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24 Sep 2009


Social Europe & Jobs


The Caritas Europa Trans-national Conference on Social Inclusion

Press information. Brussels, 23 September 2009 - Following the first successful edition of last year in Charleroi (Belgium), Caritas Europa is holding its second Trans-national Conference on Social Inclusion in Ostritz (Germany) on 23-25 September 2009.

This is a yearly event of Caritas Europa which actively involves one or more diocesan Caritas organisations in border regions and aims at bringing together people who are experiencing poverty and social exclusion with Caritas workers and regional/local authorities in charge to shape and implement policies directly affecting the situation of these people.

Led by the diocesan Caritas of Dresden-Meissen, this year the Trans-national Conference on Social Inclusion brings together 60 participants from the diocesan organisations of Dresden-Meissen and Gorlitz (Germany), Liegnica (Poland) and Litomerice (Czech Republic).

"The environment for social engagement in Poland and the Czech Republic is different than in our country”, said Conference Director Mechthild Gatter of the diocesan Caritas of Dresden-Meissen. “However, it is always about people who need help and that we wish to empower for an independent life”, she added.

At the conference each of the attending organisations is invited to feature a specific service through the testimonies of the responsible project workers and of the beneficiaries. The representatives of regional/local authorities have the possibility to comment on those presentations and to enter into dialogue with participants.

According to Miriam Pikaar, Project Manager of Caritas Europa, this event is an excellent tool to take stock of social realities and to collect and build on the suggestions of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion. She explained: “There was no existing cross-border cooperation model between the four diocesan Caritas organisations involved in the conference, but this joint initiative has now paved the way for continued and structured exchanges”.

The projects presented this year concern accompaniment to Roma families and children; integration of less able and chronically ill persons; health services for migrants; and social activities centres for marginalised persons.

The third Caritas Europa Trans-national Conference on Social Inclusion will be held in autumn 2010 in Trieste (Italy) with diocesan organisations from Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia taking up responsibility for the preparation.

For more information, please contact:

Mechthild Gatter
Diocesan Caritas of Dresden-Meissen
Tel. +49 (0)341 963 61 45
Annalisa Mazzella
Caritas Europa
Tel: +32 (0)2 235 03 94


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