The activities at the 18th annual University on Youth and Development (UYD) facilitated by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe reach out to national and local communities via the various organisations’ seminar sessions. These workshops share the experiences and expertise of over 230 youth leaders and youth participants from a global level down to introducing local policy changes.
Three organisations in particular draw youth participation and local and national policy making together: the Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España, CJE), Developing Youth Participation at Local Level (DYPALL), and the Spanish Institute for Youth (INJUVE).
The Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España, CJE) involved Latin American participants with their partnership with Foro Latinoamericano y Caribeño de la Juventud (FLACJ). “These members are particularly active in their home countries and are attending the workshops in order to learn how best to channel their passion in order to successfully introduce local and domestic policy changes”, commented Ana Solano, International Affairs Secretary of the Spanish Youth Council (CJE).
The organisation’s long-term influence can be interpreted by the creation of ‘Identities on the Move’, which was set-up by a former participant of the CJE’s seminar that even went by the same title. “Following the seminar, this young participant returned home to Madrid and launched the organisation which pushes the city to support refugees,” said Manuel Ramos, Non-Formal Education and Participation at the CJE.
The DYPALL (Developing Youth Participation at Local Level) Network also uses the UYD forum to formulate new policy at local and domestic levels. Their European network of 30 municipalities and civil society organisations for more than 30 countries enables them to broadcast to their own members across Europe, Jordan and Palestine, what they acquire at the UYD. Following their previous workshops and training sessions at the UYD, DYPALL launched local youth councils in Malta and a regional youth forum in Italy. These new organisations increase the level of ownership, commitment and involvement of young people in their communities.
Continuing their commitment to the UYD is the Instituto de la Juventud (INJUVE), who have contributed to the activities since its inception in 2000. It is the first time that they have held training workshops at the university broadening their involvement from financial and advisory, to full immersion with the young participants. One of the participants of INJUVE’s workshop is Aurora Ali from the – an organisation that combats hate crimes and brings the perpetrators to the Spanish judicial systems. In order to advance their cause, she has received an online tool-kit from INJUVE in methods of tackling hate crime and radicalisation, which will then be used at local level by the organisation members spread across Spain and by their prosecutors in support of the court cases.