Youth vision and recommendations for an inclusive Europe
Sara BAHMANPOUR Muslim from Finland interviews
An International Youth Training Seminar took place in parallel with the RfP Europe Assembly “Empowering Youth for Interfaith and Multicultural Peace Action”, from 27 October to 2 November in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. This Youth Exchange, supported by Erasmus+ and other sponsors, brought together 54 young people and facilitators from 12 European countries and 8 religious communities and non-believers. They participated in some of the Assembly activities and presented a report in a special youth plenary session with recommendations.
“Empowering Youth in Interfaith and Multicultural Peace Action” aimed to empower young people of faith and other interested young people providing them with interfaith and multicultural tools for preventing and eliminating xenophobia and intolerance. The project responded to the problem of growing intolerance over religion and religious expression, which is endangering societies in Europe. The youth exchange responded to the lack of awareness of key concepts of a culture of peace, lack of information about other faiths and religions, and lack of knowledge about other cultures. This is manifested in hate-speech or discriminatory speech or action often involving young people.
There were eight workshops and panel discussions led by the participating organizations on the following topics: Cultural and Spiritual Values and Religious Inheritances that Unite us in Europe; Coming Closer to the Needs and Feelings of the Other; Building a Culture of Peace; Organizations’ Good Practice in Peace Building and Non-Discrimination; Building Partnership and Funding Opportunities; Art, a Contribution to Peace, Inspiration and Creativity; Formation of Youth Citizen Reporters; Changing our way of thinking towards a holistic approach for contributing to peace.
Through the workshops participants gained the following experience:
Capacity to show empathy and to understand the needs and feelings of other young persons and people in general; awareness of the causes of racism and xenophobia; new knowledge and understanding of different cultures/faiths and increased capacity to respond to concrete situations of intolerance and xenophobia; fundraising and capacity to conduct information campaigns and youth activities; ability to share with other young people in their communities and organizations and strengthen the network; capacity to respect and understand cultural and religious differences in networking; expand their horizons, strengthen confidence in youth engagement, and help overcome some of the challenges young people are facing; communicational tools for disseminating their activities and project results based upon ethical values; ability to offer genuine assistance to others.
Copyright religionsforpeace-europe.org 2019