A Youth’s Journey to Politics — Austria


Termín konání: 14-21 October 2019

Místo konání: Velden am Wörthersee, Austria

Projekt je plně obsazen. Můžete se hlásit jako náhradníci.  

Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Training course

Venue: Velden am Wörthersee, Austria

Dates: 14-21 October 2019

Participants: Štepán Kašpar, Victoria Usan

Participants fee (deducated by hosting organisation): €30

Host organisation: Gemma

Please read the info-pack & daily programme

Participating countries: Austria, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, Cyprus, Estonia, Romania, Latvia, North Macedonia, Bulgaria 

Project report: 

Welcome to heaven on Earth, the guest house on the shore of the lake Wörthersee in the south of Austria!

We, Viky and Štěpán, will be your messengers on our one-week journey through politics, which lasted from the 14th of October to the 21st of October in this heaven.

We decided to go to the venue by train to reduce our carbon footprint, all in all, we spent around 9 hours on our way there. During our transfer in Vienna, we met some other participants from Spain, Estonia, North Macedonia and Romania, with whom we travelled to Velden. In our destination, organizers arranged taxi pick-ups to get to the venue quickly, so all together we headed to our guesthouse, where we met some of the participants. After dinner, we started our first ice-breaking and getting to know each other.

The next day, we continued with our ice-breaking games as the last participants finally arrived. Later on, we were working on the rules and agenda of our project, doing teambuilding, and, finally, we received our first introduction in politics. The day was finished with a big intercultural evening, where we were presenting our countries, cultures and stereotypes.

Wednesday was full of workshops and hard work, and a lot of information was given to us. We talked about Rights, Means, Space, Opportunity & Support Framework, and how it is related to our communities and countries. We had an opportunity to get to know about different ideologies and talk about the problems of our countries and possible solutions for them. We also started to work on so-called Manifestos, policies for the issues we would like to solve in our society. As we were working on them in a group with people from different countries, we had to find a compromise for what we should face in our work.

On Thursday, we went to Klagenfurt am Wörthersee where organizers prepared for us a meeting with local politicians, particularly with Social-Democratic Party and New People’s Party. Also, we met a representative of the local Student Union. It was great to hear first-hand information about gender and migration issues, climate change or youth participation in the society. After lunch in the European house, we split into smaller groups to explore the town on our own.

On Friday, we were analyzing, what policy is and discussing different policies related to youth. We also did an exercise about structured dialogue and co-management.

Saturday was a day of time-travelling to ancient Greece and Italy as in it was dedicated to writing inspirational speeches and trying out public speaking. We discussed the triangle of ethos, logos and pathos, different styles of creating a rhetorical speech. Also, we discussed frames and categorizing as well as we tried advocacy and lobbying. At the end of the day, we were finalizing our Manifestos.

On the last day, we were defending our Manifestos as if we were in a real parliament. Also, we talked about the Erasmus+ programme and discussed our action plan (which we are fulfilling by writing this report). The day was finished with a farewell dinner and giving out Youthpasses.

Each day of the course started with a great tradition to walk around the area and discuss the question or topic we were given. And each day was ended with a 30-minute reflection, during which we could discuss our problems & fears, offer some improvements and also evaluate the progress of the day.

In the evening, if there was no official programme, we tried to entertain ourselves in our own way, so we organized a couple of movie nights, organized a poster workshop or rented bikes to see the surroundings. Also, we were going (quite regularly) to the swimming pool and even tried to swim in +17 degrees cold lake.

The last but not the least, we were also given some useful information about what books we can read, what films we can watch and further information with which we can immerse more into the topic.

Victoria Usan

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