Review of Life and Worker Action

The fundamental and essential method of the YCW is the Review of Life and Worker Action – ROLWA.

It is, of course, organised and achieved in different ways by different communities but it remains the most important means of the movement. This means that ROLWA will be given priority always in the meetings of the group.

Uniting the team in action

Let us suppose that you are really clear in what you want to achieve, and that you have recruited a team that you feel will be able to assist and collaborate in this work. How should you go about getting the team active and united?

It is important that the team meet on a number of occasions and that these meetings be well prepared and structured. This will set the tone and standard of how the team takes on their work and it will bring clarity and unity. Each meeting should also be a progressive step in action to get the group started. Each meeting should end with all team members committed to a clear action.

So what should take place at these meetings?

1.  Building friendship and respect

In the meetings we should take time to share about ourselves, who we are what we do. We should also share about our motivation for taking on this work, what we hope to achieve etc. The team is not just a group who take on a task, they should become friends and co-workers in doing something worthwhile to make the world a better place.

2.  Study and sharing about young workers situations

The YCW is not something fixed and immovable. It must be adapted to suit the needs and priority concerns of its members. The team should study the situations facing the young workers that they are going to try to organise. It is difficult to attract young workers if you do not understand their situation.

As a result of this study, the team will decide what sort of group should be started. At present, in the Asia Pacific region, we have four main types of groups: Parish groups, Workplace groups, Neighbourhood groups and Category groups.

3. Study and sharing about YCW orientation and method

It is very important that there be unity in these matters. There are a number of articles about the YCW in this book. Perhaps you could discuss one article or some pages of an article. This helps the team to clarify their ideas and methods and to deepen their understanding, but it also ensures that differences do not arise causing confusion to the new members.

When the new group begins to meet there will be little time for team meetings and much need for the team to be aware and prepared for what is ahead. It is important that the team be reading ahead and that there be a sharing of their ideas about future responsibilities.

4. Action planning and evaluation

There are a number of things that should be accomplished during this ‘study stage.’ The plans to achieve these things could be distributed over three or four meetings of the team and follow–up and evaluation of the work could be done at the next meeting.

The things that should be done include:

    • Team to read and discuss some key articles about the YCW.
    • Find statistics on youth and youth problems of the area.
    • Meet and talk with other agencies and resources involved in young worker issues in the area.
    • Build a list of names and addresses of young workers in the area.
    • Make decisions on what sort of group will be set up.
    • Find a suitable place to meet.
    • Advertising of the group to be organised and done.

Example agenda for the first meeting


Ask all the team to read the chapter “How the YCW began” before coming to the meeting.

Opening of meeting

Building friendship and respect

Introduce yourself – and ask each person to introduce themselves and to talk about how they came to take on this work and what are their hopes

Study and sharing about young workers situations

Talk about the situation that faced workers in the Industrial Revolution (Cardijn’s time) and its effects on young workers. Ask team members to share about what they see are the most important situations affecting young workers today.

Study and sharing about YCW orientation and method

Ask team members to share what they feel was most significant about Cardijn’s answer to the problems of his day. Read together “What is specific and essential to the YCW?” Discuss.

Action planning and evaluation

    • Plan what we will read before next meeting to deepen our understanding of the YCW
    • Organise one member of the team to lead this part of the next meeting.
    • Begin the work of getting a list of names and addresses of young workers.
    • Begin work of going out to meet other agencies and resources for young workers in the area.              What can we learn from them about the problems facing young workers in the area?