November 13, 1882: 140th anniversary of the birth of Cardijn who, through the IYCW, keeps the flame of hope alive in the hearts of millions of young people

Cardijn was born on November 13, 1882. The 140th anniversary of his birth will be celebrated in the church of Our Lady of Laeken, Belgium on November 13, 2022 at 11:15 am. You are welcome to attend! You could also organize a celebration wherever you are!

Cardijn 140e anniv

In the church of Our Lady of Laeken, there is a very simple tomb: the tomb of Joseph Cardijn, the founder of the YCW, who died in 1967 at the age of 85.

A sentence is written on the wall: A young worker is worth more than all the gold in the world. It is a CRY, a CRY of denunciation of a dominant system that destroys personal dignity, solidarity, the environment...

It is a CRY of demand, a goal of action and struggle, a rallying CRY. That sentence sums up the feeling that drove Joseph Cardijn deep inside.

His family belonged to a very modest social class. To his father, on his deathbed, he had sworn that he would put his whole life at the service of all young people who had to go to work sometimes as young as nine, 12 hours a day, in unsanitary conditions and without real social protection. Their living and working conditions were gradually destroying their dreams and their personal development.

Have the conditions of young people in the world fundamentally changed today? Generally- speaking, economic exclusion and youth unemployment are only two of the major challenges facing youth. Indeed, many young people in the so-called developing countries are out of work, out of school, or working in the informal sector. And in the so-called developed countries, they are also often forced to accept temporary jobs, precarious contracts, unpaid and unregulated apprenticeships, or to accept the status of "bogus self-employment".

Concerned by these situations, the IYCW has just organized its 15th International Council in Peru from October 26 to November 7. The delegates could discuss and analyze together the actions carried out by the different national branches and at the international level. The measures taken because of the pandemic had a hard impact, and although young workers were under lockdown, their actions were not, and they continued to tackle the common problems existing around the world. Through the See-Judge-Act method and the inspiration of Joseph Cardijn, the International YCW continues to adapt to the different contexts in which young people are. And the movement invites them to go "Forward", following the very call of its founder.

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