Earlier this week I had the pleasure to meet with a group of young professionals who are engaged in a political leadership scheme in the UK organised through the Catholic Church.  These bright young adults were placed with international organisations and politicians to develop their skills and experience in public policy making. Their visit to Brussels was intended to ensure a European dimension was included – no mean feat in this time of Brexit!

It got me thinking about how do we really invest in young people in Diaconia? How do we build up future leaders and engage young people in our decision making today? Eurodiaconia is currently running a project with several members on youth inclusion that will soon launch a toolkit on the topic. But I am wondering what could be next – could we develop an international programme for young people from our members where they develop both their leadership and political skills? How could such an investment be linked with increased participation in EU policy making?

As is often said, young people are not only our future but also our present. We need to be more engaged with this generation to not only shape the future as regards policy but also the present. Perhaps our first step towards this is bringing bright young people into our team on  traineeships. This week we welcomed Stefan Kitzmann to our team as part of his MA programme in European Studies. Stefan has previously volunteered  with Diakonie Deutschland and has worked professionally in social work. He will be joined later this month by two other young trainees. We look forward to their contribution to our common work and the inspiration they will surely give us.

Have a good weekend,