Monday, 22 February 2010

Letter from the Chair

Dear DARE Network members, friends and colleagues,

2010 is the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. Despite the fact that the European Union (EU) is one of the richest regions in the world, 17% of its citizens do not have the resources to meet their basic needs. It is often the most vulnerable -- children, minorities, persons with disabilities, the elderly -- that live in poverty.

Obviously, there is not one magic solution to end poverty. However, as educators we have a particular responsibility to address poverty and social exclusion in the educational realm. Some of the strategies recommended by the EU that pertain to education and training include:
  • encourage involvement and political commitment from each and every segment of society to participate in preventing poverty and social exclusion;
  • inspire each and every European citizen to participate in the struggle against poverty and social exclusion;
  • and help deconstruct stereotypes and stigmas attached to poverty and social exclusion.
I am pleased that our network has taken up the challenge of addressing poverty and social exclusion through our activities and programming. In 2010 DARE will try to raise awareness, and initiate or strengthen ongoing efforts, aimed at preventing social exclusion. During the first DARE conference of this year ("Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion in Europe through Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education in Adult Learning", Glasgow, 4-5 March), we will be able to take stock of, and learn about and from existing initiatives to tackle poverty. I hope to see many of you in Glasgow and would like to extend a special thank you to our host BEMIS (Black and Ethnic Minorities Infrastructure in Scotland).

Warm regards,

Frank Elbers