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.

Last but not least, there is a second hand shop which helps precarious people and families or citizens who have chosen to combat clothing waste. Through the exchanges that followed, it became clear that we were leading common struggles on issues such as fighting for more social justice, for the respect of the environment or for the right to health and universal social security. The health crisis that is affecting all continents but is hitting the poorest populations even harder was also discussed.

In the YCW, there is no meeting without a convivial moment: so at the end we had a barbecue, followed by a dessert made by Concetta, our YCW pastry chef, all washed down with a glass of wine or beer, and we left with the firm intention of repeating this type of fraternal meeting.

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About the International Cardijn Association


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.