”Rock, paper, participation” – an annual work plan co-funded by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and the European Union.


In 2020 MIJARC Europe will focus on seeing-judging-acting on how young people get involved in the dialogue on agricultural policies and on how they take part to sustainable agricultural practices.

Following the successful implementation of the work plan on citizenship and participation in 2019, MIJARC Europe has chosen to go deeper into the topic and build on the great results it has achieved so far, by focusing on increasing youth participation in building a sustainable future for agriculture and for rural communities. Agriculture is a key topic of MIJARC Europe and a strategic area of intervention when it comes to youth participation. Rural development and a prosperous, sustainable future for young people in rural areas are interlinked to agriculture. In 2017 official data revealed that Europe’s farming sector was dominated by an older population, especially in the case of women farmers – data showed that just 4.9% of farmers under 35 were women, compared to 6.4% for men. Even less were engaged in policy dialogue. We need to get young people from rural areas back at the dialogue table, we need to provide them with the skills and insight needed to understand what sustainable agriculture is and to give them a strong, informed and evidence-based voice in agricultural policies.

Listen to 32nd episode of our podcast “How about you(th)” to find out more about what sustainability means for agriculture.

Through this work plan we strive to provide the rural young people in the MIJARC Europe network with the values, attitudes, skills, knowledge and critical understanding required for meaningful participation and effective engagement in decision-making and policy development about sustainable agriculture.

We plan to achieve this aim by engaging the young people in a learning process which is based on the principles and instruments of the Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life and the methodology of youth participatory projects described in the ‘Have your say’ manual.

The three phases of the work plan bring young people closer to farmers, sustainable agriculture initiatives and agricultural policies and uses a bottom-up approach. During the local visits/national webinars young people focus on the priorities they feel should be pursued in their community in order to increase young people’s involvement in agriculture, while the seminar and the summer camp teach them to understand and work on agricultural policies and to develop concrete projects at community level to address the priorities identified.

The local visits are planned to take plan between March-May 2020 but following the mobility restrictions imposed by the current global pandemic, the local visits will be organised as webinars.

The seminar and the summer camp are postpone to autumn 2020 with updates to be published at the beginning of August 2020.

logosbeneficaireserasmusleft_enBetween 4th – 8th September 2018, our member movement APSD-Agenda 21 is hosting a youth exchange on peace and conflict. The project is called “Messages from the future” and it is part of our annual work plan on 2018 “We are the others”. The youth exchange is co-financed by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union. It is organized as an international simulation on four different topics which affect peace and conflict at global level: climate change, migration, gender inequality and extremism.


The final day of our youth exchange brought to our attention the topic of extremism with the help of a very interesting game and many balloons. The team of facilitators adapted ”The Island” simulation from the All Different, All Equal Education Pack in order to show that differences should be first acknowledged and then accepted, that tolerance and adaptability are key skills and that diversity should be celebrated.

Split into two different tribes, both worshiping balloons the participants took their roles seriously and started looking for a very rare type of balloon which could only be found with a special map. Of course each tribe possessed only half of the map and only by coming together and mending the two halves could the tribes find the balloons. The negotiations were tough and the members of the tribes had to learn the other’s culture in order to be able to communicate with them.

In the debriefing part they talked about how important it had been to stay open and to adapt to the situation by learning the language of the other tribe, sharing their habits and not using violent methods. They discussed about culture, what makes it important and about what brings the cultures into conflict. They reflected on who gains and who loses from a conflict and about the negative and positive consequences of opening up towards other cultures.

Next, the tribes prepared the photo-messages with their most important conclusion.

The day ended with a long evaluation and follow-up session, in which the participants reflected on their learning, filled-in their youth passes and discovered what competences they had developed throughout the week. They also made plans for hosting the travelling exhibition and found out who their secret friend had been.

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logosbeneficaireserasmusleft_enBetween 4th – 8th September 2018, our member movement APSD-Agenda 21 is hosting a youth exchange on peace and conflict. The project is called “Messages from the future” and it is part of our annual work plan on 2018 “We are the others”. The youth exchange is co-financed by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union. It is organized as an international simulation on four different topics which affect peace and conflict at global level: climate change, migration, gender inequality and extremism.


Gender inequalities were at the core of the fourth day which brought participants face to face with some of the realities of the labour market and of domestic violence. After an energetic start of the morning, the participants watched a short movie about gender and split in four groups deciding on weather some adjectives described male or female features or positive and negative features. The activity was adapted from the “Gender Matters” manual and it introduced the participants into gender stereotyping.

Next, it was time for them to work and get paid. They were assigned a role with information about their sex, age and experience and they had to go through five work stations where they performed different tasks (arranging small balls on piles of the same colour, preparing bread dough or scoring with a basket ball). At the end of the game they made a long row and received their payment which, of course, took into account their performance but also their sex and their age. In the debriefing part, they discussed about the inequalities on the labour market between genders and how unjust the system is with huge pay gaps in some countries.

The next game brought them face to face with real cases of domestic violence of all types which they discussed in national groups and then presented their conclusion to the rest of the participants. The fact that they were split on national groups really helped with showing the different approaches the countries represented have towards gender violence, the laws that apply and the feeling of the community towards the victims and the perpetrators.

The day ended with the creation of the photo-messages which were very creative and provoking.

logosbeneficaireserasmusleft_enBetween 4th – 8th September 2018, our member movement APSD-Agenda 21 is hosting a youth exchange on peace and conflict. The project is called “Messages from the future” and it is part of our annual work plan on 2018 “We are the others”. The youth exchange is co-financed by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union. It is organized as an international simulation on four different topics which affect peace and conflict at global level: climate change, migration, gender inequality and extremism.


The third day was full of strong feelings, tears and tense moments as the participants experienced an impactful simulation on the topic of migration. The facilitators adapted the United Nations simulation game ”Passages” and tried to make it as vivid as possibe in order to make the participants experience a tiny bit of what it would be like to be forced to flee your home and head into the unknown.

It all started out very enthusiastically, with everybody smiling and fooling around. Split on families, the participants had to assign names and roles to each member of the family and create their family story. Next they were blinfolded and following a bomb attack on their home town they had to find their family members through the smoke that did not allow them to see anything. The simulation took them through different experiences such as deciding which objects to take in their suitcases, spending the night (around 8 minutes) in a shelter, filling in forms in a language they were not familiar with, being rejected at the border without any explanation, crossing the border illegally, facing the harsh conditions of a refugee camp and finally pleading their case with the authorities to get asylum.

The debriefing phase revealed how powerful the exercise was and many participants spoke about the intensity of the feelings they had, the impact it made on them and the amazement of how little they knew about the experiences some of the refugees go through.

The photos they created stand proof for the powerful messages they felt inside, as they are deep, thought-provoking and trully inspiring.

logosbeneficaireserasmusleft_enBetween 4th – 8th September 2018, our member movement APSD-Agenda 21 is hosting a youth exchange on peace and conflict. The project is called “Messages from the future” and it is part of our annual work plan on 2018 “We are the others”. The youth exchange is co-financed by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union. It is organized as an international simulation on four different topics which affect peace and conflict at global level: climate change, migration, gender inequality and extremism.


IMG_6799.JPGThe rain tried to be the star of the second day but we managed to keep the focus on climate change, the topic of our simulation. The secret location was revealed first thing in the morning when the participants gathered next to the bus that was going to take us to the Mud Volcanoes.

Unfortunately, we were able to visit the site for only 5 minutes until the rain started. It was a real thunder storm, but we continued to work divided on teams taking shelter and focusing on our learning objectives. The simulation on climate change was inspired by the game “Pacha Mama” and adapted to the context of climate change. The participants were divided in five teams, each representing a certain imaginary country, each of which had some advantages and some disadvantages. The citizens of Vital, Rassas, Activ, Cocoon and Scrib prepared their country’s identity (flag, map, how their life is) on a flip chart and introduced themselves to each other.

 

Then it was time for the Climate Change Olympic Games when they had to go through five games, in which they could use their advantages or see what it feels like to have less chances than the others. It was a very funny activity which challenged everybody to do their part and help their country become the victor of the games.

The next phase was very important, as it invited the participants to debrief the experience they had. This session revealed the injustice of climate change as the countries which contribute the less to the carbon dioxide emissions will be the ones most affected. It also helped the participants reflect on the different scenarios of climate change and the probabilities of each of those happening. They then connected these potential consequences to the state of global peace, realizing the strain the changes in climate would impose on countries which were already overburdened by issues such as poverty, political instability or lack of access to resources.

Finally, the participants gave a visual form to their reflections as they created photo-messages to send to young people living in the present in order to motivate them to take action so that the worst scenarios would never become reality.

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Between 4th – 8th September 2018, our member movement APSD-Agenda 21 is hosting a youth exchange on peace and conflict. The project is called “Messages from the future” and it is part of our annual work plan on 2018 “We are the others”. The youth exchange is co-financed by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union. It is organized as an international simulation on four different topics which affect peace and conflict at global level: climate change, migration, gender inequality and extremism.


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Our youth exchange has just started and we could not be more excited. Yesterday we have welcomed the delegations here in Buzau and they already started sharing and interacting. The atmosphere was great and they were all eager to get to know each other. Therefore, the first session in the morning got them all together in a big circle in the back yard of our venue where they learnt five ways to greet each other that alien civilizations use (don’t forget that for this youth exchange we traveled forward in time in 2068 where we met aliens of course).

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Then we played some self-regulation games to help the group pay attention and get used to the way the facilitators give instructions.

There were a lot of team building games and games to find out more about each other which really helped with building a nice group atmosphere and helped each participant interact with the other 49 people.

Once inside the facilitators introduced the project and what its aim was and helped the participant explore the ERASMUS+ Programme and the opportunities the European Union programmes offer for young people. We did this interactively of course: voting with our feet, watching videos or taking group quizzes.

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Next, it was time for everybody to reflect on what had brought them there and what they wanted to get from the experience, so hundreds of quotes about learning were laid out on the floor in order to inspire the participants about what learning meant to them. Each of them chose one or two and shared their reasons in small buzz groups, then set their own learning objectives. They also explored the learning process of the Youth Pass and the key competences for life long learning.

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Since they had spent too much time inside, we took them out for a clue-game around the city but not before exploring the exhibition of the town museum and reflecting about the history of peace and the European culture. The clue game was not easy and the participants had to run around the city, discovering interesting place such as an

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Back at venue, we got into small reflection groups and together reflected on our vision of the world 50 years from now and what to do in the present in order to have sustainable peace then.

Tomorrow will bring the first simulation of the exchange: the one climate change, which takes place in a secret location (can you imagine where we will take them?).

 

Together with its member movement, FYCA, which was the host of the activity, MIJARC Europe implemented its summer camp:

Youth Paving the Way to Solidarity

The summer camp took place in Yereven – Armenia, between 23rd and 29th August 2017.  It gathered a wonderful group of 40 young people, from seven different countries (Austria, Armenia, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany and Romania) all of them with open minds and fresh ideas who shared stories of their lives and their ideas about living in inclusive societies. The Summer Camp was organized as a result of MIJARC Europe’s concern  towards helping rural young people develop a counternarrative discourse to extremism by promoting tolerance, solidarity and non-discrimination through inter-cultural dialogue. By the means of this Summer Camp, we wanted to offer the opportunity of a youth exchange in a multicultural environment where rural youth and young refugees/immigrants could share the realities of each country in order to combat stereotypes and prejudice on both sides.

The Summer Camp pursued the following objectives:

  • Encouraging inter-cultural dialogue, networking and mobility of young people;
  • Helping rural young people develop critical thinking in a multicultural environment;
  • Increasing the involvement of young people in the social life in local communities and develop projects, based on an intercultural approach;
  • Debating the possible causes of the rise of extremism in youth, its potential consequences and find a common position on the topic;
  • Empowering young people to take active role in security matters, underlying the importance of including young people in preventing and deterring potential local threats;
  • Reducing the trauma of the youth migrants/refugees and avoid isolation in the host communities, by fostering an environment where young migrants and refugees can participate and exchange opinions alongside with rural youth;
  • Raising awareness on and understanding for the difficulty of displaced populations in the host community by creating and performing a small theatre play.

Through the method “See, Judge and Act” the participants engaged in activities based on non-formal and informal learning such as working groups, field visits, pedagogical games, icebreakers and energizers, storytelling, debate/discussions on the topics of the activity, learn how to create a theatre play, thematic evenings, presentations by each country, plenary sessions, interaction with the host community and preparation of dissemination and exploitation of the results of the Summer Camp.

We started on the first day with some name games and icebreakers to get the participants closer together. The next day we initiated pedagogical games, icebreakers and energizers and storytelling to get on the topics of radicalization, extremisms and solidarity. Here it was possible for the participants to discuss the topics in a very deep way and to find solutions how to deal with radicalization, extremisms, xenophobia and how to create solidarity. In the late afternoon, we visited Aleppo NGO. Their mission is to protect, support and empower Syrian citizens sheltered in Armenia, develop and implement lasting projects to contribute to their settlement and integration processes. It was a great example for vivid solidarity. The next day we visited the Genocide museum of Yerevan, to learn more about the Armenian history and in the afternoon, we went to Lake Sevan, to get an impression from the beautiful Armenian countryside. The next day, they participants created a theatre play how to handle radicalization, extremisms and xenophobia and the following day it was presented in city of Yerevan to the Armenian people to bring the message from solidarity to the people.

You can watch some parts of the theatre play here: Link 1Link 2Link 3.

The participants recorded a video message too. See what they had to say here. 

 

With support of Erasmus+ and Katholisher Fonds MIJARC Europe and KLJB Germany together with KLJ Belgium, YMDRAB Bulgaria, EiR Poland, GUG Malta and APSD Agenda 21 Romania organised a summer camp “Better together – we care about rural areas”. It took take place in Passau, Germany from 24th to 31st August.

Why?

Rural areas cover 90% of EU’s territory and account for approximately 50% of its population. Today, in rural areas of the EU there are approximately 13 million young people aged between 15 and 24. Unfortunately, the life in the villages is less attractive for the youngsters due to lack of good job opportunities, careers, transport, education, health, entertainment and amusements. The lack of these necessities is forcing young people to migrate to large cities, foreign countries or continents and therefore leaving behind aging populations and depopulated areas. This in turn leads to closure of schools, hospitals and shops in the villages. Thus, rural areas become even more unattractive for young people and young people migrate to seek better employment, education and life, which weakens rural development.

The aims:

– to analyse and exchange the realities in the communities and best practices on the topic;

– to experience intercultural learning by exchanging realities, opinions and values with other rural young people from Europe;

– to raise awareness about realities in rural areas in Europe and rural development;

– to empower young people to take an active role in the development of rural areas;

– to raise awareness about differences and similarities in rural areas in Europe;

– to increase the involvement of young people  in the social life in local communities and develop projects, based on an intercultural approach.

Do you want to find out more?

During the summer camp, the participants had the chance to decide on which tools would be more useful for them to disseminate the results of this activity.

As a result an A 4-page flyer with the summary of the activities, crossword created by the participants and several photos of the event (a printing version of the flyer is also available) was created.

If you want more info, please contact us through office-europe(at)mijarc.info

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.