YEU Convention 2017 - A deeper look to our 36th Convention
As presented in previous News-mail, our 36th Convention took place in July and this time we had the amazing experienc of implementing it in three countries. Following up, we go more in depth in the process during and after the Convention related to Gender Perspective in Intercultural Dialogue under the project funded by European Youth Foundation “Variety is a Spice of Life”.
Additionally, you can read more about participants follow up and the perspective of facilitators and participants of the Spice Groups (Village Groups as known in previous Conventions). If you wish to, please press HERE.
50 young individuals from all over Europe gathered together for our annual YEU event - YEU Convention, which was organized for the 36th time. As part of the process, they had to discuss gender perspective through different stages of life. As part of the Workplan founde by European Youth Foundation, this was a process which is following up the first activity that took place in Stockholm. That was the initial start, were Facilitators of the Convention had the change to get intorduced to the topic and map possible activities to implement at their home countries before the 36th Convention.
Moving on, during the 36th Convention, our participants traveled through 3 different countries of the Balkan peninsula starting from Kozanis (Greece), Shkoder (Albania) and Ohrid (FYROMacedonia). In each of these countries, after some long working sessions using different non-formal methods adopted by the trainers and facilitators, participants created 5 different methods for each stage of human life.
Starting the process from Greece, they had the chance to meet with locals and get to know more about their culture. That led to the first 5 different non-formal methods related to gender perspective and birth. Moving on, in Albania, participants got to discover the local culture and further analyse gender perspective, which they compared with their own culture. Closing the topic of Birth, participants got to work and creat 5 different non-formal methods on gender perspective and adulthood. While getting closer to the end of the convention, this time in FYROMacedonia, participants tackled the “third stage” of life. Though discussions and a lot of work, they reach to the point of creating 5 different non-formal methods on gender perspective and third age.
Unfortunately, on our way to the last part of the Convention, we experienced something that not all people ever did before. Two of our participants, with Syrian nationality - however living in Belgium with a Refugee Status- could not pass the border between Albania and FYROM, leading to the decision of sending them to Greece so they could go back to Belgium and reach their new home safely. It was indeed an emotional incident and as said by one of the guys send back home “This is our reality. Please remember this and share this experience. Don’t let this be a negative experience, but a chance to share what happened and spread the word in order to push for change”.
Having all these experiences and very productive work of the participants, we came up with the most important outcome of this event. The creation and development of 15 different non-formal methods for each stage of human life. However, their work didn’t end. After the Convention, they get the chance to try them out in their local communities and contribute to a further development of each activity created during 36th YEU Convention. Therefore, they can have 15 methods, which can be used in other events by other youth workers and participants all around Europe. Overall, selecting 3 countries to develop discussions about 3 stages of life was a great idea, since everybody who contributed during the whole convention could analyze existing challenges while working with youth in detail and create methods that would suit international and local organizations working with youth and encouraging tolerance within the organizations.
Murat Mislimi (FYROMacedonia)
Monika Lionaite (Lithuania)
Natalia Shevchuk (FRI - Ukraine)