On the 5th February 2022, de Hoge Rielen Youth Centre (Kasterlee, Belgium) received officially the Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres in an award ceremony that was held in the presence of Mr Benjamin Dalle, Flemish Minister of Brussels, Youth and Media and Ms Antje Rothemund, Head of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe.
De Hoge Rielen Youth Centre was granted the Quality Label in 2020, following an evaluation visit of an international expert team in 2019. Due to the pandemic the award ceremony could only take place this year in the setting of the cultural festival WinterWarm. The festival was organised in close collaboration with local partners, and it gathered around 70 participants from youth organisations, young people and government representatives.
“De Hoge Rielen is the fourteenth youth centre in Europe and – alongside sister organisation Destelheide-Hanenbos Youth Centre in Dworp – the second in Belgium and Flanders to receive the Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres.”, said Bert Mellebeek, Director of de Hoge Rielen Youth Centre. “We are extremely pleased with this prestigious Quality Label, it helps us to develop and strengthen international cooperation with other youth centres in Europe.”
De Hoge Rielen aims to promote the values of the Council of Europe – democracy, rule of law and human rights in different ways – in their daily functioning, in activities, but also by literally bringing it into the picture. To express their commitment to human rights, they plan to draw comic illustrations on children’s rights with the help of artists. These comics will be reflected on giant stickers on the premises of de Hoge Rielen, and they aim to serve as a starting point for discussing human rights with children and youth.