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Youth Encounter in India in the context of today's crises

May 4 – 8, 2009, Tamil Nadu, India


In the face of today’s global challenges, financial, economic and climate crises, social and cultural tensions, young people are called upon – and themselves demand – to take part in reflecting upon and contributing to alternative policies and solutions that urgently need to be put in place. (See background paper on youth data and issues).

The initiative of an Asian encounter-workshop in India (Tamil Nadu) from May 4-8, 2009 will be the occasion for some 30 socially active young leaders, aged between 20 and 30 years, representing various organizations and different social, cultural and religious backgrounds, to come together and tackle from their own point of view the present issues and problems that concern young people today. While the majority of participants will come from Asia, representatives from other continents will also be invited to enrich the discussions and set the way for similar initiatives planned by DCLI and its network in the other regions (Africa, Middle East, Latin America, Europe).

For DCLI, this workshop in Asia marks the initial steps of a long-term, international process of collective reflection and actions involving young people, within DCLI’s two main thematic lines of work: “dialogue of civilisations and people’s development” and “relationships between civil society and public authorities”.

Organising partners

The encounter-workshop is co-organized by DCLI (Développement et Civilisations - Lebret-Irfed), an international network of development actors, whose office is based in France, AREDS (Association for Rural Education and Development Service), an Indian organization in Tamil Nadu defending Dalit rights, and SWATE (Society of Women in Action for Total Empowerment) which federates all women self-help groups in the fight for equality and against oppression, with whom DCLI has been working in partnership for already many years now.

The cooperation with AREDS and SWATE is particularly significant for the pivotal role that these two organizations can play for developing such an international initiative due to their long experience at grassroots work, especially on issues concerning young women, men and children. AREDS-SWATE youth will thus be both hosting and participating in the encounter, which will take place in their Desmond d’Abreo Development Center in Karur, Tamil Nadu.

General and Specific Objectives

  • Provide the opportunity for young leaders to directly express their vision, analyses, demands and responses, facing today’s situation of planetary crises.
  • Expose them to the approaches of other young persons from other backgrounds, countries and organizations. Reinforce links, common work, and solidarity actions.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of young people’s situations and capacity to build alternatives and solutions.
  • Enrich DCLI’s reflection on its priority issues (“dialogue between civilizations and people’s development”; “civil society - public authority relationships”) through its work with young people. Increase the impact, scope and sustainability of its network’s actions.

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