October 16-20, 2019, MADRID – The World Youth Alliance hosted the main activity of their Erasmus Plus sponsored Project “Improve and Prevent” in Madrid. This Project was organized by World Youth Alliance Spain and World Youth Alliance Europe in collaboration with partner organisations from 5 other European countries. It gathered 23 participants from all over Europe: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czechia, Germany, Slovakia and Spain. The main purpose of this project was to raise awareness about the topic of sustainable development.
The whole project aimed for the participants’ reflection on sustainable development actions – from criticizing actual policies and finding solutions, to brainstorming other ways towards a sustainable future.
The participants took part in various workshops and activities, such as: “Meet the Most Relevant Political Documents for the Youth at the EU level”, which consisted in giving the participants theoretical and practical skills for fully participation in civic life, based on knowledge of social and political concepts and structures; “Youth Goals: how do they affect us?”, firstly they were presented with the purpose of Youth Goals (in particular the goal number 10, which is focused on sustainable green Europe), hence they proceeded to a discussion where they needed to make some posters explaining how these goals were met in their own countries; “Game: What kind of EU do YOU want?”, as an icebreaker to open a discussion later on; “Exchanging good practices: How are human rights respected in my country?”, the idea was to create an open debate about presented examples by each country group, thus getting to a joint conclusion about how it is important to respect human rights and what we can do about it in our everyday life; “How to frame the statement for public appearance in media?”, the participants wrote and defended their statement in front of a camera, while using the skills acquired in the media training.
Furthermore, the participants got the chance to have an open dialogue with Dr. Juergen Foecking, at the European Parliament and European Commission Offices in Madrid. Pressing issues for youth in the EU and Brexit, were among some of the matters discussed.
One of the participants, Maritta Mrčela from Croatia, said: “We learned a lot of information on EU functioning, and we also learned a lot from each other, as participants – how to turn our differences into strengths so we can harmonise and make EU more equal on all of its levels. I’m very happy that I had the opportunity to participate in such event, where I met so many new people that broadened my horizons. I would recommend this, and similar projects, to anyone who wants to have an eye-opening experience and who is eager to participate as a young adult in current world events.”
The engaged youth had the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from different cultures. The participants were directly involved in the activities and were able to speak their mind in every debate. Throughout the project, they showed mutual respect and willingness to be open to new possibilities.
To finalise, there was a closing ceremony where participants were issued their Youth Pass certificates, which confirms the skills acquired and developed during the Project.