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.

In Baudour, a small town in Wallonia (Belgium), former YCW members have kept the values of the YCW alive for over 40 years!


When they welcomed the IYCW secretary-general (Orlando) and the ICA coordinator (Arlindo) last July, several former YCW members had the opportunity to meet and exchange on the realities and challenges of the IYCW and the ICA. Moreover, a delegation of the Walloon YCW came to join us. It was also an opportunity to present the different projects carried out by several former YCW members. Without giving a detailed description, the place is home to a collective vegetable garden, where some fifteen gardeners get together one day a week to grow various vegetables and share a common meal with products from the garden. The main objective of the garden is to encourage people to live together, creating social links through a vegetable garden which, it should be noted, does not use any pesticides.

The other initiative is a "Repair Café". This is a project that gives a second life to various electrical appliances, machines, clothes, tools, after being repaired for free by volunteer technicians. This is a way to fight against the overproduction of waste and thus preserve our environment.

News from the ICA: Welcome to our New Members!

ICA election

There was an election at the ICA General Assembly held last February, and the following people were elected:

  • Bernhard Bormann, a former member of the German YCW, was a member of the IYCW International team. He is currently working as a regional secretary of the KAB (Catholic Worker movement) in Rothenburg-Stuttgart. Bernhard represents the continuity, ensuring the bridge with the new advisors as he started to cooperate with the IYCW two years ago, in particular for the organization of the European Colloquy held in 2019.
  • Marinete Alves Bayer was a member of the IYCW International Team from 1983 to 1987. She is a former YCW member from Brazil who lives in Spain. She is currently involved in several local social organizations in Spain and is very active in the Joseph Cardijn Educational Encounter Association.
  • Michele Di Nanno was also a member of the IYCW International Team from 1983 to 1987. He is originally from Italy and is a former member of the Walloon YCW (Belgium). Very active and coordinator within the movement of permanent and popular education in Belgium, Michele will act as a bridge between the ICA and the Belgian particularities, as the IYCW secretariat is located in Brussels.
  • Finally, Ludovicus Mardiyono was president of the International YCW from 2012 to 2016 and he was also president of the Indonesian YCW. He is the "most recent former member" of the IYCW. With his communication skills, he will assist the IYCW and the ICA, among others in editing and publishing website articles and newsletters that will be produced to keep you informed about actions and views on issues of importance to youth and the IYCW.