Migration And Refugees – Core Topics Of The Second Day at UYD 2016

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Second day of work at UYD 2016 has already passed. Plenty of events and interesting workshops about relevant issues. Migration and refugees, gender equality and volunteering have been the guiding thread of these sessions. Participants continue exploring new methodologies to empower youngsters and involve them in their local communities.

North-South Centre of Council of Europe has launched today its workshop “Connecting Women, challenging stereotypes”, that follows the process started in Tunisia Mediterranean University on Youth and Global Citizenship several months ago. The main goal of deconstructing gender stereotypes confronting the different stereotypes that target both women, from the north and the south of the Mediterranean sea. The situation of refugee women will have a specific space in during the training course, in order to identify and avoid their double stereotyping.

Refugees crisis has been the central the core subject analysed by the Organising Bureau of European School Students (OBESSU). Under the title “#RefugeesWelcome to School”, they believe in education as the main tool to get the inclusion of refugees in the European Society.

In this context, as Larissa Nenning -Board member at OBESSU- says: “Who is responsible for refugees? This issue has to be tackled."

"We also need to study how many interpretations of Human Rights do we have in order to evaluate if the Dublin Regulation is being implemented respecting them or not” - says Nenning, after the role play that OBESSU has organized this morning studying a real case of asylum seeking.

“More than half of the Icelandic population has offered their homes for refugees”, states one of the 'offline tweets' that participants have written for this activity. “It is estimated that about a third of people of Kosovan descents, currently live outside of Kosovo”, lines another. With this activity, learners have reflected on what does mean migration in their countries of origin. Nowadays, more than 33.000 people fleeing from conflicts every day and around 90.000 minors registered in the EU in 2015.

Because Human Rights matter at UYD, the Youth for Exchange and Understanding Organization (YEU) has presented several projects that are being implemented in their local associations. Defending and promoting equality, solidarity and Human Rights. YEU has focused this week training course in methodology. “We are so concerned about the alternatives we have to involve youth in our local actions, in our communities. How can we motivate them, for example, to attend a film forum when they can see that film from their own homes?”, asserts one of the trainees of this course. Many original ideas have come out from the creativeness of the participants, what is clear is that online and offline communication have to be combined to get success in involving youngsters at the local communities.

Volunteering is one of the most known models of participation in local communities. As volunteers develop their work mainly in their municipalities, it is a frequent way for youngsters to start getting involved in society. European Students Forum (AEGEE) has more than thirty years of experience in the field of volunteering. “Volunteering helps us to get prepared for any later challenges we will face in life” - declares Reka Salamon, Project Manager at AEGEE. According to Catalina, that attends this AEGEE worskhop: “Volunteering helps youngsters to improve skills required in your professional career, as team management, leadership or intercultural communication”.

Not only leadership and self development but also self assessment have to be taken into consideration speaking about political campaigning. The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) provides a training course for trainers to increase their capacities as young activists. “I would like to learn information and communication skills to activism, as well as social and political background on topical issues” - says Anuschka Roge, trainee at the course. “For me, the most difficult part of training is to select the activities I am going to develop. I would like to acquire new ideas and methodologies” - states Agustina Rodriguez, also participant in the IUSY course.

Activism, volunteering, participation in local communities, together with migration and refugees, have been the core issues dealt with today by the UYD partners. At the end of the second of UYD 2016 was the film screening of “Voice of refugees”, by I. Kunevicite, A. Beddock and S. Stojanovic.

Ana Santamaria