Crossing Borders

Walking with young people in need: a look behind the scenes

Conference in September 27 2018

All presenations are aviable on:

9.00: Welcome

9.30 – 11.00:

- Opening: fragments from a diary

On the road from Belgium to Italy (10’)

- ‘Making Europe move: how ideas can change life and society’

Overview and results of the Erasmus+project ‘Between Ages: Network for Young Offenders and NEET’ (Karsten König – Fachhochschule Dresden – coordinator BANetwork) (25’)

- ‘Hiking towards the future’

A short documentary about long-distance hiking with young people in need by Alba (BE) & Seuil (FR) (Director Roberta Cortella) (15’)

- ‘Les marches éducatives de Seuil’

An overview of the results of the research on the walking projects of Seuil by ProEthique Conseil (20’)

- Associazione Lunghi Cammini: first experiences with walking with young people in Italy (10’)

- Skypecall with Roberta Cortella

Live and direct to one of the first hikes in Italy (10’)

11.30 – 12.30: On my way to Compostela

Together with a youngster who did a 3 months hike we will share with you our Oikotenmethod. And shed a light on what works in long-distance hiking. (Stef Smits & Sophie Boddez – Alba vzw)

12.30 – 13.30: Lunch

13.30 – 15.00: Presentations (each 30’)

- Narrative ways to rehabilitation (the biographical interview) - Els Wouters (Clinical Psychologist, Systemic & Narrative therapist. Associated to Interactie-Academie Antwerpen and working at Elim, psycho-therapeutical centre and Agora, therapeutical and formation centre)

Young people with deviant or delinquent behavior (drugs, violence, loverboy circuits, school dropout…) return to their daily life after a long hike. Their renewed good intentions, the different experiences and new ideas gained in this period of walking risk to disappear quickly. In a biographical interview we try to connect the different moments in their lives and re-connect them with meaningful individuals and values. Parents, family members, friends or social workers are direct or indirect witnesses of this layered, reflecting process. In this way, we integrate their experiences into a more coherent life story, both for the youngster and the other parties involved.

- In search of the essence of the relationship youngster-companion in the long-distance hikes of Alba - Yvan Houtteman (lector philosophy HoGent/ex-companion Alba)

Based on analysis of interviews with young people who walked the Camino with Alba, Yvan investigates what they experienced as essential and specific in their relationship with their companion. Can their interpretation be linked to recent ‘reclaiming youth’ theories such as ‘The circle of courage’ and ‘The virtues project’?

- Long-distance walking and effectivity: from output to outcome - Stefaan Pleysier (Prof. Dr. Faculty of Law KU Leuven and director of the Leuven Institute for Criminology (LINC))

Critical reflections on ‘what works’ and ‘what helps’; on recidivism and desistance.

15.00 – 16.30: Panel discussion: first hand testimonials

Young people in need walk for 3 months. But who are the other parties involved in the process? Testimonies and discussion. (Moderated by Kris Verhaege/journalist VRT)

16.30: Long-distance walking in the new youth welfare system - Stefaan Van Mulders (Head of Administration Youth Welfare)

17.00: Closing moment: ‘ex-young walkers’ today

Language: Dutch – simultaneously translated to French and English

Photos: König, FHD



Preveous Conference:

The dialog of Law and Social Work - Recht und Soziale Arbeit im Dialog

A conference of the Fachhochschule Dresden (FHD) University of Applied Science.

In the "Deutsches Hygienemuseum" Dresden, 14.03.2018

Presentations can be seen here:

Resarch on long-distance-walking projects

Aim of this project is, to connect more European initiatives, which work on walking with NEET's and offenders or plan to do such projects. Therefore we established a questionnaire, and would ask al initiatives in Europe working in this field, to ansver some questions. If you agree during the process, we might publish also information about your project on our website.

Online questionnaire: