New academic year, new students from all over the world

    European joint master's in social work with Children and Youth
    New academic year, new students from all over the world

    On 18th September 2023,  we welcomed students of the international programme European joint master's in social work with Children and Youth to the Department of Social Work. During this semester, they will study five courses at the Faculty of Education while completing their professional practice.

    The Erasmus Mundus programme for the most brilliant students from all over the world is provided by the Catholic University in Ružomberok as the only university in Slovakia.

    The partners are Mykolas Romeris University, Rīgas Stradiņa universitāte  and ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon.


    DARYL JAMES VALDEZ (Philippines)

    My respect to our Professors who are with us right now, fellows in cohort 2, faculty members and personnel of Catholic University in Ruzomberok, guests and visitors, good morning!

    As we gather here today, we are reminded of the critical role that social work plays in our communities, particularly when it comes to working with children and youth. Social work is a profession that is committed to ensuring that every child and young person has access to the resources and support they need in order to grow up healthy, safe, and happy.

    For everyone here, we all have one thing in common and that is our PASSION AND HEART FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH. Hence, we have been selected to this program drifting in our souls the call of being a social worker. What a precious calling and I am so proud to share it with you!

    Dear colleagues, I know some of us right now are struggling with something. Personal difficulties, dissatisfaction, loneliness, uncertainties, and the strife for competing against our own self. I want you to know that despite all these troubles, you are strong and you can succeed.

    I know it is not easy, but let’s challenge ourselves to persevere through the challenging times. Let’s challenge ourselves to view struggles as opportunities for growth and learning. I know that challenges can often feel like obstacles, but they can help us build resilience and character.

    Over the years of my life, I am one of those students who struggled through personal challenges and rose above them to achieve great things. I have seen many students who did not give up despite a lot of difficulties in order to complete their studies and now, they have successful careers. I have seen students with health issues who worked harder than any other students because they knew how valuable their opportunities were.

    As we always say, life is not always fair, but it is not an excuse to let it defeat us. The challenges that we face may seem insurmountable, but they can make us stronger and prepare us for the battles ahead. With our Professors, who are here to support us all through-out this journey. Again, we are capable of achieving great things, but we have to decide that we will not let our problems get in the way of our goals.

    As we navigate through our studies and personal life, let us be reminded about these important guiding values:

    First, respect which involves acknowledging and accepting our differences. Gratefulness where we recognize and appreciate what we have. Both values contribute to happier and more meaningful lives. As we continue to practice respect and gratefulness, we can create a more positive and safe environment amongst each other.

    Secondly, the importance of determination and persistence in achieving success. Determination drives us individuals towards our goals, while persistence allows us to continue striving even in the face of obstacles. These values separate successful individuals from those who do not achieve their goals. Let us embrace the values of determination and persistence and work tirelessly towards our respective aspirations.

    Lastly, let us learn to be patient, to take the time and effort to achieve our goals and pursue our dreams. Let us also practice appreciation, recognizing and valuing the people and things that make our lives fulfilling. When we show appreciation, it can make the difference in the lives of others and the world we all share.

    I thank you for being a part of my life here in Europe. Who would have thought that after 30 years, I am finally living, studying, exploring and enjoying Europe! We are almost finishing and as I always tell you, I am forever grateful with everything. Here in Ruzomberok, let’s continue making the best out of this opportunity and promise to each other that we will finish this program together without leaving any one behind.

    Can I have some amen?

    Last 2021, the World Social Work Day theme was Ubuntu – a Zulu Language in South Africa which means, I am because we are! This is a concept and philosophy that resonates with the social work perspective of interconnectedness of all people and their environments. For me, it also speaks to the reality and characteristic of our group which is solidarity and the abundance of indigenous & experiential knowledge that we always share together. Always ready to loose oneself in the service for others!

    We are the class Ubuntu! Journeying together in the ESWOCHY program, celebrating our diversity, acknowledging each other’s wonderful personality and willing to be agents for children and youth. Let’s promote a vision for every child, life in all its fullness and the will to make it so. Go go go, cohort 2!

    Thank you and God bless.


    ESWOCHY Cohort 2 Student

    Opening Ceremony, 3rd Semester at Catholic University in Ružomberok, Slovakia

    September 18, 2023 10:00 AM