From the 7th to the 9th of December, the Fundació Catalunya Voluntària participated in the meeting of the international youth network ‘Inter Alia’ -of which it is a member- held in Athens; under the title ‘Life beyond the EU funds’.
The meeting, organized by the Greek entity Inter Alia, the network’s coordinator, was the perfect opportunity to meet some of the people responsible for the member entities, non-profit organizations from Portugal, Italy, Northern Macedonia, Greece, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Turkey, Romania, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Germany, in person – including historical leaders of the youth movement like Altino Barradas, with whom the FCV has been collaborating for about 15 years.
The sessions took place at co-working space The Cube, located in the Omonia district. The first day was dedicated to presenting the program and objectives of the meeting, as well as providing information on the future of European programs (by Boyka Boneva, AI director). The following day, the different sources of funding were assessed (by Sotiris Petropoulos, of the consultancy HIGGS), and some initiatives and campaigns carried out by the member organizations of the network were presented. There, the FCV presented the preparatory work for the campaign for the international recognition of the right to volunteering (the result of the last international seminar hosted by the FCV in Vilanova i la Geltrú ‘Equal Volunteering Opportunities for All’); the People to People entity presented a social entrepreneurship initiative, conducted by volunteers in India and various African countries; and the Romanian Youth Movement for Democracy entity presented a youth engagement initiative in local policymaking.
The afternoon session, presented by the Human RIghts 360º, helped improve the understanding and the difficult situation that many newcomers face, served to reflect on the tasks to which the same entities should pay more attention, such as: research, collection and analysis of data and information from various sources, in order to carry out actions with a greater impact. The last exercise of the day was to design a campaign to overcome discriminatory and xenophobic attitudes and discourses in the Greek context, strongly marked by the financial and political crisis, national pride and the humanitarian crisis suffered by refugees.
On the last day, we exchanged proposals and decided what would be the next event we would be holding together 2020.
The objectives of the network are: to get young people involved in the processes of social and political dialogue and to enable them to contribute to the discussions on the challenges of democracy in Europe; foster empathy, respect, and cultural exchange through volunteering and mobility activities; and advocate for greater recognition of non-ruled education in Europe.
For more information on the network, you can visit the website: https://civilsocietynetwork.weebly.com/about.html
The meeting was held thanks to the support of the European Commission’s Erasmus Plus program.