What's Up: ENGSO Youth Young Delegates Meeting 2019
ENGSO Youth held a meeting of their Young Delegates in Budapest end of November, and this month’s students column shares the experiences of its Portuguese participant Fabio Silva.
Between the 22nd and 26th of November the city of Budapest hosted the ENGSO Youth Young Delegates Meeting 2019. Supported by the Council of Europe, through the European Youth Foundation, this event set the start of the upcoming two-year mandate of the young delegates and aimed at gathering contributions towards the development of the “Active Citizenship Through Sport Toolkit”.
Reinforcing the role and fostering the active participation of young people in local and regional life are key actions to confronting both internal and external challenges which the European Union currently faces, as well as to tackle such phenomena as social exclusion, youth marginalization, extremism or political disengagement. With sport being the most popular social activity in which one in every three young Europeans are involved, it provides for a unique platform for positive social change, youth dialogue and empowerment.
The meeting programme comprised a broad range of activities. Day one started off with a presentation on the organisation, its purposes and projects, as well as of ENGSO Youth staff and committee members, and of the delegates. Team building sessions slowly but surely helped break the ice and before we knew it, we were eagerly sharing our stories and projects, and attentively listening to each other’s. The 25 delegates are expected to actively contribute to ENGSO Youth’s work, while engaging with one of five working groups. In Budapest we met for the first time and explored some of the next steps and sought to better understand each other’s expectations.
From the second day, we were introduced to the “Have Your Say!” manual, which provided the basis for a constructive debate on how sport can further enhance the recommendations of the Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life. The ideas discussed, in light of the “RMSOS” approach (right, means, space, opportunity, support), were then translated to practical exercises which were tested and further improved based on the delegates’ comments.
Additionally, the programme also included some leisure time - we had the opportunity to explore and fall in love with the city, which is also home to ENGSO Youth’s secretariat, experience local cuisine, relax at thermal baths and test our ice skating (and falling) skills.
Overall, this was a positive experience as a kick-off to the Young delegate mandate and to becoming part of the ENGSO Youth family, but it is only just the beginning. Believing that change is brought about by each and every one of us taking meaningful actions and willing to give a bit of ourselves towards establishing a positive change in our respective communities, and having spent these days with such a diverse and competent group of people, listening to their stories, debating and reflecting with them I feel optimistic.
The author Fabio Silva is a Master’s student of Sport and Olympic Studies at the University of Tsukuba, sport specialist at the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth, and the ENGSO Youth Young Delegate 2019-21.
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