Last November, I had the unique opportunity to participate as part of a student delegation at the Social Summit in Gothenburg and witness the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. As a social worker, it is important for me, because it is a determined step towards putting people’s rights and well-being back at the heart of EU policies. Through my studies and engagement in a student-led organization, a first bridge was built for me.

It was of course great to be part of a panel discussion with Heads of State, but one of the most inspiring aspects of the Summit was for me the contribution of -a still unknown to me- Heather Roy, Secretary General of Eurodiaconia. Hearing her talk and emphasize the views and experience of Eurodiaconia member organizations in working with people and not only for them, made me approach her afterwards and ask many questions about the organization’s work. Back then, I did not imagine that 3 months later I would become a policy assistant at Eurodiaconia in Brussels. A second bridge was built for me.

Over the last few days, I have been engaged in discussions around how to promote the role of social services in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. It is great for me now to support the work of Eurodiaconia, and to give back some of the trust they put in me. To give people – no matter their age or background – the possibility to participate and engage in the causes they care for is vital to our societies. You never know where or how far that will lead to.

Where can you build a bridge for someone today? Big or small, every bridge is a chance to break new ground.

Start planning your bridge building and have a good start to the weekend,