive in the Nordic context.  As a guest at the annual meeting of some of the directors of the Nordic deaconess institutions I had the possibility to listen to both the challenges of a more competitive environment as well as the opportunities it can present in the development of new services.  The VAMOS project in Helsinki was presented as an example of fully integrated care with a truly innovative approach which was well received by staff, users and funders alike.

Competition is also evident when it comes to funding and next week we will organize a seminar at our offices in Brussels on all the new EU funding programmes.  Thanks to the Otto Per Mille Fund of the Waldensian Church in Italy we are able to bring over 20 members to Brussels to study the new programmes and possibly build common projects.  These projects would then be developed for funding potential as well as their innovation potential.  If the work I have heard about in Serbia and Finland recently is anything to go by there should be every possibility of success.

Have a great weekend

Heather

 
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