11 Apr

An Anthropology of Liberation – ATD Summer Campus 2016


The ATD Campus is an annual seminar of ATD International, organized by its Research Centre.

It offers researchers and professionals an opportunity to share their work and their questions related to chronic poverty and the commitments necessary to bring poverty to an end.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, it offers also the opportunity to study in depth how the ideas of Joseph Wresinski (1917-1988), founder of All Together in Dignity, are relevant to today’s issues.

Research and various approaches related to chronic poverty and social exclusion raise ethical, methodological and epistemological questions. Discussion sheds light on these questions in a new way for academics, researchers and practitioners at various levels.

Their highly diverse backgrounds ensure a dialogue that is both open and rooted in real
life. Ever since its first session in 2003, each annual ATD Campus has been an opportunity to learn from one another while remaining open to the questions raised by the expectations of excluded populations.

Campus is also a convivial time with opportunities for informal meetings and discussions. For this reason participants are invited to stay at the International Centre of ATD in the Val d’Oise area of France, outside of Paris for the duration of the seminar. The seminar can accommodate sixty participants. In 2015, the working languages will be English, French and Spanish.

Campus 2016 will take place from 22 August to 26 August 2016 at the International Congress Center of ATD Fourth World located in Pierrelaye (Val d’Oise). It’s central question will be:  An Anthropology of Liberation –  Understanding humankind in the face of extreme poverty

Read more about this central question…

“As we approach the centenary of the birth of Joseph Wresinski (1917-2017), we would like, during the next Campus, to think about the human condition with those who have the direct experience of extreme poverty, including Wresinski (he came from poverty himself, died in 1988 leaving a vast legacy of his experience and thinking in written and audio-visual forms).

For the five days of the ATD Campus, as we « live together in order to think together », we want to share and merge our insight on the human being: a being of many relations, where the family dimension and that of a people have particular importance, like communities of hope rather than of conditions; where the liberation of each person is a condition for the liberation of everybody.

Researchers and practitioners, new volunteers in training from ATD worldwide, students working on their theses, are all invited to think together about what it means to be a human person facing unbearable poverty today. Such poverty tends to deeply dehumanize us: not only the men, women and children who suffer it, but also those who tolerate it, and even contribute to it.

In a communal effort against what tends to dehumanize us, all minds count, starting with the intelligence of those who are most excluded. How can this be taken into account so as to build with the intelligence of everyone a society that welcomes everybody? How can we end this incredible waste of intelligence and sensibility, so often ignored, when it conceals a treasure of inventiveness for resisting difficult situations?

Facing this situation that some believed to be hopeless, Joseph Wresinski collected many acts of resistance to poverty, firmly convinced that deep down every human being rejects poverty for himself and for others. What kind of resistance are we called to, from the resistance of those who are living through poverty? How can we withstand the ignorance that we have about each other, which seems to be at the root of exclusion? Is it an anthropology of liberation that Wresinski offers, a notion of mankind in the act of finding freedom? These are the questions which will guide the reflection of Campus 2016!”.

Contact: etudes.recherche@atd-quartmonde.org

05 Apr

A letter from France – Djynamo European Youth Meeting

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‘It’s worth helping others. In the future you may need to get help. We are not created in the world to just be for ourselves but to help others’

A Report from our Trip to Paris and Champeaux for the European Djynamo Youth Meeting from April 1st – April 3rd 2016

We came to Champeaux from ATD Ireland as four delegates to the Djyanmo weekend to meet young people from different cultures and countries.

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We were excited to participate with young people from other countries including Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, France and Poland. The Weekend consisted of young people discussing and participating in workshop activities the are relevant to ATD and issues around Europe that effect them. We chose to participate in different workshops on communication, migration and ideas about what could happen in 2017 to celebrate and spread the message of ATD.

We watched videos and presentations about activities each group uses in their home countries such as a football tournament, communication games using pictures, movie nights and day trips. We learned ideas on how to we could improve ATD group meetings with young people in Ireland and we are glad to have these ideas to take these home with us.

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We had a special bond with the Polish group because we spent several hours in Paris sight-seeing on the day we arrived and as part of the communication workshop we interviewed Ania, Hubert and the translator Ursula. We were interested in what they knew about Ireland; what they understood of housing issues in Ireland; and what housing and homelessness is like in Poland.

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The Polish and Irish Delegates under the Eiffel Tower

We shared a little on current housing issues in Ireland. Firstly, there was the response to what people knew about Ireland – Hubert and Ania identified the little man associated with Ireland and others chipped into say the little man has gold and treasure – Aaron and Elaine told them it was the leprechaun they were talking about. They knew of St. Patrick’s day having seen it on posters. Ursula knew it is close to Great Britain, felt it is a Catholic country and recently she had visited an exhibition on the Easter Rising of 1916 which we had explained in our presentation was a significant day for Irish people. She was surprised to hear that there are many Polish people living in Ireland.

The Polish knew little about housing in Ireland apart from what we had said earlier in the weekend – that there is a housing crisis, that homelessness is increasing all the time and there is a lack of social and low cost housing, especially in Dublin. Hubert felt that difficulties in housing in Ireland were probably the same as many other European countries.

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The Polish and Irish Delegates at the Human Rights and Poverty Stone in Paris

Ursula said that she felt the homelessness and poverty in the country side was worse than in the city. She feels that she sees less people on the streets in Warsaw and Polish cities than in other European cities she has been in. She wondered if perhaps it is more hidden and added that she did not know much about poverty and homelessness in Poland being from a relatively privileged background. Unfortunately we did not get to interview Beata whom Ursula suggested could tell us a lot more. Ursula thinks there are not enough social houses in Poland and that house prices in Warsaw are very high. She said that housing difficulties was not big feature of the Polish media – rather healthcare and general politics feature more.

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Ania, Aaron and Hubert

Ania and Hubert spoke together on the issue of housing and said that from their point of view homelessness in Warsaw is a big problem – they are not sure of how many but both see a lot of homeless people on the streets, espcially in the centre or the old city. Because the cities are bigger, the problem of homelessness and expensive housing is worse. The aim for ATD in Poland is the same as ATD all over the world – to help others- especially poor people, the excluded and those not tolerated. Homeless people in Warsaw are told to get off the trains and are not respected by others even though they are the same as everyone else. There are homeless shelters in Warsaw but not all the people want to be there or keep the rules. Hubert gives money to the homeless people sometimes. The Government does not have a good approach to the problem. Caritas, a Church related, Polish charity Hubert and Ania are involved with gives out secondhand clothes, has Christmas events and helps homeless children and adults. Hubert feels its important to help others as we all need help sometimes and we need to come together.

The weekend was very interesting for us, gave us a great opportunity to meet other young people and to learn lots of new skills and to learn about the difficulties in other countries that are similar to Ireland. We would recommend anyone who is interested to take the opportunity to attend Djynamo Youth meeting in the future.

Aaron and Elaine from the Irish Delegation


02 Apr

An ATD Ireland Delegation will contribute to a MEPs meeting in Brussels!

Update! Here some pictures of the Irish Delegation in Brussels
and of its meeting with Mairead McGuinness,
Irish MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament!

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All Together in Dignity Ireland is pleased to prepare a delegation which will  attend the next meeting of the MEP Intergroup “Fighting against Poverty in Defence of Human Rights” to be held on Wednesday, 6 April at 12.45pm – 2.30pm in room PHS 5B001 in the European Parliament building in Brussels.

This meeting will present participants with the opportunity to share thoughts on the topic of a minimum income for all. Some of the questions that will be addressed are as follows: Minimum Income: a dignified life for all? What options are currently being considered? What are the advantages and disadvantages? How can progress be made at the European level?

Fintan Farrell, the Acting Director of the European Anti-Poverty Network will be speaking at the event, as will Antero Kiviniemi, Counsellor for Social Policy, Labour and Employment,
Representation of Finland to the EU and members of ATD Fourth World from Belgium and Italy. (Full programme here)

A delegation from ATD Ireland will be travelling to take part in this meeting and if possible to give their input as “expert by experience” in relation to this important subject.

The European Parliament MEPs intergroup “Fighting against poverty in defence of Human Rights has existed since 1980 and will continue throughout the 2014-2019 mandate to defend the interests of Europe’s most deprived citizens, and to provide a structure for dialogue and consultation in order to enable Europe’s most deprived to have a voice at European level.

The intergroup considers poverty to be an attack on human dignity and on fundamental rights. Inequality continues to rise in Europe, as do the number of people living in poverty, or at risk of poverty its work remains of the utmost importance. By creating structures to enable dialogue and consultation, in order to redirect policies, each European – including those whose voices are so rarely heard in the European institutions – can find their place. The intergroup’s objective is to introduce these concerns into the work of the European Parliament and to analyse legislative proposals with these concerns in mind.

More about the Intergoup here.