Local Luxembourg Red Cross – Differdange Youth Section
The young members of the Luxembourg Red Cross’ Youth Section in Differdange are very active and regularly organise events and projects to raise awareness for the Red Cross and its principles.
- To offer educational activities to young individuals to allow them to develop their individual personalities and to encourage social awareness;
- To regroup individuals of all nationalities and backgrounds around an engaging voluntary work experience in the community of Differdange and its surroundings;
- To motivate and help young individuals organize social and humanitarian projects;
- To foster a close partnership with Red Cross Youth activities;
- To encourage exchange and collaborations with other youth organisations in the community.
All young individuals from the age of 9 and up are welcome to join the group. Every week the group meets on Saturday from 9am-5pm. The four Saturdays in a month are divided in the following manner: two “discovery days” (Wëssensdaag), one “project planning day” (Virbereedungsdaag), and one “project day” (Projektdaag).
The youth members propose days with different topics according to their interests. The chosen topics are then researched in smaller groups. After finishing planning and preparing the projects/topics, the individual groups present their findings to the other members. Older volunteers, who lead the discussions among the younger members, propose and present current topics that focus on social and humanitarian matters. Other discussed topics include precautionary measures for risk prevention (regarding lifestyle, alcohol, drugs, etc.)
Project Planning Days
These days are dedicated to thinking and reflecting about the projects the group has committed to and wishes to develop. These projects serve to finance some of the Section’s activities; however, they also encourage other young peers to join this social effort and volunteer.
Examples of projects:
- Organising a rally
- Holding an information stand during events
- Doing activities with the elderly
- Participating in Red Cross events
- Making amateur films
- Participating in international youth projects
These days are dedicated to the final preparations for the projects and the organisation of the necessary materials, flyers, and items needed for the different occasions.
Every year, recreational activities and sports or cultural visits are organised for the most dedicated young members. The merit is based on days present and the personal investment in and contributions toward the section’s work in local activities. Examples of such activities and visits include: a weekend skiing, a weekend discovery of canoeing and kayaking, Halloween night, a day of carting, a visit to the zoo or to an amusement park, etc.
Prix Mérite Jeunesse
The “Prix Mérite Jeunesse” (Youth merit award) is an excellent way to motivate young individuals to engage themselves in different activities of voluntary work. On January 24, 2008, His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Luxembourg Jean, Prince Guillaume, and the Minister Marie-Josée Jacobs submitted the Mérite Jeunesse insignia to 98 young individuals from around the country after having proven their capacities in the following categories: skill, expedition, voluntary work, and sports. 11 young members of the Red Cross’ Differdange Youth Section received bronze awards.
“In November 2003, after a friend informed me about the different activities, I joined the Red Cross’ Youth Section in Differdange. I attended the first session and was immediately hooked. The “Mérite Jeunesse” award was a unique experience. For the expedition, we planned a trip to Berg where I helped mentor and supervise young children. We organised a really fun Halloween party. I also helped with a cooking activity which I, even though I’m not a big fan of cooking, really enjoyed. I learned that I can enjoy any activity if I am part of a motivated group. On December 6, 2007, dressed as angels, Father Christmas and Knecht Ruprecht, we visited the elderly at the Chomé home in Luxembourg City. It was really fun. “Cindy, 16 years old, young volunteer with the Youth Section in Differdange.