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Two days, 8000 young people and countless ideas – Yo!Fest 2018

34090664_929565520543281_5138824070678183936_oThe annual political, musical, youth-led festival of the European Youth Forum, Yo!Fest, for it’s 10th edition took place in Strasbourg, France between 1st and 2nd of June. The third European Youth Event, EYE2018, gathered 8.000 young people engaged in different activities, debates, performances and workshops at Parliament’s premises in Strasbourg.

Over 50 nationalities from each and every member state in the EU, including participants from Asia, Africa and other parts of Europe had the chance to reach the European Parliament to take part in the European Youth Event 2018.

Thousands of young people had the opportunities to express their concerns and raise their voices on the issues that matter to them. This unique event, provided the youths with the space to directly engage with decision-makers. At the opening of the event, the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, gave his speech and answered the key questions that the youths were wondering about. Questions were mainly about the future of youth, of EU and of the world.

The non-formal part of the event took place outside the Parliament building where the participants were doing workshops and other activities in which they had the chance to take part and share their knowledge and experiences.

Young people from different countries, shared their ideas with people from all over Europe learning from each other cultures and participating actively while working for a stronger and diverse  Europe through the debates that were centered on five themes: Young and Old;

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Rich and Poor; Apart and Together; Safe and Dangerous and Local and Global.

The event was accompanied with two amazing days of YOFest  where in addition to the engaging debates and in-depth conversations, the festival included plenty of open-air concerts.

This event showed that the voice of youth around the world has to be heard. Here, participants had the chance to meet, to exchange and join their ideas and to discuss for questions that are really important for their future.

With a backpack full of new friends from all over the world, good vibes and fresh inspiration, the participants of EYE2018 and Yo!Fest got back home.
They are ready to go out there, include others and spread the message of unity and diversity knowing that their voices will be a key factor in shaping Europe’s future.

 Yo!Fest through the eyes of the participants

Amy, 19 – Ireland

I got to meet many new friends; I got to talk about different issues. А really lovely atmosphere in two amazing days.

Vincent, 19 –  France

This is my first time on Yo!Fest. My time is great here because you meet many new people with very different backgrounds and you can talk in very different languages and it’s great.

Eva, 20 – Bulgaria

When I was coming, I was pretty scared and I didn’t know what to expect, because that’s the first time I came here. But, after that, I met many new friends, we talked a lot and I really liked it. It’s just great.

Melisa, France

I like this event because there are lot of people speaking different languages and we can speak in English, German, French, it’s a real intercultural Europe.

Andrea, Macedonia

I think that this is an excellent event, especially for people that are not familiar with youth work and youth organizations. Excellent event for informing about everything that is happening around Europe and for the different activities and initiatives.

The Journey – If I was a migrant

The Eurodesk Network awarded board game “The journey” (IMAGINE:Migrant Journey) was also part of the Yo!Fest 2018. Many young people tried to understand and managed to play this game thanks to the System & Generation Association from Turkey.

“The idea came in 2015 when our team decided that the refugee crisis is now arising and we need more people to give them information about this crisis. We wrote project for creating a board game that will raise awareness about the migration issues in Europe”. – System & Generation team.

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When you start playing the game you are a refugee. You put yourself into the refugees shoes and you have certain task. This task comes from the obstacle cards that are used in this game and you must finish what is written in the obstacle card. The game takes place in Istanbul. So, your task is to go in different neighborhoods in Istanbul and do certain things. Sometimes you have to pay money; sometimes you meet with other people.  You receive information and also you avoid police, which is very important. The game is very strategic and you need to think and plan ahead your journey. So, in this case you really feel like a migrant.

“When you play the game you become yourself a migrant. So, you want the people, ordinary young people to put them self into a migrant shoes so they can understand that they have some difficulties, but also they have some good opportunities during their journey”. – – System & Generation team

System & Generation Association is really satisfied from the feedback they got on Yo!Fest.

“Yo!Fest was very responsive. The young people were very interested in the game, they really tried to figure it out, they didn’t wait for us to come and explain”.

Angela Rajchevska

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