Damien Vandermeersch: “TADA is an example of prevention”

TADA achieves its goals thanks to committed and passionate guest teachers! They do it selflessly, they share our beliefs and they want our teens to blossom. For some of them, such as Advocate General Damien Vandermeersch, teaching at TADA has become a tradition. 

“As an investigating judge, I see criminals committing crime after crime because of very low self-esteem. People who commit offences do so because they don’t have a goal in life; they don’t have anything to lose.”

“We expect justice to be fair, but that is often not the case because from a young age, opportunities are unequally divided. Judges aren’t capable of providing answers to social injustice. TADA on the other hand, tackles the problem at its roots.”

“TADA invites all kinds of professionals to have a positive look on youngsters. During the Saturday workshops, these kids are being told they can do anything. Through encounters and enriching experiences teenagers become conscious of possibilities and they build on future projects.”

“From my position I admire TADA a lot. In the judicial world we hear every day that we have to choose prevention over repression. That is an urgency indeed. I believe TADA is an example of prevention. It is good to have examples and to show them: it is possible. I want TADA’s message to pervade in traditional education and in society: we have to believe in our teenagers and show them what they are capable of.” 

“The world we live in does not make me an optimist, but I refuse to give in. If I see kids that spend their Saturday at TADA and give the best of themselves, it motivates me to say that we must stick together and go for it.”

“If TADA alumni stay loyal to who they really are, they will become the most attentive and experienced people, that know which problems exist and contribute to finding solutions. When you powerlessly undergo an injustice, it is impossible to resist it. But if you tackle that injustice and have acquired the means to fight it, then it becomes interesting.”

“The TADA kids know where they are coming from, they know their roots. In addition they acquire useful tools. They build their identity by experiences and encounters on Saturday. Chances are high they become extraordinary people. And in this difficult world, we need extraordinary people.”

“Finally, encounters at TADA are mutually enriching! It has often been said that justice lives in an ivory tower. To participate at TADA is a good way for people of the judicial world to get in touch with kids and more generally, the world in which they grow up. I recommend it to everyone. By the way, I am the first to recommend TADA to my colleagues at the Palace of Justice in Brussels.” 

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