UBUNTU Philosophy Spread Throughout UYD

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Ubuntu philosophy has been present more than ever by the hand of the team facilitator, Natalie Spiro, that has lead a UYD Joint Session marked by rhythm and drum.

UYD participants have shared today a Joint Training Session. Started with a drum collaborative concert in which everyone has become a musician, and headed by Natalie Spiro, the UYD Joint Session has turned in an explosion of emotions. “Rhythm and drum is a language that not understand of barriers that separate us. Rhythm is a celebration of humanity, diversity and of our common universal language” - said Spiro to open the meeting.

After that, learners have felt in the flesh the barriers that often separates humans. Conflict, migration, diaspora, but also hope, diversity and inclusion have come out during this emotional session. One of them, Abdulmajid Abdulrahim, 26-year-old-lawyer from Aleppo, has shared his experience as a Syrian refugee, nowadays living in Belgium. “Before 2015 I would never have expected that I would live outside my country. When I left I didn't have an idea where to go, and that was so hard for me”, he regrets. “At the end, refugees are humans, and we all have to find how can we make a new future” - he reflected during the meeting.

Ayo Wallace, Associate of the Ubele Initiative has been working for many years on Diaspora in the United Kingdom. “It is important for communities in the diaspora to identify themselves as a unique voice, and it is important to reach youth to get closer to this goal”, she said.

Today, participants have felt the importance of diversity, humanity and citizenship.

In many occasions, these values are acquired in the sphere of non-formal education. In the third UYD day, this issue has immersed the spirit of participants. European Students Forum (AEGEE) has dedicated the session to analyse how society influences in the citizens 'civic education'. “Civic education has the purpose of prepare us for the society, and this depends on the model of society you live in” - said Joanna Pankowska, trainer at this course. “Civic education is about sexual education, freedom of speech, learning about diverse religions, it is about democracy”, stated one of the participants. According to Ms. Pankowska, the main goal in non-formal education nowadays is to bringing it to formal education and link both systems, as they are necessary to the self-development of citizens.

But not only non-formal education is important for self-development, but also for social change. In words of Christine Sudbrock, trainer at International Union of Socialists Youth (IUSY), “Non-formal education is the most democratic and effective form of education. It is based in equality between participants and between participants and trainers". In her opinion: “Social change is possible when young are motivated”.

Motivation is essential for youngsters to get involved in society a political participation, and trough non-formal education they acquire “the kind of expertise they need in order to develop their social and communication skills”, said Eugeni Brigneti, Project Manager at IUSY. “More pure values are found in young people, we have to reinforce their motivation and help them to develop their skills”, he adds.

Apart from social skills, dealing with new methodologies to develop projects is essential for the daily work of youth organisations. In this third UYD session, the Youth for Exchange and Understanding (YEU) continues training their local partners in the field of project management. “What I am learning this week is how to put in practice theory and methodology that I had acquired to implement a specific action”, stated Alex El-Jbeily, Project Manager at Jongeren Voor Uitwisseling en Begrip (JUB), Netherlands. “Local projects create a good breeding ground to develop the required skills that are handing at a larger level each time”, he adds.

YEU project managing training course is helping local organisations to be more efficient in implementing and evaluating their local actions.

After this intense day, UYD continues with the activities, showing itself as an incubator of creativeness, diversity, dialogue, inclusion and humanity. We are all already permeated by the Ubuntu philosophy.

Ana Santamaria