News in UK about how youth are making their voices been heard

After Brexit referendum in the UK in 2016, some youth didn’t feel represented and civil organisations worked together in focus groups across the UK to find out what young people 13 to 30 think and feel about Brexit, and what they want out of the Brexit process. It was find out that “young people under 18 felt deprived of a voice and overwhelmingly said that if they could, they would have voted to remain. Secondly, young people expressed dissatisfaction that the oldest generations (65+) should have such a disproportionate influence on the futures of the youngest citizens.

The main objective of these initiatives is to ensure that youth visions for post-Brexit Britain are reflected in the process of leaving the European Union. Young British don’t feel thier voices have been taken into consideration during this process and now they want to make sure they take part in future discussions.

This is a good example of a youth platform engaging hundreds of UK-wide young people that demonstrates the importance and impact of young voices. They have initiated relationships with cross-party MPs and Lords, the Department for Exiting the European Union, the European Council Taskforce 50, European Commission, European Parliament and European Youth Forum, and relevant Committees both in the UK and the EU.

WYRED platform provides a safe space for discussions, debates and research where young people can raise their voices not only about politics but any other topics they care about in our constant changing society through a digital world, and brings youth messages to those who need to listen to them.

A Better Brexit for Young People

 

 

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Raising the voice of young people in Turkey

The 17-year-old girl Irem Abdurrazzakoglu opens our eyes to the urgent need for young people in Turkey to raise their voices and defend their ideas and opinions. The WYRED Project helps them to express their thoughts freely.

My  name  is İrem  Abdurrazzakoğlu. I am a student from Çamlıca Theological High School for  Girls  in Turkey.  I  am 17  years  old  and  I believe  that,  as a  young  person, I need  to express my thoughts.

The WYRED project is an umbrella  platform  for me,  on  which we  can work on creative projects,  express our ideas and take on responsibilities. We will be thrown into the ‘adult world’ sooner or later, so before this  happens  we should  improve  ourselves. I attended  the WYRED social dialogues and joined the community as a teenager to produce new ideas with other students. Today, young people are not given much space to  have a  say.  However, we  want  to change that.  With  projects  such  as  WYRED, which enables  us  to make  ourvoices  heard, we  are taking trainings for a society in which everyone freely shares ideas, respects ideas and is equal.

After the general elections in Turkey, I thought I  should revise  my  topic and  decide  to write about democracy. As  we  all know,  we  live in a  world  where democracy prevails. Every day, many regulations are made in order to make people’s life easier. Although the layout we live in looks nice  from  the outside,  does  it actually give us the  opportunity to express  our   thoughts freely? With the recent elections in our country, young people started to get more attention from the state. We started to follow the demonstrations organised  by the  party  leaders. With  these regulations, we are  told,  young people  will have  more rights  and  advantages. When will we  start  to express  ourselves  better as young people? It is obvious  that  each person  will  have their own  ideas. We all  want to tell  people about these ideas in the best possible way. As  a matter of fact, we are fighting a lot about our ideas. We all strive to defeat each other in the direction of our political ideals and ideologies. Sometimes we break each other’s hearts to justify our ideas. Sometimes adults try to impose their ideas on us and do not allow us to have our own thoughts. It is not well received for a right-wing father to have a left-wing  child. In such situations, we  simply keep our ideas to ourselves and remain silent. Sometimes we are not allowed to talk, they say we are too young to defend our ideas. We often hear that we do not know anything and  that’s why  we  cannot decide.

In  short, we  cannot have any idea, we cannot defend ourselves ideologically and we do not respect  the opinions of others.  But we can change it, we can learn to argue in a respectful way and prove that we have meaningful ideas. In addition to the above, young people cannot explain their own thoughts as much in school. One of  the main reasons for this is that students are not taken seriously by administrators. Students are hesitant to submit their ideas and suggestions in their schools, or they   cannot get  a   feedback. They face a sanction; they are subject to disciplinary threats or cannot receive a response. If  our own  ideas are not respected, our self-esteem as young people is damaged, we are forced to stay in silence and we are exposed to injustice. Some  changes  must be  made  so that  young people  in schools  do not face  such  situations. For   example,  a   school   council  should   be established  and  every  student should  be  able to express  complaints  and suggestions.  In  the elections held in school, every student must be eligible without any age and class restrictions. Students  should not  be  dismissed when  they comment  on a  situation. The administrators should  always  be open to students and  give importance  to their  ideas. Do not  forget  that we are  young  people, representatives  of  the future and our ideas are important.

 

Listen to the young people’s voice, please. We are trying to raise it.

 

Irem Abdurrazzakoglu

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WYRED for “Brave New You”

From 22nd of June to 2nd of July 2018, 60 young people from 11 countries met in Portugal thanks to the 37th YEU Convention. The occasion was “Brave New You – BNY” process, which was held in 2 different venues in Portugal. The process itself focused on tackling narratives and creating counter ones.

Young participants had the chance to go through WYRED project and the platform which they will use to realize their work online. The topics set during the process are various.

Some tackle Roma, LGBTQI+ communities and as set by the young people through the “Brave New You process” the results will be linked to Narratives online and what recommendations are there to make a more inclusive and diverse digital society.

Interesting enough, this process linked the two Cycles of WYRED, as the platform and process was presented by young people which applied their research during the first Cycle.

Ioanna and Giulia, previous participants, shared their interest to present the process, as they felt that these projects can really engage young people and actually have a higher impact, sharing ideas and feelings of young people”. Building up on their engagement and personal development, both of them will be engaged as facilitators of the online communities liked to “Brave New You.”

As participants departed from Portugal, the process will now move online, inside the WYRED platform. A set of Communities has already been created, bringing these young people from different European countries together. At this point, we are looking forward for their process to start and to use their research results to build a stronger youth-oriented dialogue with stakeholders.

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SORAPS Project Presentation at Lycée René Cassin Arpajon (France) in May 2018

The Institut européen en sciences des religions (IESR) of the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE) hold an informative session on SORAPS at the secondary school René Cassin in Aprajon to an audience consisting of local teachers from three different schools and members of local educational authorities. The session was divided into a theoretical introduction by IESR in the morning and a subsequent practical exploration by the participants in the afternoon.

In the morning session, the participants get an overview on the SORAPS project, its goals, the online training platform in general and its UNITS in particular. Furthermore, links to the previous project IERS (Intercultural Education through Religious Studies) were made. In the afternoon session, the participants discover the online learning environment of SORAPS and IERS. Afterwards there was enough time for discussion. There, it became on the one hand clear that IERS and SORAPS met with great approval, on the other hand especially issued by the involved teachers how hard it is to implement this kind of projects in the French laical educational environment.

SORAPS Project Presentation at the Roma Tre University

The Ca’ Foscari University of Venice was officially invited by the Department of Humanities to speak about SORAPS during the workshop “Methods and Tools for the interpretation of religious facts” at the Roma Tre University on May 15th. In addition to the speech by Giovanni Lapis, the coordinator of SORAPS, other exciting speeches by experts, stakeholders and activists were awaiting the participants. All united the goal of implementing the academic view on religions in the classroom. The participants, graduated students, were not only obviously interested, but also took the opportunity to consolidate the networks in the field of religious education in Italian public schools.

Ready for EYE2018

The WYRED team (from Brussels, Spain, Austria and Turkey) at the entrance of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, ready to attend the opening ceremony of EYE 2018.

Under the motto “The plan is to fan this spark into a flame.” (Hamilton, My Shot), 8,000 young people from all over Europe meet in Strasbourg to come up with ideas for the future of Europe and discuss with European decision makers.

WYRED participates in the event through two sessions:

Friday, 1 June, 15:00 – 16:30: The digital revolution continues: what will be the next steps?
Workshop at Yo!Fest Village

Young people have been navigating the digital society from an early age and technology has always played a prominent role in their lives. As such, their voices should be represented in discussions on how this society should evolve. What do you think are the most important changes we need to implement in the future? How do you envision the ideal digital society? Join us to discuss with other young people, design your own plan and become an active participant in the digital revolution!

Saturday, 2 June, 14:00-15:00: Growing up in a digital society: What matters most to young people?
Event at the European Parliament (with the participation of  MEPs – Ms Terry Reintke and Mr Brando Benifei, YFJ – Ms Mari Strømsvåg, YEU – Matej Manevski)
Today’s young people have grown up in a digital world, but they rarely get a say on what matters most in our digital society and what our priorities should be. Their world has been shaped, and is still being shaped, by others. Instead of being seen as passive objects of others’ decisions, young people should be fully included in conversations on their own future. What do you think is the most important issue in our digital society? Join this discussion with experts and policy-makers and come up with solutions to these issues together.

 At the end of the dialogue with the MPEs, Vera, Guillermo and Manuel, three young students from Spain, will present their short film “The face of society”, developed as a research project in WYRED. The video is an invitation to reflect on the effects of globalization, excessive consumption and technology in the creation of undifferentiated young people without their own identity, which reflect the face of society, and not their own.

Special thanks to all the YEU team, our WYRED partner, who made this experience possible.

@wyredeuproject Follow us!

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IES F. García Bernalt of Salamanca participates in the E-EVALINTO project

The IES F. Garcia Bernalt of Salamanca in one of the European schools that joined the E-EVALINTO project piloting in 2018.

The school, very active in the social field through numerous projects in the field of Service Learning, involves the students in “living experiences” in collaboration with different associations, movements, residences and NGOs such as the Food Bank and Cáritas.
During 2017-2018, as part of the initiatives undertaken under the annual school programme, named this year “Include yourself, include me”, a group of teachers participated in the EVALINTO teacher training course and organized peer mentoring activities with their students.

Tales from the first WYRED’s youth-led Showcase Workshop in Rome!

The first WYRED youth-led meeting, suitably named “Young researchers in the digital society”, took place last Friday at the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of the University Roma Tre in Rome, Italy.

Our partner Oxfam Italia , organized and supervisor of the whole initiative, briefly introduced the project and the work carried out by the young participants over the last academic year and then merged into the roundtables that were scheduled for the day. The meeting did not provide for an external moderator, in order not to steal the show from the young researchers and let them expose the methodologies used, make their points, host and foster the debate on their own. The audiences consisted of students, lecturers, representatives from the main local authorities, all praising the innovativeness of the event, the methodologies used and the topics chosen by the young ones. Sometimes, the Oxfam staff had to cut the debate short to make it possible for everyone to have their say…they were so caught up in conversation that they totally forgot about the time limits!

The topics discussed between the young researchers and their audiences are listed below. We truly wish to repeat this wonderful experience next year, so that even more young people will be able to enjoy the opportunities provided by the WYRED Project. Please keep supporting us!

 

The Showcase Workshop’s roundtables:

  • Young people, media and self-depiction social media foster the narcissistic need of receive approval from peers: as a consequence, relationships developed online often lead to social isolation, emotional distress, performance anxiety, and then to bullying and cyberbullying. However, young people often are not informed about data privacy and Internet security at all. What to do?
  • Young people, labour-market and political participation The research projects all point out that young people today do not feel any sense of belonging to communities and/or generations. They do not feel anything that is not apathy and withdrawal when confronted with civic engagement and rational voting. They do not even recognize themselves as NEETs and prove to be unable to find individual solutions to achieve active citizenship and personal fulfilment. What to do?
  • Young people, globalization and social inclusion– The stereotypes on Italy and Italians by foreign people show how, even in our country, people changed their perception of immigration over the last few years. Only the negative side of globalisation are addressed, that is precisely why foreign students are often discriminated in schools. What to do?

 

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Never too young to know how to act online…

On a rainy day in Tortona, a small town in northern Italy, 130 students from 11 to 17 years old learned by playing how they should act when being online. Using Non-Formal Education methodologies, these young people were engaged in a “learning through gaming” process that gave them a deeper view on how our acts online affect our personal lives offline.
Through several actions, participants have built an online space with their peers and discussed which are the responsibilities they have and how they should act when visiting the Internet. At the same time, as an unexpected consequence, children tackled the issues of rights and attitudes of users, thus bringing the digital world into a real, tangible dimension. Some of the most interesting topics addressed were cyberbullying, fake identities, good and what can be deemed as a bad behaviour online.
But middle and high schoolers were not the only ones reached by WYRED.
As a matter of fact, 60 among youth workers in the field of intercultural dialogue and Civil Service volunteers and coming from all around Europe took part in a series of workshops organised within the WYRED framework. The ultimate objective was that of increasing their engagement in the process of Social Dialogue in Digital Society and also raise their awareness on a series of topics while trying to identify challenges and opportunities.
Since some of the participants where part of the 1st Cycle of WYRED, they also had the chance to present their research and provide the facilitators with new ideas and feedback on how to empower more young people and how to make WYRED even more inclusive.
We are happy to see WYRED growing. Why don’t you join our community?

A shot from a workshop with the Civil Service volunteers

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Feedback from teachers in the Teacher Training Course in Salamanca

Some comments from the participants of the face-to-face week in Salamanca:

“A very interesting week in Salamanca with extraordinary teachers and collegues” by Elena (Italy)

“Una semana completa llena de información, intercultural, internacional, flexible sobre el estudio del fenómeno religioso y el estudio de prejuicios y estereotipos relacionados con ellas” by Ana (Spain)

“Thinking over how to adapt the very interesting contents of the course to the teaching of Language” by Alberto (Spain)

“We worked hard but it was really worth because the themes we discussed were challenging. My congratulations to everybody” by Massimo (Italy)