History of ADJ

The non-profit organisation 'Algemene Dienst voor Jeugdtoerisme' (ADJ - General Agency for Youth Tourism) of the Dutch-speaking Community was incorporated on 18 February 1977.

The idea of the Council for Youth Education (BJV) was that vzw ADJ would manage and run recreational and educational facilities for young people, would contribute to the improvement of the equipment and infrastructure for youth work and would operate as information, study and consultancy centre for youth tourism.

As such, ADJ managed from its incorporation the lending service for tents, which as from 1970 had been managed by the non-profit organisation 'Materieel voor de Jeugd' (MJ – Equipment for Youth) and youth centre de Hoge Rielen, purchased in 1974 by the Dutch-speaking Community.

In 1994, ADJ took over the management of the education centre Destelheide, which since 1971 operated as field service of the Council for Youth Education. Within ADJ, also the 'Kompas' team was set up with as main assignment to further shape the two-yearly BJV publication 'Kompas', which contained an address database of youth accommodation centres and campsites for youth groups in Belgium.

In 2004, the Kompas team was transferred to the Youth Support Centre and as of 2009 the lending service for camping equipment was converted into a separately managed service (DAB) of the Dutch-speaking Community.

So, as of 2009, vzw ADJ merely manages the two youth accommodation centres of the Dutch-speaking Community, i.e. de Hoge Rielen and Destelheide.
As both infrastructures are cultural facilities of the Dutch-speaking Community, its management is subject to the Cultural Agreement Decree of January 1974. This means that the public authority can choose from three formulas: either managing the infrastructure themselves assisted by an advice body, or having it managed by a body of representatives from the public authority in question together with representatives from the users of the infrastructure, or having it managed by an autonomous body of experts or users.

From its incorporation up to mid 2008, vzw ADJ opted for the second formula, the so-called mixed management. The Dutch-speaking Community was represented by civil servants and the users by youth work representatives nominated by the Youth Council.
From September 2008 up to October 2010, ADJ operated according to the third formula, i.e. the management by experts. In this period, ADJ was composed of youth work representatives only.

From November 2010, ADJ again operates according to the mixed formula but the representatives of the Dutch-speaking Community are now persons nominated by the Flemish government and no longer civil servants; the youth work representatives are still being nominated by the Youth Council. The current general meeting has twelve members with parity between both groups. The Board of Directors has eight members, chosen from the general meeting and also composed equally.