Take thousands of youths coming from different European countries and beyond gathering in Strasbourg for a two-days event. Look at the dense program full of activities, both online and offline, that engaged a colourful and ecstatic crowd for one week. Add a pinch of brain-teaser issues such as climate change and migration.
That’s the European Youth Event 2021 in a nutshell.
This year event culminated in a two days encounter (8th and 9th of October) that wrapped-up the European Parliament’s youth consultation process for the Conference on the Future of Europe. It has represented a room for youth to share and discuss new ideas aimed at strengthening EU actions towards the path of sustainable development.
Amid the many activities and workshops a space were given to the EU Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) Programme. The DEAR programme comes with the main goal of supporting civil society organisations and local authorities to better engage young people on global issues such as climate change and migration.
Herein is where the Mindchangers project had a say.
Max Fras, Capacity-building Expert from the DEAR Support Team, gave an overview of the three DEAR-financed projects to the bunch of youth who joined the Saturday-morning session.
The session started with MTU Mondo-led-project “I am European”. The Estonian organization has driven the participants into a journey aimed at recalling youth personal perception on migration. The contributions have spanned from that of Lidia, who mentioned when she moved from Romania to Italy in her childhood, to that recalled by Martina, who advocates for a different narrative about migration willing to highlight the added-value of cultural exchange coming from people’s mobility.
All the contributions were collected in a beautifully-designed padlet where participants attached their “migration tokens” made of songs, books and personal feelings that have helped depicting better than words their perception on the topic.
Then the session featured a Mindchangers-led activity. The project representatives animated the session with an online quiz on the Sustainable Development Goals. The quiz triggered the youth to reflect on their daily attitude towards sustainable development.
Kaela, a Swiss student living in Vienna, expressed the aim to foster youth engagement on climate change, migration and more in general on sustainable development. When asked to pick the most urgent SDG, Kaela said: “it is very hard to pick one SDG as the most relevant, they are all very important and linked to each other. But if I must choose, I would go with SDG16-Peace, justice and strong institutions: if all countries were at peace, we could really focus on realizing the other Goals.
The session ended with “1Planet4All”. The project has been presented by CESVI, one organization of the twelve-partners consortium deploying the project at a regional level.
“How do we build effective youth engagement in fighting climate change?”. That has been the challenging question that inspired the quiz prepared by CESVI.
The project comes with the purpose to support the engagement of young people in the fight against climate change, offering useful information and tools for them to become real “agents of change”. Indeed, the questions of the quiz aimed at understanding how to trigger youth engagement within their respective communities by helping them embrace a sustainable and inclusive commitment towards their future.
This event has been such a great opportunity to listen the voices of the youth, their thoughts and their opinions. The discussion was insightful to all the three projects representing a useful reference point to the communication campaigns that will be launched in the upcoming years.