News

  1. Universal Day of Prayer for Students 2016

    Stories of Faith

    The materials for this year’s celebration were prepared by SCM Britain, on behalf of the Europe Region.

    First celebrated in 1898, the Universal Day of Prayer for Students is observed on the third Sunday of February; in 2016 it is celebrated on February 21st. The UDPS is one of the oldest ecumenical days of prayer.

    Student Sunday collage

     

    This year’s theme is ‘Stories of Faith’ – highlighting faith reflections and experiences of students and young people from around the world and from different contexts. Our British SCM has prepared the 2016 resource toolkit, which will help you run a UDPS-themed service on Sunday 21 February, with prayer points from universities across Britain, stories of faith from around the world, sermon notes, ideas for small groups, reflections from students and worship and liturgy ideas.

    DOWNLOAD YOUR TOOLKIT HERE

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on January 27th, 2016 9:01 am / Continue Reading »

  2. WSCF European Regional Committee is meeting in Helsinki

    Helsinki collage 1

    WSCF European Regional Committee is meeting in Helsinki (Finland) on 4-6 February 2016. This will be the first in-person meeting of the New ERC, elected at the 2015 European Regional Assembly. The Committee counts 11 members.

    The meeting in Helsinki will have two aims: planning of our projects in 2016 and 2017, and meeting Finnish Senior Friends and SCMers.

    You can see your agenda and detailed program points here. For any thoughts or comments, feel free to email Zuzana Babicova at .

    We are grateful for the support of our Senior Friends in Finland who have helped to arrange many practicalities and meeting venue for the ERC meeting. We look forward to meeting SCMers and Senior Friends in Helsinki.

    ERC plus Natia for Helsinki meeting

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on January 25th, 2016 9:01 am / Continue Reading »

  3. Global networking in WSCF-Europe

    Krista map

    WSCF-Europe established the post of Global Networking Coordinator at the European Regional Assembly October 2015.

    Krista Autio was elected to fill this post at the Assembly, and she reports that the past two months have been very interesting and inspiring.

    “My aim was to create a database of contacts for reaching out news from SCM’s of other Regions. This database is under its way. I have collected email addresses, facebook pages and homepage addresses for getting in to contact with people in SCM’s all around the world” – says Krista.

    “For every monthly newsletter I write articles about, and with the help of, SCM’s from other Regions. By December we have released two articles in our monthly newsletter from SCM Indonesia and SCM Canada. The first two newsletters of year 2016 are about SCM Colombia and SCM Jordan.”

    “Part of my networking post is also to help SCM’s from Europe and other Regions to contact each other, establish relationships for sharing projects and ideas, and gather information about what SCM’s do.”

    “If you’re interested in getting help to contact SCM’s in our global family, or you have ideas for articles, please contact me on . You are also welcomed to join my contacts.”

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on January 10th, 2016 8:54 am / Continue Reading »

  4. WSCF-E Office has officially moved

    Piazza Centa 9-2

    Here you have a sneak peek at our new Trento Office location. Starting from 1 January 2016, our new mailing and visiting address is Piazza Centa 9, 38122, Trento.

    You can reach us temporarily by this phone number: +39 348 6807658. The newest number will be always updated in the footer of wscf-europe.org homepage.

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on January 10th, 2016 1:59 pm / Continue Reading »

  5. Global Religious Youth Leaders’ Summit

    Welcoming the Other: Multi-religious Youth Respond to the Challenges of Violent Religious Extremism, Refugee Crisis and Climate Change

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    The summit brought together more than 40 people to Paris for 3 days gathering, 26-28 November 2015, to focus on three topics- climate change, religious extremism and refugee crisis. The main main part of the gathering was contribution of members of RfP International Youth Committee from Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia and Middle East. Among them – two representatives from WSCF- Natalyia Pylypiv (WSCF Europe) and Marcelo Leites (WSCF Latin America) who are appointed representatives from WSCF to serve on International Youth Committee of Religions for Peace International were aiding the summit as resource persons.

    The gathering was facilitated by a Paris based interfaith organisation Coexister which presented its work in the field of dialogue across French plural society. Among many invited speakers were Meherzia Labidi Maiza, Honorary President for Religions for Peace from Tunisia and Jose Henriquez from Pax Cristi who touched upon the topic of the nature of peace being non religious when speaking about refugee crisis. Nataliya Pylypiv also shared her very direct experience with refugees as Human Right Officer in Ukraine.

    Paris- pic 1

    3 days were filled with lectures, discussions and creating of statement on the three main themes. As a group we joined the COP 21 programme of religious organisations on 28 November taking place in the cathedral of St. Dennis and also a gathering of Act Alliance celebrating achievement of faith-based petition urging political leaders at the COP21 climate summit to take action to curb global warming.  From the current board of WSCF Europe, Zuzana Babicova and Annika Foltin joined the summit.  It was once again a very fruitful meeting to get to know other organizations and create connections that can outlast the gathering.

    Group pic-Paris

     

    Paris Summit Statement

    Paris Summit Programme
    ZuzkaZuzana Babicová
    WSCF-Europe Chairperson

     

     

     

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on December 29th, 2015 3:50 pm / Continue Reading »

  6. Palermo Communique

    The WSCF Transition Team and the Executive committee have published an official joint statement, following the Palermo meeting in December 2015.

    Download the Palermo Communique in PDF, or read the whole statement below.
    Note: The Document was updated on January 6, 2015, with a version in which a typing mistake on p. 3 was corrected.

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    Palermo Communique

     

    A joint statement from the members of the
    WSCF Executive Committee and Transition Team

    Dear Member Movements, Senior Friends, Churches and Partners of the WSCF,

    Advent greetings from the members of the Executive Committee and Transition Team!

    We invite you to celebrate with us as we welcome the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, our redeemer, liberator and our peace.  WSCF is a Community of Pilgrims journeying with the people of God in various contexts, we believe that by confessing our sins, acknowledging the need to transform ourselves and affirming our gift of diversity and creativity, we continue to participate in the building of God’s Kingdom in today’s world. After a year of reflections and discernment, we end the year 2015 with a message of thanksgiving and renewed hope for the life and future of the Federation by sharing this Joint Statement from the Executive Committee and Transition Team members.

    Last December 14 to 16, 2015, members of the Executive Committee and the Transition Team held its final meeting at the La Noce Centre, Palermo, Sicily. The meeting was attended by 20 regional representatives of the ExCo, officers, staff and members of the Transition Team. The three-day extra-ordinary ExCo meeting was organized to present the detailed final proposals for change from the Transition Team and the four-year WSCF Strategic Plan prepared by the WSCF Staff Team.

    In the last nine months following the 35th WSCF Bogota General Assembly in March 2015, the Transition Team embarked on a process of implementing the short-term and medium term recommendations of the Future of the Federation (FoF) Report approved by the GA to ensure the future sustainability and stability of WSCF. It organized a Strategic Workshop with the staff and officers in Birmingham in August, sent out questionnaires to the WSCF regional leaderships, former officers and staff, and received proposals and inputs from interest groups within the family of the Federation to develop the proposals for change. At the same time, the Team implemented urgent financial measures to prepare the Federation for strategic changes beginning 2016. Through its collective effort, WSCF paid off the (US) $ 200,000.00 debt to the World Council of Churches (WCC) and is going into 2016 with the prospect of a completely balanced budget in 2017 when all the changes now agreed have taken affect.

    Rationale

    In Palermo, the Executive Committee received the detailed proposals, containing the process and timeline of implementing the proposals from the Transition Team. It also provided the basis and rationale for the proposals gathered from the various stakeholders demonstrating their deep love, commitment and concern for the future of the Federation.

    While the financial crisis triggered the current impetus for reforms within the Federation, equally important factors were also considered in the deliberation of the proposals. First, movement building needs to be at the heart of the work of the Staff Team, second, the WSCF structure should encourage greater participation, democratic decision-making and communication between the global and national movements, third, the need for clarity and stream-lining of bureaucratic process in decision-making, fourth, a reduced and lean operational structure that is flexible and able to adapt to the changing needs of the Federation. Over-all, the Transition Team’s goal was to present a working model of a WSCF structure that is financially sustainable that would lead to long-term stability and a structure that is able to respond to the objectives, mission and vision of WSCF in this current context.

    Summary of the Executive Committee Decisions

    The Executive Committee approved the following major decisions in the following fundamental areas. (1) Executive Staff Team Model: two Co-secretary Generals and six Regional Secretaries, (2) Executive Committee, (3) General Assembly, (4) WSCF IRO Office Location and Relocation, (5) WSCF Financial System.

    1. Co-secretary Generals to Secretary General

    The Executive Committee decided to reduce the number of the global executive staff from two Co-secretary Generals to one Secretary General. This decision required subsequent proposal of a new job description designed for an executive post with the primary responsibility of leading the global work of the Federation and coordinating the staff team in the regions.

    The ExCo also decided to immediately appoint a Secretary General beginning January 2016 with the new Job Description notwithstanding the proposal for constitutional change. Following this decision, the Exco decided to affirm the decision of the ExCo in its meeting dated March 2015, when it received the recommendation of the Search Committee to invite successful shortlisted General Secretary candidates in the Bogota GA to apply for the new position. In addition, the term of office for the Secretary General was changed to four years, renewable for another two years, or a maximum of six years following the new period of the General Assembly.

    Before the meeting concluded, the ExCo appointed Necta Montes, one of the two shortlisted General Secretary candidates in Bogota and current Interim Staff Coordinator as Secretary General of WSCF beginning January 2016.

    1. Regional Secretaries to WSCF Regional Executives and Global Program Directors

    The Executive Committee decided to re-focus the work of the six regional staff to movement building and strategic programming as two core functions. The title of the Regional Secretaries will be changed to Regional Executives and Global Program Directors reflecting the changing nature of their work and priorities, which included major project fundraising, inter-regional connections, capacity building and project communication and visibility. Job descriptions were changed as plan for global coordinate and the integration of strategic programming will be the main feature of work in the next four years. As Executives and Directors, each staff will be assigned to lead one Strategic Programmatic Area and will continue to be based in their current regional location.  This new job-title will be pilot tested in the next two years and will be evaluated by the ExCo members 18 months later, or during its next in-face meeting.

    Subsequently, the following staff members were appointed to these new positions beginning January 2016:

    • Sunita Suna – Regional Executive for Asia Pacific and Global Program Director for Identity, Diversity and Dialogue
    • Luciano Kovacs – Regional Executive for North America and Global Program Director for Advocacy and Solidarity
    • Amos Mushendwa – Regional Executive for Africa and Global Program Director for Bible and Theological Analysis
    • Elsy Wakil – Regional Executive for Middle East and Program Director for Peace Building and Overcoming Violence
    • Marcelo Leites – Regional Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean and Program Director for Eco Justice
    • Natia Tsintsadze – Regional Executive for Europe and Global Program Director for Interfaith

    To ensure the sustainability of this new staff model, a study of the cost of maintaining the regional offices in its current location will be immediately conducted by the regional bodies headed by the regional ExCo representatives using the guidelines recommended by the Transition Team.  This study will be the basis for a decision to relocate the regional offices to ensure its sustainability and effectiveness in implementing its programmatic strategies in the next two years.  Likewise, Regional Committees will discuss the implication of the new model in the next six months as part of the adjustment and re-alignment of expectations. In addition, the ExCo agreed to request a percentage of the Regional Staff salaries to be fund-raised by the regions in the coming years.

    1. The Executive Committee

    The Executive Committee decided to remove the provisions for the two proxies for regional representatives in the ExCo. The two ExCo members elected at the Bogota GA will serve as the proxy of the other in situation where one is unable to attend both online and in-face meetings. ExCo likewise approved provisions for only half of the regional representative members to attend in-face meetings when funding is unable to support a full in-person ExCo meeting.  The ExCo also approved the Statement of Commitment for ExCo Members supporting the need for capacity building and leadership formation for the newly elected members. The ExCo also approved co-opting a Human Resource Development adviser or advisers, preferably senior friend to accompany the members of the Personnel Committee in performing role in human resource work.

    1. The General Assembly

    The Executive Committee affirmed the importance of the in-face General Assembly as the most representative and important expression of our life together in Christ fellowship. The ExCo also decided not to follow the traditional practice of regional rotation of hosting the General Assembly and to hold the event every after six years of interval. It also mandated the creation of the GA Solidarity Fund that aims to raise a target amount of $ 60,000 USD annually to ensure the minimum financial requirement of holding the GA is raised before the GA takes place.

    1. Global operation to move to a WSCF regional office

    The  Executive Committee decided that the global operational work performed the General Secretary will move to one of the regional office of the WSCF, the  exact location to be determined after a study is presented to the ExCo following the criteria prepared by the Transition Team. The Regional Committees are requested to conduct a review of the current location based on the criteria and present these studies to the ExCo after three months and these information will be used by the IRO Office relocation Working Group to determine the location no later than July 2016. The legal and judiciary identity of WSCF remains in Geneva where the WSCF Finance Officer maintains an office with minimal function. The actual operation of the new global office shall commence not later than December 2016. In the meantime, the Secretary General will function from her home station as an interim arrangement.

    1. An Integrated Financial System

    In an effort to systematize the financial operations of the Federation, the ExCo approved the proposal to integrate the reporting and accounting system of the six regions following the global standard and format. This change aims to simplify the financial management system, improve greater financial transparency and reduce the time in producing reports. The ExCo also approved the proposal for cash-pooling as a form of internal financial solidarity and promote regional responsibility and accountability towards the over-all global finance of the Federation.

    1. An On-line Assembly for Constitutional Change

    As a Constitutional body, several aspects of these proposals require changes in the constitution of WSCF. The Executive Committee will begin the process of calling for an on-line General Assembly in January to obtain two third of the vote required to amend the WSCF Constitution in July 2016. We encourage the member movements to discuss with the regional leadership the details of the above decisions of the Executive Committee, its impact and implications in the life of your movement.

    1. Moving Forward with the 2015-2019 Strategic Plan

    The ExCo approved the four-year Strategic Plan of WSCF and the 2016 Annual Operational Plan. As the WSCF aims towards the strategic program integration, it shall focus its work on four cross-cutting themes in the next four years: Eco-justice, Identity Diversity and Dialogue (IDD), Peace Building and Dialogue and Higher Education.  These global cross-cutting themes will be implemented in the following Programmatic Strategies on:

    1. Biblical and Theological Analysis
    2. Advocacy and Solidarity
    3. Ecumenical Transformative Diakonia
    4. Capacity Building
    5. Movement Building

    Conclusion and word of thanks

    As the Transition Team concludes its mandate this December 2015, the Transition Team members express its gratitude to all that have supported, cooperated and prayed for the work of the Team. We thank the members of the WSCF Centennial Fund, EMW, UK Methodist Church, Karibu Foundation, Otto Per Mille of Waldensian Church in Italy, United Church of Canada, United Church of Christ in the USA, Bread for the World, ELCA, SCM Britain for financially supporting us in the various stages of our work and processes.

    To our member movements and senior friend from all the regions, your solidarity and efforts are invaluable.

    Finally, we ask for your continued prayers and cooperation as the Executive Committee, its new leadership, embark on this journey in the implementation of the proposals for change.

    May our Lord Jesus Christ bring Peace and Joy to the world this Advent Season!

    Ut omnes unum sint!

    Members of the WSCF Executive Committee (2015 to 2019)

    Members of the WSCF Transition Team  (May to December 2015)

    23 December 2015

    Palermo, Sicily

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on December 28th, 2015 8:54 am / Continue Reading »

  7. Senior Friend Gathering

    WSCF Senior Friend Gathering 2016

    WSCF-Europe invites Senior Friends from all around the world to gather together and to brainstorm together about the future of WSCF and to support the current generation of students.

    Photo by Lyell Clark

    The Gathering will take in Budapest, Hungary, on 12-15 May 2016. The meeting, bridging the current and former generations of students, will feature joint Bible studies, plenary discussions, and small group discussions about what WSCF means or meant to the participants, and what were/are the hopes and the challenges and hardships of their generations (see Draft Agenda). We would like to hear and to give your a chance to share your story of faith and your life journey.

    Senior friends gathering

    How to apply?

    Apply to participate in the Gathering by filling out this application form by 5 April 2016.

    How much will it cost?

    160 euro is a standard participation fee. This includes accommodation here in twin rooms – 3 nights and full boarding. There is an option to pay more or less, depending on your possibilities.

    Link to accommodation facilities: European Youth Centre Budapest.

    The travel expenses are expected to be covered by participants.

    What is the program?

    Download your copy of Draft Agenda.

    Event prepcom, formed by

    • Zuzana Babicova (Slovakia, Chair, 2013-)
    • Rachel Power (Ireland, Vice chair, 2015-)
    • Markus Ojakoski (Finland, Treasurer 2000-2005)
    • Sofie Eriksen (Denmark, Chair 2011-2013)
    • David Cleary (Ireland, Fundraising Coordinator, 2013-2015)
    • Vera Papp(Hungary/Ireland, Exco member, 2011-2014),

    as well as other interested Senior Friends, are working on the programme and practicalities.

    For further information, please contact Zuzana Babicova at and Rachel Power at .

    We are looking forward to seeing you in Budapest!

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on December 21st, 2015 2:05 pm / Continue Reading »

  8. SCM -Colombia / Barranquilla campaigns for justice for people in El Tamarindo

    SCM Colombia logoSCM Colombia / Barranquilla joined the campaign of the Presbyterian Church in social media for solidarity, advocacy and justice in El Tamarindo; which is on the Caribbean coast near the city of Barranquilla. More than 45 evictions have occurred in this community, and the most recent one took place on the 9th of December, leaving families homeless and without any livelihood.

    Residents of El Tamarindo have been living and farming in the area for twelve years. Some are displaced because of violence; and others are vulnerable farmers, children and single mothers. Some of them have been displaced several times in their lives, which reflects the general instability and fragile political situation in Colombia that leaves people without safety. The area in El Tamarindo was wasteland, so the people settled down and build a community of 130 families. This land is now designated to be used for Barranquillas “Zona Franca”. It has become a zone of relaxed regulation and tax regime as the land gains in value and becomes contested, with some of the families organized as a farmers’ association.

    Actions in poor faith by the local authorities and the company which claims title to the land have led to a dispersion of many members of the community. But a faithful remnant continues to insist on its rights. Houses have been destroyed by bulldozers, the crops have been destroyed and some animals killed. Most worryingly,  the people of El Tamarindo have faced violence.

    Churches, human rights organizations and peace workers are campaigning to pressure the authorities to stop the demolition. SCM Colombia invites SCMers all around the WSCF family to support the campaign with voices of hope and justice for this community. To join the campaign, you can take any or all of the steps below:

    1. Send them a personal message of encouragement.

    You can write or draw a message or poster to encourage the victims. Take a picture with your message and post it on social media with the hashtag #EsperanzaTamarindo.

    Feel free to use one of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship’s pre-made message templates:

     

    #EsperanzaTamarindo

    1. Spread the word on Twitter and Facebook.

    Use the sample social media posts below, or create your own, with the hashtag #EsperanzaTamarindo

    • Con fe, esperanza, y amor, estoy con El Tamarindo #EsperanzaTamarindo
    • Seguimos orando por las familias de El Tamarindo. #EsperanzaTamarindo
    • Deseo la justicia y la paz a las familias de El Tamarindo. #EsperanzaTamarindo

    “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good” Romans 12:21.

    SCM Colombia

     

    KristaThis piece of news was brought to WSCF-E knowledge by our Global Networking Coordinator Krista Autio.

     

     

     

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on December 21st, 2015 10:23 am / Continue Reading »

  9. Executive Committee meeting with Transition Team & Partners

    Palermo, Sicily, Italy
    14-16 Dec 2015

    Business development - Closeup of hands holding seedling in a group

    Who will be part of it?

    Exco members:

    1. 6 members will be present in person Fanny (AP), Lydia (Africa), Danny (ME), Annika (Europe), Oscar (LAC), Brandi (NA).
    2. 6 members will join online: Ellis (Europe), John, Paul Martin (Africa) , Louise (NA), Dianet (LAC), Mariane (LAC)
    3. WSCF Officers: Bronwyn Claire (Treausurer, AP), Immanuel Kitnan (Vice Chair, AP), Georgine Djeutane (Acting Chairperson)

    Staff members: 6 Regional Secretaries: Natia (Europe), Sunita Duna (AP), Luciano Kovacs (NA), Marcelo Leites (LAC), Rev. Amos Mushendwa (Africa), Elsy Wakil (ME)

    1

    Transition team members:

    Georgine Kengne Djeutane (Acting Chairperson), Necta Montes (Interim Staff Coordinator), Bronwyn Claire (WSCF Treasurer), Salters Sterling (Centennial Fund), Christ Ferguson (Senior Friend), Marco Fornerone (student member), Pretty Mubaiwa (student member). Transition Team has been working since April 2015 up until now- having mandate from the General Assembly – to continue work which was started in November 2014.

    Partners:

    Waldensian Church

    What is on the agenda?

    The main cornerstone of the meeting will be presentation of final recommendations of the Transition Team to the Exco, discussion and decision making about the proposed recommendations. See the agenda for more information.

    staff global

    Funders of the meeting:


    logo-2015wscf-110px

     

    Documentation

    Meeting documents

    Background contextual documentation

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on December 8th, 2015 3:50 pm / Continue Reading »

  10. WSCF is looking for a Chair & a Female Vice-Chair

    chair poster

     

    In November 2015, WSCF Global leadership team appointed members of the new search committee tasked to search for, interview and recommend candidates for the position of Chair and female Vice-Chair.

    We welcome all candidates from all regions to apply for these important though challenging positions.

     

    RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE
    CHAIRPERSON AND VICE-CHAIRPERSONS

    1. Accountable to the General Assembly;
    2. Chairing meetings (Executive Committee, General Assembly and other meetings where required;
    3. Nurturing the worldwide fellowship and preserving the unity of the Federation;
    4. Interpreting the work and needs of the Federation to churches and the wider ecumenical movement;
    5. Supporting the work of the executive staff of the Federation;
    6. Ensuring that the goals, priorities and mandate of the General Assembly are acted upon in accordance with the Constitution.

     

    If you are interested in ecumenical work, with representatives from all over the world, pursuing a  better and more just future, submit your application by 29 January 2016. For an application, fill out this form. Email wscf.vacancy@gmail.com for all inquiries and submissions.

     

    The search committee is composed of

    1. Ms. Brandi Friesen Thorpe, Canada, current Exco member (2015- ), Co-Chair of the Search Committee
    2. Ms. Yvette Mukagaju, Rwanda, student, SCM Rwanda
    3. Immanuel Kitnan, Sri Lanka, Exco member 2009-2015, Chair of Asia and Pacific region (2014- ), WSCF Vice Chair (2015- )
    4. Mr Jiri Bukovinski, Czech Republic, Senior Friend, member of Europe region committee as Solidarity Coordinator (1997-1999), Co-Chair of the Search Committee
    5. Mr. Youhanna Kamal, Egypt, Senior Friend, former WSCF global Treasurer (2004- 2015)
    6. Yarkus Perez Ganara, Chille, Senior Friend, Latin America and Caribbean ExCo Member (2002 – 2009), Chair of Latin America and Caribbean Region (2002 – 2005)

     

    Chairperson search committee

     

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on December 8th, 2015 3:02 pm / Continue Reading »

World Student Christian Federation – Europe
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The work of WSCF-Europe is financially supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

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