The group of Caritas people working on the preparation of the Solidarity Festival met in Strasbourg on Thursday, 9 December 2011, to sum up the state of play of the preparations and decide on the next steps to take in order to ensure the success of the event
Brussels, 10 June 2011 - The Festival will take place in Strasbourg on 2-5 December 2011. It will symbolise the conclusion of all the Caritas initiatives undertaken in Europe throughout the year to underpin the important role that volunteering plays in our societies.
During the event, Caritas will meet representatives of the EU Institutions and of the Council of Europe to convey Caritas’ vision on the role of volunteering in Europe, as presented in Caritas Europa’s Policy Statement on the European Year of Volunteering 2011.
The event will last for 4 days. On day 1, participants will be gathered in groups that will visit several Caritas projects in France, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg, which are still to be confirmed. During the other 3 days, the event will take place in Strasbourg, France. On day 2, participants will learn from other Caritas projects in Europe and abroad. They will also have the opportunity to share experiences and viewpoints with representatives of French and European Union Institutions. On the 3rd day, Sunday, participants will have time to reflect over the past day and gather together for a liturgical ceremony in the Saint Pierre the Young Church.
A delegation of the participants will stay until Monday, 5 December, to meet representatives of the Council of Europe and discuss the role of volunteering in Europe.
The Festival will build on the experience gained during the Cluny 2010 event, which was organised in the framework of the Caritas activities during the European Year 2010 for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. In October 2010, the French town of Cluny welcomed hundreds of people coming from Caritas, civil society, national and European institutions together with people living and experiencing poverty and social exclusion. For two days, Cluny became the town of solidarity, holding a long series of workshops, happenings, debates and round tables. During the Festival, participants will be hosted by volunteering families around Strasbourg, as the people of Cluny did last year.
The Solidarity Festival is being organised in the framework of the European Year 2011 on Volunteering and will be partially financed by the Caritas Europa Inclusion programme, as part of the European Commission PROGRESS-programme.
The group, who will meet again on 4-6 July in Strasbourg, wants to remind all Caritas in Europe that this project is open to all of them and that they are very welcome to participate and contribute.
For more information, please contact:
Responsible for Europe and North America at Secours Catholique
Tel: + 33 1 45 49 74 38