WYA Europe hosts founder Anna Halpine as part of “Youth Taking the Lead” event

June 8, 2021, Brussels – World Youth Alliance Europe held an online event Tuesday at 18.00, hosting the WYA Founder and FEMM CEO Anna Halpine. The event titled “Youth Taking the Lead” was directed to CTP certified members of WYA. The event focusing advocacy opportunities for young persons had three speakers: Anna Halpine, Myriam Audras, the new Regional Director of WYAE and Dijana Kovačević, Head of Advocacy for WYA Croatia. The speakers shared their experiences from WYA, their advocacy paths and new opportunities for members to be more involved in WYA. The speakers were also responding to participants’ doubts and gave them concrete advice in the Questions and Answers session.

“It can be daunting to think ‘here I am, there are many people that disagree with me with very difficult challenging questions, I’m not sure how to respond, where do I need to stand at this moment’, but I’ll say it also as an encouragement to you, to know that this is also the proof that these are the questions that are worth figuring out, that are worth standing for, that are worth taking some arrows for and to encourage you to keep thinking, keep working. Courage is not doing things that you want to do, courage is often doing things you don’t want to do but somehow you know that is something you must do”, said Anna Halpine, encouraging the young listeners not to lose courage when facing challenges in their advocacy efforts.

The discussion revolved around the World Youth Alliance advocacy past, present and future, the importance of listening, a call for action for all the members, and the necessity of respectful interaction with people of opposite views.

“For me the most important part of this community of friends is that everyone is really free to speak their mind, to say why he or she disagrees with someone or with something, to explain it, and we can still be friends. The thing is that the disagreements usually result in an even better performance in WYA and its activities”, said Dijana Kovačević, referring to the companionship and teamwork in the Croatian chapter and how they are able to overcome obstacles when united.

“My major advice will still be to sign up for the Advocacy Academy because for me it was the next step. This would give you a common ground that will be useful for your person and for your job… Take that next step as a WYA member!”, concluded Myriam Audras addressing the question “What is one advice you can give to newly certified members?” She recalled her experiences of the program, as a trainee last year and as a trainer to the first European batch of trainees in 2021, inviting WYA members to become more active by considering it as a next step in their WYA path.