Each September we get a bit busier, not just because it is the end of summer and everybody remembers, all of a sudden, all those things that were forgotten because of salty air, summer breeze and those endless nights, but because another edition of University on Youth and Development is approaching.
The University on Youth and Development (UYD) is an activity jointly organised by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe (NSC), the Spanish Government (INJUVE), the European Youth Forum (YFJ), the Spanish Youth Council (CJE), the Latin-American Youth Forum (FLAJ) and other international youth organisations.
Since its first edition in 2000, the University takes place once a year bringing together representatives of youth organisations and youth movements from all over the world who gather in CEULAJ (Euro-Latin-American Youth Centre) to discuss, train and be trained as well as to take political action around the main issues on the global agenda. And YEU is there since very beginnings. Why do we keep coming back?
Not just because of networking or showcasing our work – we do that as well. But also because of people – this is the place where we get to be who we are. Free, open to learn from others and about ourselves.
Nobody in Spain knows what and where Mollina is. But thousands of youth workers around the world do. It is a place where over 200 people representing more than 60 nationalities gathered this year to talk about identities which was the topic of this year’s edition – connecting identities.
Partners of the University have also developed a resolution and part of it says:
“All young people, no matter of background and identity, are right holders. But all over the world they cannot freely express and live their identities, even though there are institutional frameworks and commitments by governments to uphold their rights and beliefs; on the contrary they are not protected and even they are persecuted by those who pledge to protect them. This is why Youth needs safe spaces such as the University to gather and celebrate our diversity and develop the sense of belonging and bring it as well to local communities.”
This is why we are there. Because we believe in diversity, we believe in safe spaces and we believe in being who we are, no matter what.
If you want to learn more about it, check the Facebook page of University of Youth and Development, if you want to feel it and live it, follow our work and apply for the 18th edition that will happen in 2017.
YEU Secretary General