It’s Your Turn was a 6-day event destined at European youth leaders and aimed at exploring good practice in youth-led community improvement project management. A mentored process, hosted in distinctive locations around the town (a ski museum, an 18th century coffee bar, a railway carriage museum etc.) trained them in needs assessment and prioritisation, project design, scheduling, budgeting, permissions, resource and volunteer mobilisation, project implementation, evaluation and reporting. The meeting also had an excellent cultural programme and a fun opening day in the Mürzzuschlag ropes park – where the team developed trust in each other. There was also a session discussing the EU-Africa Strategy with young Africans, and a World Café discussing issues to be raised at the 2008 World Youth Congress in Quebec City, Canada. On the final day, the congress delegates were bussed to Vienna where some of their project ideas were presented to, and discussed by a panel of experts at the UN Office in Vienna. The Congress closed with a day in the Austrian Alps – visiting the historic and natural sites of special interest. A book on Youth-led Development was reviewed and analysed by delegates, and published by the Schumacher Society after the end of the congress. The partners, Peace Child International and United Games Austria also produced a handbook, It’s Your Turn, listing all the projects developed by delegates during the Congress.
That congress, hosted in the attractive surroundings of the UK’s United World College, Atlantic College, was a very conscious Prepcom for the 3rd World Youth Congress in Scotland. Co-hosted by the Scottish Youth Parliament, all the workshop sessions focused on issues of volunteerism, social responsibility and international development to be discussed at the Scottish WYC. That EYC was perhaps most memorable for the moment when the bus carrying delegates to Scotland broke down causing everyone to stay overnight in Birmingham before traveling on to Stirling Scotland, where they took part in the Ministerial Announcement of the Congress.
The 5th World Youth Congress (WYC) is being co-managed by young leaders of the E-Genclik network together with the Government of Turkey, Peace Child International and an International Youth Advisory Board. The WYC will be held in Istanbul and will gather some of the world’s most active young leaders and bring them together with politicians and experienced development professionals in order to discuss, plan and take action on sustainable development issues in the spirit of ‘Imece’ – the ancient Turkish system of collaborative solidarity.
The application process is open to all development and media activists, artists, educators and young entrepreneurs. The cultural programme will be extraordinary - and, if you have never visited Istanbul, you should seize this opportunity to do so as 2010 is Istanbul’s year as the European Capital of Culture. Take this chance to meet a thousand outstanding young individuals from 100+ countries who, like you, care passionately about our planet and its future.
Deadline for applications: 31st January 2010 – go to: www.turkiye2010.org