YEU International Youth Convention 2011: The green journey around Serbia!
From the 17th to the 28th August, the 30th YEU International Youth Convention under the title “YEU Zero: Volunteering for sustainable development - Reducing the environmental impact of youth exchanges” was held in Serbia. Our green journey started on the South of Serbia in Leskovac, the city famous for barbeque, carried on in the eastern Serbia, 16 km away from the city Bor, in Borsko Lake and finished in the capital city of Serbia, Belgrade. Participants from all over the Europe gathered together to discuss the topic of sustainable development and to learn how to become more environmentally friendly in their personal and professional life. Even in preparation for the event we started to share eco-behaviour, for example by travelling to the event by bus or by train. Did you know that taking the train instead of flying cuts CO² emissions per passenger, not just by a measly 10% or 20% or even 50% but by a staggering 80%!
E. Kolbert said: “People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global warming is something that most people can feel in the course of their daily lives, it will be too late to prevent much larger, potentially catastrophic changes.” Luckily, more and more young people became aware of this as during the convention we were working on practical ways to reduce the impact on the globe when organising and implementing international activities. By the end of the convention, our group came out with some really concrete tools and actions, which we are right now being spread around our families, friends, colleagues and communities in order to promote a greener way of life!
And by “our group” I mean the 32 young people from more than 20 European countries that participated in the Convention, most of us were for the first time in a YEU Event. As for me it was as well my first time as a facilitator during the Convention and it was an unforgettable experience, which made me even more sure that I would love to stay in the youth field forever!
Apart from great programme, I loved the event because of plenty of reasons! The places we were staying were absolutely marvellous with my favourite one being the Borsko lake. It was just perfect that right before breakfast and the morning sessions, and once I woke up, I opened my eyes and just ran out of my pyjamas and into the lake, jumped and just swam! We also had a very interesting tour in Belgrade, we enjoyed very good parties, a boat trip party in Belgrade, intercultural nights, movie nights and a night treasure game. But what I loved the most were the people that I met! Starting from the Core Team, going to Facilitators and Participants, the entire group was simply fantastic!!
But unfortunately, all good things eventually come to an end! So, what to do now? Let’s meet again in the 31st Convention in Italy in 2012!
IYC 2011 Facilitator