Networking, they say. Learning in an informal environment, not only during sessions, but also (or maybe even more) during the coffee breaks, joint sessions, and late night talks. The sun, the sand and the sea. A mixture of all those people who keep trying to make a change in their societies. A safe space for people from the EuroMed region to work together. All this could give you a glimpse of what MedUni- the Mediterrenean University- in Tunisia is.
The Mediterranean University in Tunisia is one of several sister universities organised by the North South Centre of the Council of Europe where there is space for different events, training courses and seminars on Youth and Global citizenship. The most known is the one held in Mollina, Spain, in September and in these universities different organisations host their own events and also get a chance to cooperate with others, not only during free time, but also during the organised joint sessions and leisure time.
This year MedUni was held from 4 to 8 June in Hammamet and EFIL was represented at MedUni by two EPOT members: Stasa Stojkov (AFS Serbia) and Mila Majstorovic (AFS Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Stasa Stojkov attended the follow-up of the training course on Structured Participation in Democratic processes held in Barcelona in February and organised by the National Youth Council of Catalonia (CNJC). At the training course in February Mirela Hrnjic (AFS Bosnia & Herzegovina) presented the InterCOOL project that was successfully implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This follow-up meeting in Tunisia was a space for all the participants from the training course to continue developing projects they started back in Barcelona. Amongst the participants there were several people from the CNJC, 7 participants from Southern Europe, 4 from the Middle East and North Africa.
Mila Majstorovic attended the event “Empowering Networking and Youth Leaderships in Euro-Arab and Mediterranean Process”organised by Forum Nazionale Giovani (FNG), the Italian National Youth Council. This event aimed at capitalizing on the outcomes of similar events organised by FNG in the previous 3 years. This meeting gathered 20 participants from European, Arab and Mediterranean countries/regions (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Catalonia, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Portugal, Bulgaria, Greece, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine) with the aim of involving and training youth workers/trainers in the co-operation process, enabling them to multiply the outcomes and the results of the previous years of co-operation and to move forward the process by planning joint sessions to be developed by the network during 2016.
For Mila this was a unique opportunity to present EFIL and gain more experience from the youth leaders from the European and especially Arab and Mediterranean countries when it comes to introducing a new approach to the development of an active Euro-Arab Mediterranean network of youth organisations. Through common sessions during the day, there was a chance to share ideas, experiences and knowledge, and also to discuss different topics with the whole group. In particular, the group focused in defining the role and tasks of the multiplier. Role-play was used as a creative training method to explore the complexity of advocacy, partnership and networking and participants were also initiated to project writing. At the end of the meeting participants tried to find common tools as a basis for the joint actions, leading to the drafting of an Action Plan for 2016 including concrete actions that participants as youth leaders and representatives of their organisations had in mind when it comes to the follow-up of the common conclusions they all agreed on. Concrete networking actions are expected to happen in the coming months and group members are already so enthusiastic to implement all our conclusions and plans from the meeting.
Apart from working on action plans and gaining skills and knowledge on project management, through this event Stasa and Mila managed to bring EFIL closer to different organisations in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The overall theme: “Youth.org, actors for change!” made the participants reflect upon the impact they have in the society, current issues and potential ways to solve those we face in our communities.
All in all, it seems like some new partnerships and projects will become a valuable outcome of this event.
Eliza Popper (AFS Hungary), Stasa Stojkov (AFS Serbia) and Mila Majstorovic (AFS Bosnia and Herzegovina)