WYA Portugal Holds Why (E)U?

October 21, 2021 – From September 27th to October 1st 2021, WYA Portugal’s Chapter held their Erasmus+ granted project named Why (E)U?, in the city of Lisbon, gathering 38 young people from Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Germany and Croatia to discuss the European Values and both the common and the individual responsibility towards the defense of Human Rights. 

Through discussions, debates, team work and pitches, our participants, coming from different backgrounds culturally, religiously, academically and professionally speaking, all had the same agenda: to fight for the recognition of unconditional human dignity in every individual. 

They have worked together in advocating for the European values of human dignity, freedom, tolerance, diversity and intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, while still finding the time to stroll around the beautiful city of Lisbon and its hills, eat the famously delicious Pastel de Nata and enjoy the 26ºC weather on the beach. 

During the mornings and the early afternoons, the participants gathered in Residência Universitária dos Álamos, a partner association to WYA Portugal. They lended their conference room to held the project there. Informal learning methods like the Case Study and the Gallery Method were used to develop skills, knowledge and tools to identify: hate speech, extremism and other threats to human rights, in order to be able to constructively confront these issues with critical thinking. 

Quoting Sanyukta Suman, a participant from Belgium: “(…) The WHY (E)U conference did not only give me a golden opportunity to learn and exchange ideas on human rights, human dignity, and values of European identity. It also gave me an opportunity to meet new people and get insider information on their culture”. 

It was without a question an unforgettable experience to everyone and a remarkable opportunity to learn, grow and aspire to make a change in our society and the world around us. 

More information about this project and the ones to come as a result can be found on Facebook (@WYAPortugal)