World Forum For Democracy 2017

« Is populism a problem? »

From the 8th to the 10th of November, Y-E-N was at the Council of Europe for the 6th edition of the World Forum for Democracy on the topic « Is populism a problem ? » ! This event takes place each year in Strasbourg (France) and is organised by the Council of Europe in collaboration with the Municipality of Strasbourg (France), the Region Grand-Est (France) and the French Governement.

« The objective of the World Forum for Democracy 2017 is to review new initiatives and approaches which can enhance democratic practices and help parties and media, but also other political and function optimally in 21st century democracy. » (source : https://www.coe.int/en/web/world-forum-democracy/home)

For 3 days, around 2000 participants and 200 speakers from 80 countries gathered to address the challenge of populism around the world. Different plenary sessions focused particularly on the role of political parties and the media and Labs explored practical initiatives that are implemented in some countries.

The winner of this year’s Democracy Innovation Award went to Russian investigative newspaper « The Insider ».

« The Insider is an investigative newspaper that seeks to provide its readers with information about the current political, economic and social situation in Russia, while also promoting democratic values and shedding light on issues related to human rights and civil society. In addition, the Insider implements the “Antifake” project, with the objective of systematically debunking fake news in Russian media, and to help its audience to distinguish relevant information from fake news and propaganda. » (source : https://www.coe.int/en/web/world-forum-democracy/home)

The World Forum for Democracy will be held in 2018 again, on the topic « Citizenship on the move ». More about the Forum

World Refugee Day: one of our members’ project

On the 20th of June, we celebrated the World Refugee Day, an important day for the visibility of a community too often discriminated and victim of intolerance.

We wanted to take this special day as an opportunity to celebrate our member organisations’ work in link with newcomers. Our french member organisation Association Etage – Club de jeunes recently organised a creative workshop for families of new immigrants. Of course, many of our member organisations act directly with and in favour of newcomers, and this particular action is only one example of what can be done at local level to really make a difference in that matter.

Paint as a mean of expression

The project Peindre notre Histoire (Painting our History) lasted three afternoons during which 9 families were invited to paint and create their own paintings. They were guided in their task by two artists: Inge Panter from Offenburg and Luc Demissy from Strasbourg.

This workshop allowed the children and their parents to tell their story together using art and creativity. The group had also the common objective to create a serie of paintings which would then be presented on an exhibition, an aim which gathered the different families around the same artistic project and allowed them to meet and exchange about their stories, backgrounds, cultures and origins.

The theme of the paintings were not imposed at the beginning, but it became clear that the families were going to tell their stories through pictorial language. During the workshops, a language training was provided to the participants for them to get to know some french words in link with the activity and art in general.

An exhibition and vernissage was organised to show the results of the activity on the 5th of July. Some of the families gathered again around their finished pieces of art and presented their pieces of art to the public.

The project was driven by our member organisation the Association Etage – Club de jeunes and financed by our long time partner the Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau.

Y-E-N meets “no Walls – more Words”

Between the 2nd and the 4th of May, we had the pleasure to welcome in Strasbourg our new friends from IPA as part of their bicycle trip across Europe, a beautiful Youth Initiative entitled “no Walls – more Words“.

IPA: Io Per l’Altro

IPA stands for “Io Per l’Altro”: Myself for the others. Co-funded by Marco Valerio Battaglia, Endrit Dodaj and Antonino Costanza, IPA is an organisation of volunteers working with Youth and more particularly with the children in Togo. The organisation is based in Ostia, Rome, and its premises serve as a youth center where youngsters can meet, share and participate to training activities.

4 bicycles and 1 800 kilometres

On the 25th of April, Marco Valerio, Claudia, Simone and Gabriele left Ostia (Rome) for a meaningful cycling adventure. Their objective: cycling from Amsterdam to Rome to meet young people from all over Europe and chat with them about Europe, barriers, integration and opportunities…

From their hometown Ostia (Rome), they flew to Amsterdam, where they departed on their two wheels to travel across 7 countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, France, Swiss and Italy. Among their stops, some significant chapters of the History of Europe such as Maastricht, Schengen and Strasbourg.

Through this adventure, they wish to create a discussion with the youngsters, motivate them to pursue their goals and raise awareness about Hospitality, mutual support and intercultural dialogue. The project was developed aligned with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy of the Erasmus + Programme, and it is part of the “No Hate Speech” campaign.

The group will organise meetings in Italian schools to discuss about the experience. They are to reach Rome on the 18th of May.

Major stop: Strasbourg, European Capital

On the 2nd of May, our 4 friends finally arrived in Strasbourg for a special Stop! Here, they stayed a few days, met with young people and NGOs, and visited some meaningful corners of the European Capital (European Youth Centre, European Parliament…).

They interviewed Emmeline and Margaux, from Y-E-N’s coordination office, and Mr. Menno ETTEMA, European coordinator of the No Hate Speech Movement [Video]. We also introduced them to our member organisation, the Association l’Etage, and its members, and they were able to chat with them, explain their initiative and purpose, and most importantly, hear and record their stories. We were very happy to share a little time with these Inclusive Bikers 😉

Dear friends, BON VOYAGE for the end of your trip!

Edit : SONO ARRIVATI !

After 25 days and 1 800 km, our friends finally arrived is Ostia 🙂
We are very proud and admiring of their achievement ! BRAVO 😉

 

Y-E-N celebrates Europe Month!

In May, Youth Express Network will celebrate Europe Month, a special month of events organised by the Région Grand Est to commemorate the “Schuman Declaration”, founding text of the European construction.

This text was pronounced on the 9th of May 1950 and proposed the creation of an European organisation in charge of placing the French and German production of coal and steel under one common High Authority. The “Schuman Declaration” would later lead to the signing of the “Treaty of Paris” the 18th of April 1951, founding the European Coal and Steel Community between 6 European nations.

To celebrate this major historic event, we will participate in 4 local events during de month of May:

3rd of May
Meeting with a Youth Initiative

On the 3rd of May, we will welcome No Walls – More Words, a Youth initiative driven by 4 young people from Italy who went on a bicycle adventures across Europe as part of the No Hate Speech Movement. Together, they will cycle from Amsterdam to Rome and meet with young people to talk to them about integration and opportunities. A good opportunity for them to create bridges between European people in these difficult times.

We will welcome this initiatives during their 3-days stop in Strasbourg and will introduce them to our French Member Organisation L’Étage and their young members during a friendly afternoon and evening. A conference and debate will be held between 12:00 and 16:00 at the Étage to talk about Living Together in Europe, Respect (or Disrespect) of Human Rights in dealing with migrations and European citizenship.

 

 

9th of May
Information morning on mobility

Through one of our local project, the Platform Alsace Mobility Crossroads, we will organise an information meeting on the 9th of may. A good number of our partners, local players of the mobility scene, will be present to talk about cross-border, European and international mobility to Facilitators, Youth and Social Workers.

 

24th of May
Intervention at a Youth celebration

On the 24th of May, we will participate in the Youth Celebration of the Center of Notre Dame de Strasbourg, by inviting young people to share their mobility and voluntary experiences (civic service, European voluntary service, organisation volunteering…) to the youngsters of the Center.

30th of May
Photo Exhibition in a High School in Colmar

On the 30th of May, we will set up a photo exhibition in the High School Camille Sée, in Colmar, to promote the benefits of Living Together and Interculturality to high schoolers.

European Youth Event 2016

On the 20th and 21th of May, around 7 000 young people from all over Europe were expected in Strasbourg, France for the second edition of the European Youth Event (EYE 2016) with one motto “Together, we can make a change”.

In total 18 young Y-E-N people coming from 7 european countries had the opportunity to  discover the life of an european decision makers, while attending different seminars organised inside the Parliament. They could meet european politician and ask their questions, get inspired but also participate to open discussions. This was not all, hubs took place all around the Parliament in the YO! Village where participants could get information, discuss, debates about different big topics in which they were interested such as;

  • War and Peace, talking about migration, refugees, peace-building, tolerance and respect, social cohesion.
  • Youth Participation with topics such as youth participation to vote, youth empowerment, gender equality, non formal education, citizenship education etc.
  • Exclusion or Access with topics such as quality jobs, youth guarantee, social inclusion, students unions, mobility, volunteering and disability rights.
  • Stagnation and Innovation with topics such as youth entrepreneurship, creativity or even green jobs.
  • Collapse or Success with topics such as climate change, sustainable development goals, fair trade, food waste etc.
  • Health and well-being with topics such as mental health, diet, drugs and alcohol, sport and physical activities.

This week-end under the sun of Strasbourg, was also the possibility for those young people to meet each other, spend 2 days with friends in a different place, discover a new city, get inspired and hopefully get fresh ideas for the future.

Logo Competion ! Inclusion Express, by Mirela Lupu

During “Mind the Gap” seminar, which was designed in order to prepare and relaunch the “Inclusion Express” campaign, we thought of creating a day of workshops where participants had to take the lead and to use their own skills in creating campaign tools that we can use during 2015. After assessing the present situation of “Inclusion Express”, participants proposed a series of workshops which included a visual workshop on creating a logo for the campaign.

At the end of the day there were 14 logos created ready to be voted by the group of participants at “Mind the Gap”. After the vote, the group decided to choose the first 3 ranked logos and to launch an online vote on the final version of the logo.

The logo competition took place during 2 weeks in may on facebook and asked all people interested to vote using 1 “like” on the logo that they liked the most for the campaign. Martin Harutyunyan, participant in “Mind the Gap” from Armenia, designed the winning logo, which now has become the logo of “Inclusion Express” campaign.

Here’s the photo of the official logo voted for our campaign:

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Written by Mirela Lupu, Reporter of Mind the Gap! Seminar