European Youth Forum Academy : One Great Chance

I don’t know have you ever gotten that e-mail that somehow in just a few words: “Congratulations, we are pleased to inform…”, managed to keep you smiling, planning, preparing, and enjoying for more than a month. So it was just a matter of time when will it be shared with you, dear ReaderThere it was – invitation for European youth forum Academy – “…you have been selected as one of 50 young people from Europe…”, there it was, not as a goal, but as a chance to learn, take, show, promote, and that’s what we did. 

So, Active was represented on this year’s Academy by us: Ioana from Romania, Natalia from Latvia, Igor from Serbia, and for us it was a great honor to represent Active on this large scale event.

Three young people, from different countries,  different backgrounds, different expectations, areas of interests, different culture, but with so many things shared together: involvement in local community, changing everyday life of young people, sharing good ideas and values, but especially believing in three core ones – sobriety, friendship and peace.

We decided to fast forward parts from our travels, such as changed flight departure, 1st class trips “compliments by the Air Company”, started friendships with people from Boston in Paris metro etc. and get to the bunch of workshops and regrets since we could not participate in more.

For each of us it was a free will to choose 3 workshops from this list: Sustainable development goals (SDG), Quality standards for youth policy, Messaging & Social Media, Quality assurance of non-formal education (NFE), Lobbying for beginners, Monitoring and Evaluation of Projects, Capacity building on anti-discrimination legislation, Youth participation – Youth up, Internal communication (this is a part where we sound like teleshop commercials :) )

And if you think that is “only” what we have done, guess again. On the last day, we could make another choice from the listed workshops, and got an opportunity to learn. And still there is more - such as visiting a big self-sustainable community center ran by Cnajep, hours in talking with people from all over Europe, walks, sightseeing, and so more, so this could easily be a book indeed blog :)

You are probably wondering by now, “That’s all so nice, but what did you really gained from this?” here is it dear Reader, straight from our individual impressions. 

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       ”Academy – valuable sessions,participants who easily share experience" by Natalia

I was the only participant from Latvia, and it was a pleasure to represent my country as well as ACTIVE. Let me share the most significant moments.

The workshop about Youth participation was a great one, with great leaders. Lots of opinions, wonderful atmosphere and ideas how to influence youth participation. That is what I brought home. So here is a tip you should implement every time, dear young Reader: Think critical, that information can influence you!  

And speaking of sharing information, I learned what is important on social media: keep it short, make it visual, change the  format for each post - video format, link, photos - it is good for boosting your page.

My strongest impression came from the Sustainable Development Goals workshop. I wanted to find out what are SDGs, and I learned a lot. How important is to put SDGs in perspective when doing projects and the importance of social media features, such as # whenever you are doing something, since it is allowing us to connect and to work together.

This Academy has that extra value in giving a chance to learn from speakers, but from other participants as well. All of them were really smart, open minded; they easily share their experience & friendly. I’m thankful.

 

                             " Great chance for us to meet new and interesting people and to create partnerships, so we can work together to  
                          create a better future” by Ioana

I had a great time, and attended two very interesting workshops, “Anti-discrimination legislation” and “Participation to sustainable development goals”. Both of these workshops were very useful and helped us find ways in which we can shape the world around us for the better. I learned a lot about how we all can contribute to implement the SDGs as well as how to create a more inclusive environment starting with our own organizations. We also discussed about what are some good practices in regards to anti-discrimination legislation and practices. It was also very interesting to see the different ideas and opinions coming from people with such diverse backgrounds.

 

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                              “European youth forum Academy was my chance to connect myself with my ambitions” by Igor

Dear Reader, my impressions about Academy are still “cooking”, but, since you are here, I will try to serve them while they are hot, and I hope you will enjoy them.

It was a privilege to be among people who believe that they can change to World,. My second impression was the, although Active is strong organization, many of those great people don’t know what Active is, so we need to work on that together. Also, I feel worried because no matter how much we tried to set up a thematic square about alcohol usage, or how to work in safe and alcohol free environment for youth, our attempt failed, so our suggested topic was canceled with nobody signing up, but let’s use that as a challenge. What else I would like to share is how energetic the speakers were, their facilitator skills. I’m thankful to them, but the best is yet to come. Youth participation workshop – the used methodology was so strong and inviting that I find it hard to believe that anybody could resist to participate. Feel free to ask more, I will be glad to share, and so will they, I’m sure. And there is also that Lobbying for beginners’ session. I don’t consider myself as beginner in this area, but I did found out something new – all across Europe there are young people who are capable, passionate, heart driven, and those are our partners. Many good things are waiting for us, trust me on that one, dear Reader.

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once" - Albert Einstein

The whole Academy was surrounded with Albert Einstein quotes. Trying to speak about empowering, mobility, cooperation using his formula E=MC2. I guesssomebody miscalculated, since we got partnerships, capacity building, information, new project ideas, skills, experience, some nice time, great memories, new strengths, lots of friends, and a desire to do a lot more.

Even Einstein doesn’t have that kind of formula, but maybe you can create one , dear Reader. Add more to it as well. Work hard, learn, believe in what you do, and before you know it, the next Academy will be calling.

Bon Voyage !

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