In spite of many challenges, the European Union “strives for more” in the present times, as announced at the beginning of the EU institutions’ current mandate, while looking at the future of its next generation. In the aftermath of the adoption of a “Next Generation EU” Recovery Plan and on the eve of the launch of a Conference on the “Future of Europe”, Don Bosco International (DBI) would like to promote a reflection on the role of education.
On the eve of the annual celebrations for Don Bosco, DBI is aiming to take stock of the lessons learned by its partners standing by the side of many young people, especially the most vulnerable among them, in order to raise awareness on the potential of education for the future of Europe.
Within the continental framework of the European Education Area and the global ones, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Compact for Education, we want to make sure that, reducing inequalities and preventing discrimination through quality and inclusive education, no child and no young person is left behind in Europe. The present initiative aims at highlighting some of the existing good practices and alliances in Europe and at the international level for children- and youth-attentive societies. Promising new measures at the EU level, such as the Child Guarantee, may lead us in this direction. We want to highlight how European platforms and networks, such as Eurochild and SIRIUS, are promoting the contribution of civil society to this important effort with a rights-based approach.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) has always been and still is one of the core areas of Don Bosco’s educational activity. DBI’s partners today are providing VET in many EU countries, but also in neighboring ones and in other continents. We are therefore looking forward to actively joining a more inclusive and more international edition of the Erasmus programme. A reinforced edition of the Youth Guarantee is also welcome, as far as it can encourage EU Member States to do their best to reach out and activate the most vulnerable among the young people not in employment, education or training. Consistently, the green and digital transition are at the center of our upskilling and reskilling projects, where we also seek to ensure a holistic approach to education, for an integral human development of our beneficiaries. As Don Bosco used to say, beyond the transfer of skills, “education is a matter of the heart”.
The future of Europe needs imagination. It needs quality and inclusive education. Children and young people in Europe dream to dare. We need to dare to dream with them.
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