Termín konání: 12-13 September 2019
Místo konání: Ryglice, Poland
Programme & action: Visegrad fund, final conference of the project “You(TH) Decide”
Venue: Ryglice, Poland
Dates: 12-13 September 2019
Participants: Noemi Kuliková, Hana Husnicová, Klaudia Beláková
Coordinating organisation: Youthfully Yours (Slovakia)
Host organisation: Ryglice Community
Participating countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia
It is said it took God six days to create the Earth. In the famous film Liam Neeson needed 72 hours to find his kidnapped daughter. But what happens when you take 25 youngsters from four different nations and give them 24 hours to make the most out of it?
Well, let me tell you what. However, before I do, let’s take a short time-travel trip to the past few months so you will see why we met here in the first place.
The driving force behind all of this was the need to improve the lack of active youth participation in our communities in the central European Visegrad countries : the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Because of this shared vision we had resolved to organise various events which gathered the local youth workers and young people. The goal was to create a platform for our ideas to emerge, take these concepts and develop them so that they could be successfully implemented in the near future.
But we understood that cutting the whole project at this point would not have been enough. Although, each country collected many competent and powerful outcomes, we were in it on our own – at that point we did not fully cooperate with our partner associations yet. Luckily, our meetup in Ryglice in Poland has changed it completely. If you ask any of us, it was a truly intense day. From the initial ice-breaking and get-to-know each other games to the group workshops where we dived deeper into the topic of youth participation and came
up with a bunch of cool definitions of what it means to us. At the end of the day we began to prepare for the final step – You(th) Decide conference in a cultural House of Ryglice region.
These were our five minutes of fame: a brief presentation of who we are, introduction to our organisations, showing the results of the hard work we have done and discussing crucial questions regarding youth involvement in the public and political life. Our audience did not
solely consist of students and young people but also of the mayors of the neighbouring villages, which was an aspect more crucial than we were able to realise at the first sight. Seeing these important figures who were, above all, adults embedded in us perhaps just an unconscious notion that the voice of the youth was welcomed, supported and encouraged. We finally understood that the catchy name of this event was not only talking about our own determination. It was also a subtle invitation for the local authorities to decide whether to give us a hand and be our partners instead of rivals.
For now, we can only guess how fruitful this experience was. But what I dare say is that meeting in Ryglice was not just an icing on the cake. It was more like the sugar without which the cake could be edible, though rather flavourless. And most probably, it would not even have been a cake.