This week we had the honour of awarding two of our members, Stadsmissionen and Kofoeds Skole, with the Eurodiaconia award. We celebrated their efforts in tackling poverty and social exclusion. The ceremony was hosted in the European Parliament here in Brussels and attracted a large number of MEPs, friends, and social service providers.
The Eurodiaconia Award was established in 2007 to recognize the best practices in diaconal social work. The Award aims to shed light on the innovative and the enterprising role of the diaconal organisations as well as encouraging good practice sharing across Europe, and building connections among all the stakeholders.
An exciting component of the event is an exhibition which is organised parallel to the event. This year it focused on integrated projects and services that promote social inclusion by offering holistic support to vulnerable individuals.
It goes without saying that Europe continues to face challenges that affect the social wellbeing of millions of people across the continent and those who come to Europe looking for refuge. Unfortunately, we have been struggling to see relevant developments when it comes to poverty, exclusion and social support.
Diaconal social services and NGOs have been assuming a gap-filling role over the past few years, replacing partially or completely the role of governments and local authorities in providing social assistance. As new main service providers we therefore act as innovators, critics, advocates and policy partners. With our work we respond to new social challenges in order to elicit change, against a backdrop of austerity and lack of social investment.
Initiatives such as the Eurodiaconia Award help all of us to better recognise where and how the best changes can be made, not forgetting that there is still a long way before inequalities are reduced and that extreme poverty is eradicated. We will continue to work on that together!
Have a good weekend,