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.
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.
We are constantly expanding our network, trying to connect as many young people from rural areas in Europe as possible. We want rural youth to be united under the values of tolerance, solidarity and care for one another. This is why we are always searching for new member movements.
Why should you become a member of MIJARC Europe? Have a look at what our members say and contact us if you think our organizations could work together.
We are member of the MIJARC since its beginning in 1954. If we are still present today it is because it allows us to meet people from different cultures and countries. From local groups to national level MIJARC helps us to share our best practices and meet with other young people around Europe. It permits us to compare the functioning of our organizations, it helps us to make progress. The best meeting places are the European events organized each year, the Seminar, summer camps, training sessions… During those meetings we have formations and discussions and we act together regarding common topics of rural youth across Europe (agriculture, non-formal education, youth employment…). Our coordination gives us the opportunity to have a voice in the European institutions, such as: European Youth Forum for example. In these institutions we try to express the voice of European rural youth. For all this we think MIJARC is very important!!!!
For the German rural youth MIJARC shares a lot of opportunities: We can influence European politics as a huge international network. We can develop rural life by discussing our visions with other partners. And we can give our members the chance to get to know Europe by meeting other young Europeans. Imagine a summer camp where you can meet young people from Malta, Portugal, Poland or France… It’s always a good exchange about the future of rural life!
APSD Agenda 21 Romania
We are members of MIJARC Europe because we resonate with their
aim to develop and promote a sustainable, rural Europe. We believe in their actions because they follow a long-term strategy to which each member movement has contributed and we believe in their power to represent our interests at European level because of the number of people they represent and because the entire team works with passion and dedication. Being members of MIJARC Europe has brought us great benefits. Some of them were obvious from the beginning: the possibility to communicate and work together with rural, youth associations from other countries, an enrichment of our knowledge of the civil society at European level or an increased orientation towards European citizenship and hot topics that affect many countries. However, other were completely unexpected: the chance to take part to internal training courses, the chance for our young members to be part of international preparation teams and to learn facilitation skills and the chance to make our voice heard in some of the most powerful youth structures at European level. We could have never imagined that a small NGO from Romania, such as APDD-Agenda 21, would be represented in the European Youth Forum or would get the chance to contribute to political papers that influence policies in the UE. On top of all, maybe the best thing we got from our membership in MIJARC Europe, was the unlimited support and friendship we have been given and which we have learnt to give back during periods of crisis.