• 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 Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Editorial
Read up on what has been happening this week on our weekly editorial.

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

 
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

 

 
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