Why it matters
Summer is almost gone and we are all slowly getting back to work and usual hectic rhythm of September. In YEU that means reporting, collecting, reimbursing, planning, writing project applications for upcoming deadlines.
But before autumn takes its full speed, let’s take one more look at the summer behind us.
YEU people have been traveling for three weeks around Greece, Albania and FYROM/Macedonia for 36th YEU Convention to discover, learn about and deconstruct current gender practices from intercultural perspective and create new ones. Sounds serious, right? It is.
Although for a lot of young people, personal freedoms are part of their societies and culture there are many out there who are still supressed by societal norms and expectations – of families, communities, friends and in the end, themselves.
For many, traveling without borders is an unquestionable freedom. Unfortunately, not for many. At least 5 participants got their applications rejected, although they had all the necessary documents and guarantees. Two were returned from the border because they didn’t have visa although embassy of that country said that their documents are good and no visa is needed. It makes you wonder if maintaining security of your borders requires making a fortress around you?
The Convention has been a test for both team and participants – wasps, heavy rain in the middle of July, waiting in the borders for hours, low tolerance for anything out of your ordinary and understanding that scouting is not for faint hearted – this all meant being out of the comfort zone for almost three weeks. Logistical and mental nightmare.
But then, once again, you see so many young people experiencing something for the first time – being with likeminded, making friendships that are unlikely in the “real world”, sharing experiences without fear of rejection, creating new templates of living how they want it, not somebody else and you know that, at that very moment, they are making something that will change the lives of many, especially those who are still under the repressing norms of societies.
And then you know, it is all worth it. Because it matters.
YEU Secretary General