Munich, 6th of May, 2020 – In the end of March and the beginning of April 2020, World Youth Alliance Germany and World Youth Alliance Europe hosted “Empowering You(th) Online” with 73 people and six speakers. The online project was executed via Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Draw as an alternative to the originally planned Erasmus Plus event “Empowering You(th)” which could not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Originally WYA Germany invited 42 people from Portugal, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Croatia and Germany to join them in a 4 day Erasmus Plus Event in Munich to discuss misconceptions and stigmatization concerning women’s overall and reproductive health. As most of the countries were on lockdown by the time the project should have taken place, WYA Germany and WYA Europe decided to transition most of the planned activities into online content, so the project could still happen. Also more people were invited to join, from those who were already WYA members from all over the world to people who were WYA-curious.
The project kicked off in the already created WhatsApp group, where all participants introduced themselves with pictures, showing how they were spending their quarantine. After everyone got acquainted, they were pointed towards the WYA Germany Instagram page where they could participate in an Instagram-Story-Questionnaire called “The Spectrum” concerning women’s overall and reproductive health. The activity introduced the main topic and gave everyone an idea of how different cultures approach women’s health.
On March 27th, the main event took place on Google Hangouts. In the AM the Regional Director of WYA Europe, Elisabeth Gudenus, gave a FEMM introduction and training, which was very well received. At the end she and the participants discussed the just recently published WYA – Declaration on Reproductive Health. The morning ended with a round of questions. The PM consisted of a Round Table discussion with 6 speaker, including WYA Germany Chapter Coordinator Anna Gudenus (Main Host), Elisabeth Gudenus (WYA Europe & FEMM representative), Clara von Wedel (Trackle), Paula von Ketteler (Pro Femina e.V.), Simone Schömig (Cinderella e. V. Beratung) and Cornelia Kaminski (ALfA). After a very interesting and intense discussion on women’s health, the speakers answered questions from the participants. Throughout the day many important issues were addressed, including Feminism, Abortion, Health education and eating disorders as well as HDC, CTP and FEMM.
The last activity was hosted on Google Draw, where all participants gathered in their country groups to create a Mind Map consisting of the main problems their country is facing when it comes to women’s health and possible solutions. After each country group presented their Mind Map in the WhatsApp Group, Anna Gudenus collected all their results into an ultimate Mind Map, which was later on again presented and discussed in the WhatsApp Group.
The project was a very unique experience and a great opportunity to discuss and exchange important ideas with people from different cultures and backgrounds.