Annual international seminar “Young qualified workers: empowerment and participation strategies in the Baltic States and EU” will be held in May 27-29, 2021. The seminar will deal with the importance of qualification for young workers for themselves and their integration and further development in the labour market, but also for social development. A key question is what steps are necessary to integrate young people successfully and sustainably into the new world of work – also taking into account the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The employability of young people is seen as a cornerstone of social development. Particular attention is paid to the digital economy and new business models resulting from it which require special knowledge and skills. The seminar will host experts from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Link to EZA webpage.
Journal for Social work development “Sociālais darbs Latvijā” [“Social work in Latvia’] (Nr. 1, 2021) has published an article by Rector of Latvian Christian academy prof. Skaidrīte Gūtmane “Transforming attitude towards client: An experience of the Antioch anthropological and theolocial school”. The publication presents the concept of the Academy as rooted in the Christian Church heritrage. Link to the publication here (in Latvian, annotated in English, PDF).
Latvian Christian academy has received the updated ERASMUS Charter for higher education, 2021-2027. The Charter offers vast opportunities for students’ and teachers’ mobility around the world. The Charter text available here.
“Semaines Sociales de France” – IXE-group held another online meeting in March 12-13, 2021. The topic for the meeting and discussions was “Glasgow as a new landmark of sustainability: Realizing the green transition through global efort”. At the end of gthe meeting the joint Statement was accepted stating that “neither in pandemic nor in climate crisis can anybody be saved alone. We recognize that efforts at the individual and community level are indispensable and instead of falling back to our previous habits, we are called to convert to a positive approach to living sustainably during and after the pandemic […] climate change, global poverty and inequality are impeding the foundation of the common home.” Latvian Christian academy was represented by its Rector prof. Skaidrite Gūtmane. The Initiative of Christians for Europe (IXE) is an association of lay organizations and committed Christians from different European countries. Latvian Chriostian academy is cooperating with IXE since 2004.
Rector of Latvian Christian academy prof. Skaidrite Gūtmane and assist. prof. Guntis Dišlers participated an international conference “The importance of eco-thinking in modern society”. In the Plenary session prof. Gūtmane presented her research of Ecology and Social work client: Anthropological practice of Antioch”, whereas assist. prof. Dišlers joined the section with “Mainlines of the risk society and challenge of Patristics for human ecology”. Both speakers dealt with methodology issues in their presentations. The conference used MS TEAMS for participants’ communication.
An international EZA (“European Center for Worker’s Questions”) seminar on adult education on the European social dialogue in the digital age was held via ZOOM in March 9-10, 2021, from Portugal. Assist. prof. Guntis Dišlers from Latvian Christian academy attended the seminar online. The seminar speakers explained key differences and encouraged to apply diverse teaching methods in the Covid pandemic time.
COVID-19 has dramatically influenced all our lives around the globe both personally and nationally. Virus has taken thousands around the world, creating psychological, social, economic crises. Latvian Christian academy has come up with several publications dealing with the issue and recovery beyond the pandemic: Gūtmane S. Zināsim vairāk, izdarīsim labāk. [Knowing More, Doing Better], (journal […]
The European Centre for Workers’ Questions (EZA) mourns the death of its co-founder and Honorary President Leo Pauwels, in 19 October 2020 at the age of 84. We at Latvian Christian academy were priveldged to know Leo since beginning of EZA extension in Latvia in 2004.
Leo Pauwels was President of EZA from 07.11.1998 to 02.12.2006. The General Assembly elected him Honorary President in 2006 after his retirement as President.
Leo was a European through and through. For him, education was an essential element for human freedom and for the development and strengthening of democracy.
Since 1960 Leo was active for the Christian labour movement in Flanders. His untiring commitment to workers’ rights and decent work was deeply rooted in his faith and deep conviction that Christian social teaching could make an essential contribution and be a source of inspiration for shaping the economic order and the world of work.
From the very beginning in the mid-1980s and especially after the opening of the Iron Curtain, Leo has shaped all the steps towards the foundation and further development of EZA, so that from the five founding countries a Europe-wide network with 70 members in 30 countries has grown. He brought with him his rich knowledge of the Christian workers’ movement in Europe and his conviction of the importance of European integration.
Leo was therefore also significantly involved in the development of the EUCDW.
Without Leo the European Social Week in its present form would not be conceivable. Since the first European Social Week in 1997 in the European Parliament in Brussels, the exchange between representatives of workers’ organisations, employers’ associations, science, churches and politics about basic Christian social values as a compass and how they can be translated into concrete political action was close to his heart.
With Leo we are losing a cornerstone of our network and a friend.
We are grateful for all the encounters we have had with Leo over the years. He managed to bring people together and to integrate them, to be a source of strength for others. With his optimism, his creativity, his sense of mysticism and beauty, his devotion he has touched our souls and left traces that remain. His life will continue to be a source of inspiration for EZA.
All our sympathy goes to Leo’s wife Ann, his children and grandchildren.
We live in the confidence that he will return home to God.
“Semaines Sociales de France” (SSF) and the “Central Committee of German Catholics” (ZdK) think-tank “IXE-Group” (“Initiatives of Christians for Europe”) have published Statement “On Human Dignity and Solidarity as Pillars for a New European Asylum System”. The meeting between the Think-tank IXE-Group members (D, D, ES, CZ, LU, F, PL – also GB present) was held in Madrid, October 9-10, 2020 (partially online via ZOOM). ector of Latvian Christian academy prof. Skaidrīte Gūtmane attended the meeting. The discussion touched an integrated and comprehensive approach to the multidimensional migration policy in the EU member states. The Document is available here: 201012 IXE statement asylum en final
Consortium “BE-YOUNG Strategic partnerships for interdisciplinary research in modern Social work issues” organized online ZOOM discussions between partners (Klaipeda University, Biolostok University, Warsaw University, Malmo University) in October 5, 2020. Discussions were focused on interdisciplinarity and other methodological aspects of “Module for SW education”. The discussion was hosted by Latvian Christian academy.