The Franco-German Youth Office (FYGO) in close cooperation with the Institut Français d’Allemagne / French Embassy in Berlin, hosted the international meeting for youth “International Youth for Peace – 100 Years After World War I, 100 Ideas for Peace” between the November 14th and 18th.
I was invited to attend as representative of Alternative Innovative Development (AID).
The participants were 500 young people from 48 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia and between the age of 18 and 22.
The objectives of that youth meeting were to facilitate intercultural dialogue as well as reflection on the events that occurred at the end of first World War, 100 years ago from several perspectives and the impact these events had on the countries involved and their societies to date.
In more details, day one included our arrival in Jugendherberge Ostkreuz hostel and afterwards the kick-off event ceremony at Bolle Festsäle. Welcoming remarks from Andreas Michaelis, state secretary of the federal foreign office of Germany and next there was a panel discussion between Peace Ambassadors from around the Europe. Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, former French prime minister participated in the debate.
The thematic topic of the second day was to define “What War is”. Smaller groups of 20 participants formed. At the beginning the attendees had some bonding games to secure that the participants will get acquainted and feel comfortable with each other.
Participants took place in workshops presenting discussing their personal connections with World War I.
Day’s three topic was “From War to Peace”. Participants were assigned city exploration tasks in memorial sites in terms of the “Tracing History in Berlin” workshop.
Closing the third day, the youths shared their perspectives about “The Meaning of Peace”.
At day 4, groups were assigned to work and prepare a presentation on “Ideas for Peace in and around Europe”. Later on, the showcase of these ideas occured at the end of the seminar.
The closing ceremony took place at Kosmos. The young participants presented their ideas to Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic.
The planning and management of this international young meeting by Franco-German Youth Office (FYGO) was excellent. The workshops were quite to the point and the accommodation in the hostel as well the food was pretty good. It was an unique experience and we at AID, are more than proud to be part of it. The big amount of different perspectives shared in this event for WWI totally rewarded every attendant.
(We will soon upload more photos from the meeting. Until then you can take a look at the official video)