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“Le Son qui dérange” – a project by Oxfam-Magasins du monde

«Le Son qui dérange» was born out of a simple observation: young people are aware of and informed about the challenges of climate change to say the least, but they lack the practical resources to take action and do not have equal access to the opportunities to do so.

This project therefore offers them the opportunity to express themselves and explore this topic for themselves, while providing stimulating workshops – led by Oxfam-Magasins du monde, GSARA and their partners – to further develop their reflection. At the heart of the project lies the will to bring a group of youths together to create a podcast about the fight against the climate crisis that could be used as a tool to further support their engagement.

Last April, the project partners formed a group composed of 10 young people – 7 coming from GSARA’s network and 3 from Oxfam-Magasins du monde – and organised a first meeting so that the youths could choose the topics for the podcasts. Three were eventually selected: “inequalities and climate”, “migrations” and “fast-fashion and climate”. The meeting also helped the project coordinators to prepare the training week. Not only were they able to design a tailor-made programme, they also managed to form meaningful bonds with and between the young people. This first meeting definitely marked the beginning of a great adventure.

The 5-day course started on Monday 8th May at COOP, located in Anderlecht (Brussels) and consisted in several workshops given by Oxfam-Magasins du monde as well as a radio training course provided by GSARA. The young people could take part in a range of activities, including “The Mobile Phone Game”, on the working conditions of workers who manufacture electronic equipment and “Beyond borders: a waking dream”, which is an educational tool using guided meditation to explore the topic of migration. It allowed the participants to experience emotions through mental imagery and then express those emotions through creative work (texts, drawings, folding, etc.). This exercise also opened up the discussion about free movement across borders and the debate on migration. Moreover, Denis Clérin, from the achACT association, came to present “Open Secret”, a documentary film investigating the “Made in UK” fashion industry and more specifically the exploitation of workers in the factories owned by Boohoo, the new online fashion giant based in Leicester, the historic city of the British textile industry. The film was followed by a debate.

In between those workshops, the participants were mentored by GSARA to write and to record their podcasts. For one morning, they had the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of a radio presenter on Radio Panik. They were able to host a live debate on the “Radio Maritime” programme. It was surely a great experience that they will never forget.

The young participants also went on a feminist tour of Brussels, strolled through the Matonge district where they tasted traditional African dishes and even dined in a vegan restaurant where they experienced another way of eating and consuming. All in all, this week’s training allowed the participants to step out of their own reality, which – hopefully – opened up their vision of the world.

As for the next stage of the project, the project partners would like to offer their young participants the opportunity to show their work on different occasions such as the “Maintenant” Festival and Jeunes Magasins Oxfam’s back-to-school day, but also in secondary schoolsand in the partners’ networks… And why not turn it into an educational tool for the 15-18 years old?