The International Cardijn Association (ICA) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to serve the present and future generations of young workers throughout the world.

Officially created in September 1998 on the initiative of the International YCW, the ICA mission is to provide financial support to the projects implemented by young workers in order to improve their capacities to take responsibilities and to change their living and working conditions. In this direction those young people can find the place they deserve in society and the dignity inherent in all human beings.

Throughout his life, Cardijn, who founded the International YCW in 1957, never ceased to disseminate his message that “Each young worker is worth more than all the gold in the world.” Convinced that this message is still true today, the ICA wants to help young people – apprentices or unemployed, domestic workers, workers in the informal economy, casual workers, those exploited in export-processing zones, those excluded from society – to carry out projects which will allow them to live with dignity.

For its functioning, the ICA relies on a team of volunteers who are involved in raising funds. Those funds come from donations by people or movements wishing to support a just cause: that of young workers. The capital is invested ethically and the interests are used to fund projects which are initiated by movements or groups of young workers who struggle to change their living and working conditions. Decent jobs, reasonable working hours, adequate salaries, weekly day-offs, the eradication of sexual and moral harassment, social protection for all … are the focus of the struggle to be carried out in a globalized world, where human beings often feel powerless when faced with walls of injustice.
By providing financial support to young workers’ projects, the ICA simply wants to contribute to building a society with more justice and a world with more solidarity.

ICA Meeting: A Dynamic Commitment Towards the YCW Centenary

The weekend of February 16-18 took us to Belgium, to the Management Committee of the International Cardijn Association (ICA). This team is composed of people from different generations of IYCW leaders and the current International Secretariat. Basma, Leizyl, Cecilia, Arlindo, Michele, Mardi, Bernhard and Marinete attended the meeting.

The objectives of the meeting were, among others, to get an overview of the current situation of the movement in the different countries, to evaluate the general activity of the IYCW and to plan for the coming years, with particular emphasis on the celebration of the CENTENARY of the YCW.

Jo Weber, a key actor in the YCW!

A few days ago, our friend Jo Weber celebrated his 90th birthday, and we would like to pay tribute to him!

Josef Weber was born in Alsace on 28 February 1934. He grew up in Lingolsheim, a small town near Strasbourg.

Jo played a key role in shaping the International JOC, as an activist at local level, as full-time coordinator of the French YCW, and later as European Secretary and International Treasurer. He was a close collaborator of Josef Cardijn, and after the death of the latter, he initiated the International Cardijn Foundation (ICF), the forerunner organization of today's International Cardijn Association (ICA).

Jo Weber was the main organizer of the European Rally to Strasbourg in the summer of 1964, which brought together 25,000 young workers from all over the continent and was a powerful demonstration of organized working-class youth in Europe. The congress with 300 delegates presented to the Council of Europe the “Working Youth Manifesto” and drew public attention to the situation of young workers in Europe.

Bartolo Perez: A Chronology of The Life of a YCW Activist Who Remained a YCW Activist All His Life

Bartolo 1

Bartolo Perez was born in São Paulo (Brazil) on November 20, 1925.

He was a teacher and trainer at the University of Porto Alegre. Of Spanish origin, his parents, Francisco and Josefa, arrived in Brazil during the immigration period in the early 20th century.

At the age of 14, he began working as an apprentice turner in a small auto parts factory. It was in this factory, in 1942, that 16-year-old Bartolo Perez met young Emídio, a YCW activist who helped him look at reality: "I was very curious to know what dignity was, what it meant," Bartolo said in an interview a few years ago.

Thus, the young worker’s awareness was raised and he started carrying out militant actions with his comrades. One of the first actions was to go to the union to denounce the working situation of young people in the factory.

This is how Bartolo joined the YCW group in the Mooca neighborhood in the Sao Paulo region.