From local to global – Culture and Identity, Diversity and Humanity

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Days have a habit of flying here in Mollina. UYD has already passed its half way point in a week where participants are getting immerse in Human Rights, diversity and inclusiveness values. Today they also worked on the proverb “Think local and act global” by receiving a group of local students in the complex of CEULAJ.

Between 11 to 13 years old, this group of students have felt the atmosphere of inspiration that UYD has been able to create this week. Music as an international language has been, once more time, the connecting thread of the activity. It has turned out in a symbol of this “Connecting identities” UYD edition. Music helps participants to connect with their own identities as well as with the others.
Identity is precisely the main topic tackled by Spanish Council of Youth (CJE). How to deal with others if I do not revise how my own identity has been built up? This is the question participants have reflected in the context of the training course “The role of entities working with refugees and migrants”. “In this workshop we are trying to explore the concept of the own identity as well as the other identities for them to be connected”, said Simone, facilitator at this CJE training course. “We are trying to offer a space for the growth of local entities to promote an inclusiveness culture based on Human Rights”, he adds.

For Juan de Dios, CJE trainee: “Migrants and refugees presents similarities and differences in their legal, social and personal situation, but I strongly think they all should be treated as the human beings they actually are”. “We have also to reflect about the causes that make people to move from their countries, to leave their whole daily life for an uncertain future”, said Juan.

In building up our individual and social identities, the most challenging point are not the cultural or social differences that humans can present, but above all, the role that society assigns to each one. The real challenge is how to deal with stereotypes.

The North-South Centre of the Council of Europe is working on this issue in the workshop “Connecting Women, challenging stereotypes”. Lucia Barbieri, trainer at NSC workshop considers that “We should not try to break stereotypes on women, but we should try to transform them. This workshop is about to transform stereotypes by finding similarities, but also differences that could be a good point to start from which we could work together.”

In the end, culture, identity and transforming stereotypes have been the main challenges that participants have faced today in their fourth day of intense work.

Ana Santamaria