Segregation versus understanding

Like some of their colleagues, the members of this team (young high school students, who came to Tel Aviv university in order to take the summer semester), also chose to deal with the idea of “The 4 Israeli tribes” – the four main cultural groups that Israel is disintegrating into: the ultra-Orthodox Jews, the national religious Jewish sector, the Arab sector and the secular Jewish sector. The young students came from different sectors, from cities and villages in the social and geographic periphery of Israel.

Trying to find a way to deliver the message that “we are different but we are also the same”, the students wanted to figure out what are the various implications of this issue, nowadays and in the future.

They have used a future wheel to analyze the different aspects of the segregation between Arabs and Jews.

The future wheel of the group expresses their will to focus on education, thus you can see that they wrote “The 4 Israeli Tribes” and the word was connecting the phrase to “education”. Then, they wrote the branches: Different agenda, teachers, awareness, language, knowledge about the other’s culture, and segregation.

They also wrote their initial idea about creating an app that is aiming to encourage informal meetings between sectors, based on common interests.

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How a digital platform can save animals

October the 4th is World Animal Day in Turkey and Gizem Agyuz decided to share with us his story about how a digital platform and a campaign can have a deeply positive impact on animals’ life.

My name is Gizem Agyuz. I work as a Project Development Assistant in Doga’s office for EU Projects Coordination. I am 26 years old and I have a great love for all animals. I gained a bachelor degree in Biology from Marmara University in 2015. Naturally, my studies concentrated on plants and animals. Many lectures involved a number of animals being cut open to examine their anatomy; however, I did not attend those lessons. In order to examine their anatomy in detail, animals were first knocked unconscious and cut open; once they started waking up, were killed by having their aortic vessels cut.

I only attended the very first lecture. Myself and some of my friends in the same course could not remain indifferent. First, we talked to our friends to explain that these animals were not newly discovered species, and therefore there was no need to cut them open to examine their anatomy, as all the relevant information and images could be accessed on the internet. During one lecture, we spoke about the impact on the slaughtered animals.Unfortunately, the number of animals slaughtered for a single course was as high as 70!

This was not science, this was just slaughter!

Then we talked to the instructors in our department, and asked for this to be the last course using this appalling method of study. Unfortunately, we never achieved anything. We talked with animal protection associations and animal rights lawyers. We understood that we were able to reach more people by using digital platforms and we created a campaign via change.org. We shared our campaign with people from all over Turkey, and we managed to reach to many people. For the following year, our department decided not to cut animals oper for anatomy lessons.

After this success, I decided to become an animal activist. I worked as a volunteer in various non- governmental organisations, such as GREENPEACE, WWF, SOHAYKO, HAYTAP, etc.

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Hunger of democracy

And now we leave the floor to Kuzey Sagkal, a young boy with very clear ideas on what democracy should be based on.

I am a 17 years old student from Doga Schools in Turkey. Me and my friend Deniz have been working on the topic of democracy since 2016. We have delivered a lot of workshops in Greece, Turkey and Finland.

People often talk about countries “becoming” democracies, once they start to have relatively free and open elections. But democracy includes far more than just elections, and it really makes more sense to think about the idea of ‘will of the people’, rather thanjust voting. Most of the Turkish people look at social democracy in a different way; for instance, choosing a class captain is considered to be something big in democracy, whilst in some of the more advanced countries such as Finland this is perceived as being just normal. The main reason behind our hunger for democracy is that we do not have a social democracy. We can only use democracy in its true essence only once in every five years, i.e. for the elections. We can restructure the way we think about democracy by educating our new generations on how to use democracy in their daily life. We can familiarize their opinions on democracy. Today, if we were to ask a Turkish citizen what democracy is, they would only make references to the elections, because that is all we have in the name of democracy in Turkey and underdeveloped countries. Me and my friend Deniz had conversations with people from other countries, who think their
countries are not democratic enough. We all have the same problems of lack of social democracy. In Turkey, our biggest obstacle is created by our minimum wages, which are too low, unlike EU and other advanced countries. Because of that, our people just focus on their work for subsistence and cannot really afford to care about democracy in their daily lives, even in their offices, which sets a bad example for their children who ignore anything about democracy, thus creating an endless loop.

EU projects showed me what is lacking in our democracy system and this led me into thinking about how to solve these problems.

1 Lack of social democracy

1.a Teaching democracy in our schools to the younger generation

as a subject like maths. However, the biggest obstacle is our government. Low educated people do not want to change this system and the current government is happy about this situation.

1.b Push them to use democracy in every scenario in their lives. For instance, choosing their meals at the family dinner by expressing their opinions, or choosing their student council through a democratic voting system, perhaps even including e-voting.

2 Rigging democratic elections

2.a Even though it does not look like a huge problem, it is one of the biggest problems inTurkey’s electoral system. By changing our systemto an e-voting model, we could minimise this risk and make voting easier.

In conclusion, if we were to apply these proposed actions step by step, we could advance our democracy and make use of democratic thoughts in our daily lives. Sure, it will take a long time to put these proposals into action, but our younger generations will be better for it.

 

Kuzey Sagkal from Doga Schools

 

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Sustainability and environment -future wheel

These young students of the Tel Aviv youth university – a project that enables high school students from Israel’s geographic periphery, most of whom are the first in their families who enroll in higher education – to have an academic semester at Tel Aviv University, were concerned about our environment. However, they were also inspired by their research tour, in which they saw a variety of solutions both at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University and on the roof of one of Tel Aviv’s big malls – two buildings that implement principles of sustainability. They also have discussed the issue with Prof. Colin Price, the head of the Porter School of Environmental Studies.

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The socio-economic gap

On their educational tour from the poverty of south Tel Aviv to the high-tech and the most developed and rich part of the city, the students of the Tel Aviv Youth University – a project which enables periphery high-school students to have an academical semester in the university – decided to deal with the social-economic gap.

**In the picture: Tel Aviv, bottom-up, rags to riches: the building of Facebook Israel, as caught from street level by the camera of one young guide during the tour**

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The socio-economic gap

On their educational tour from the poverty of south Tel Aviv to the high-tech and the most developed and rich part of the city, the students of the Tel Aviv Youth University – a project which enables periphery high-school students to have an academical semester in the university – decided to deal with the social-economic gap.

**In the picture: Tel Aviv, bottom-up, rags to riches: the building of Facebook Israel, as caught from street level by the camera of one young guide during the tour**

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The “4 Israeli tribes” – tolerance and the cleavages between the Israeli groups


The members of this team, from Tel Aviv Youth University – a project which enables periphery high-school students to have an academical semester in the university, were inspired by a lecture discussing the idea of “The 4 Israeli tribes” – a phrase that was coined by the President of Israel to modify a four groups that Israel is disintegrating into: the ultra-Orthodox, the national religious, the Arab sector and the secular Jewish sector. The young students, Arabs and Jews, religious and secular, who succeeded in bridging the gaps and disagreements – studying and living together – wanted to express the idea that there is another way.

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A special presentation of the WYRED project

A major milestone for The Tel Aviv Summer University  program was achieved as the young students presented their projects in their graduation ceremony.
The program was led by Dr. Tal Soffer, head of The unit for technology and society foresight (TSF) at Tel Aviv University, and the Youth Summer University’s staff. The students were exposed to various issues related to the digital society in the present and in the future, focusing on the Israeli society. It was done through various tours in relevant places and lectures about different subjects. Following that, the students were asked to identify a problem that would be important in the year 2030, to explore it, analyze, and propose creative solutions that will engage with large audiences and reach the decision makers. The work was done in teams where the students could express their opinion in a moderated dialog.

During the graduation ceremony the WYRED project was presented, and the students showcased their projects to a wide audience including (no : necessary) senior representatives from  the Israeli Ministry of Education, researchers from Tel Aviv University, visitors from the third sector, educators and the families of the participants. 
You can have a small glimpse of two scenes video clip from one of the team projects, which deals with the refugees issue:

(Shown in the picture above : The young students are standing in front of a slide that says “Thank you” in a special font that combines letters in Hebrew and Arabic).

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Digital society, young people and decision makers: Wyred consultations

One of the partners of WYRED consortium, Youth for Exchange and Understanding, is consulting 180 young people taking part in University on Youth and Development on issues related to digital society.

What are their biggest concerns? What values should we have online? Do they feel that their voices are heard by decision makers and what are they demanding as young people from stakeholders for a better digital society?

Consultations are part of the revision process of WYRED Manifesto.

 

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The Wyred Project and the voice of young people: Noemi

What does the audience actually know about critical situations described by the media?
Noemi, a student from Rome Tre University, brings to our attention the research that she carried out through the Wyred Project and its surprising results.

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