Autumn AIEJI Newsletter


Dear all


Two important things have happened the last weeks: The second of October we celebrated the international day of social educators. And 27th and 28th of September our member organization from Italy, ANEP, arranged a very interesting seminar about unaccompanied refugee minors.


The international day of social educators’


In Denmark we celebrated the international day of social educators in the Parliament. My organization had a hearing about the need for a national research program in the social educational field – research relevant for the social educational practice. Social educators participated in the hearing and there were a lot of interesting perspectives on the lack of research in certain areas. This was a great opportunity to make politicians focus on our field.


It would be very interesting to hear about other celebrations in the world. Please feel free to use the AIEJI site for this purpose. Maybe we can inspire each other in general – or get ideas to celebrations next year – whether we’re talking local, organizational and maybe political happenings. All levels are important when we celebrate our day!


A seminar about unaccompanied refugee minors


As a part of AIEJIs focus on unaccompanied refugee children and young people the Italian organization ANEP played host to a range of interested professionals working with or studying this group of minors. This seminar in Rome was a great opportunity to share knowledge and listen to experts from the field.


As part of the AIEJI project the results of interviews with a) social educators working with unaccompanied refugee minors b) unaccompanied refugee young people – were presented. The results were from Israel, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Denmark. A picture of a very challenging job was drawn. And regarding the minors a picture of very challenging life conditions was drawn.


The backgrounds of the minors are very different: Some of them flee from civil wars, a life as a soldier, conflicts and poverty, others from from violent families or very bad relations in families or communities. Some come from refugee camps, and others from ressorcefull homes and maybe they are educated. Some arrive in boats with too many persons, others with flights, and otgers have been running most of the way. Some has an uncle or an aunt in the new country, some have nobody. Some want to be reunited with their families, and some would rather die. But everybody has one thing in common: They all left an unwished life situaion in hope for something better.


At the seminar Viviana Valastro from Save the Children in Italy talked about working in the field with the minors, and Federica Sorge, Lawyer in Association Rights Project in Italy, talked about the minors’ legal status. Niccola Titta, supervisor at an Italian foster home for minors (member of ANEP) talked about the children and young peoples background, their arrivals and their challenges, the crucial work of the social educator and the need for a system that include and work for this group of minors.


Concerning the AIEJI project, Anna Sito (who has assisted the project due to her master in International Cooperation and Intercultural Mediation) also presented important publications being of great relevance for the project – hereby Statement of Good Practice, UNHCR, UNICEF, 2009.


I want to thank ANEP for doing a great job with the seminar, and especially Elena Molteni who is also in the AIEJI board – she did an outstanding job in setting up the seminar. Also a big thank you to Thomas Vollmer from Switzerland who had a very important role in summarizing the seminar and leading the workshops.

If you want to know more about the seminar please have a look at this link


Coming AIEJI activities


28th and 29th November we’ll have the next board meeting and the project about unaccompanied refugee minors will be part of the agenda – here by also the arrangement of a seminar on the issue in Brazil in spring 2015. The meeting takes place in Milan. The plan was that the meeting should be in Israel – in extension to a seminar about unaccompanied refugee children and young people, also with the partcipation of a Palestinian organisation. But the situation in this part of the world made us move the board meeting to Milan and cancel the seminar.


Emmanuel Grupper from the board worked very hard on realisation of both board meeting and seminar in Israel – but the political reality catched up with us. I’ll finish this newsletter by wishing all the best for the situation in this part of the world. Hopefully peace and dialogue will mark the future and give hope to all the people who are affected.


Best wishes


Benny Andersen

(President of AIEJI)





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