November Pan-European online youth conference
Updated: Sep 8, 2021
The Pan-European online youth conference was a 5-day online event, consisting of a series of workshops, panel discussions and other exciting activities to galvanize and inspire young peace makers across Europe. A team of young people from across Europe, the European Youth Team, got together to create the content and program of the workshop, to ensure that it was a conference for young people run by young people.
Workshops and Q&A sessions were then organised based on sub-themes that the European Youth Team felt were particularly important to young people today: Education, Equality, Environment, Health and Migration. The conference was also attended by Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and The Rt Hon Stuart Lawrence who each led panels and discussions with youth during the conference. The other speakers and workshop leaders were young people from across countries all over Europe that led interactive workshops, discussions, well-being sessions and even healthy cooking classes! The international children's aid and advocacy organisation, Kids Rights, were also involved and the conference aligned with the announcement of their 2020 Kids Rights Laureate. The awardee, Sadat Rahman from Bangladesh, was able to join the conference and answer a Q&A around his important work and on winning the Kids Rights prize.
The conference was based around the 5 themes Education, Equality, Environment, Health and Migration and had over 20 workshops and interactive sessions and even an open-mic, talent show! A copy of the program can be found here: https://peacejamforaninclusiveeurope.org/home/pan-eu-conference/
Over 170 young people joined our online conference to hear and connect with 1997 Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Jody Williams, who won the award for for creating an international treaty to ban landmines and for clearing landmine fields worldwide.
Alongside Jody, we held a series of panels and follow-up workshops based on our 5 themes. For Equality, we listened to a panel consisting of the Rt Hon. Stuart Lawrence, Motivational speaker and trustee at the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, alongside Lavinya Stennett, Founder and CEO of the Black Curriculum and Rumbi Mukoyi, Founder of African Youth Arise.
For the Equality workshops, the European Peer Training Organisation held a powerful session on Diversity and anti-discrimination, Rumbi from AYA held her session on Storytelling as a tool for peacebuilding Arise and The Foundation for Forgiveness and Reconciliation (FFR) delivered a hard-hitting session on “Choosing Peace after The Troubles in Northern Ireland.”
To look further into Education, we had an incredible panel made up of Gemma Perkins, Managing Director of the Self Leadership Initiative, Dimitra V. Mousiloli, Lawyer and Accredited Mediator of the Greek Ministry of Justice, Franck Laurant, a Law student and Co-Founder of Civix and Wequity, Georgiana Moldoveanu, a Romanian teacher and Founder of Game Changers Campina nd Idriss Assoumanou, the Creative Director of No Effx.
The workshops were led by Idriss Assoumanou, encouraging students with his 'Telling your story with film', Gemma Perkins ran "Re-thinking the future of education", Georgiana Moldoveanu and Aurelia Frincu ran a "5 minutes for here and now for digital learners" session, Dimitra Mousioli ran "Resolving your conflicts and creating a happy, safe school" and Reinout Bosman led his "speak to the public with confidence!"
On Health, we had Kubra Ozguvenc, a Happiness Alchemist, Coach and Healer, Founder of 'Shift Your Reality', with Oumaima Ouzzine, a medical student from Belgium, Arafat Bwambale, Head of Health and Policy at Great Lakes Peace Centre, Uganda and Seyran Maryam Khalili, who holds an MSc in Organisatioan Psychiatry & Psychology and is the deputy Head of LIM.
The Health workshops had Oumaima Ouzzine, speaking on "An Introduction to Health Care", Kubra Ozguvenc, discussing "Shift Your Reality: A Lesson in Mindfulness" and musician Joe Jordan worked with students on the "Universal Language of Rhythm".
For Environment, we had Stelios Theodosopoulous, Founding member of the Greek 'Volunteer Forest Protection Group - Fire of Glyfada', with Eveline Seghers of European Footprint, Dr Mya-Rose Craig, AKA 'Bird Girl and Elis Smits.
And the workshops saw Giulia Marzetti from the European Youth Team run a #TalkingClimate session, Franziska Finkbeiner, of Plant for the Planet engaged students with "How can everyone be a part of a positive chain reaction?", Elis Smits spoke with students on "The Theory of Change" and Eveline Seghers from European Footprint worked with students on "The Power of Stories"
Finally, for Migration, we had Shwetal Shah, member of the PeaceJam Europe European Youth Team and listed as one of Forbes '30 under 30' and Financial Times 'Top 100 in Tech', Amirhossein Mousavi, Developer of the website CovidMediaInfo, Natasha Chilambo, a medical student and human rights campaigner and Waj Syed and Hameed Ale, who shared their incredible stories with us.
Migration workshops were led by Anite Ikwene, with members of the 'Migration au-delà des préjugés' spoke with students and the refugee crisis and migrant struggles, Syeda Batool, a Pakistani asylum seeker now living in the UK, worked alongside other refugee youth focusing on "Equal-Access for Refugees" and JJ Tomlinson, a researcher and journalist worked with students to focus on "Seeking Asylum: Building a New Reality".
Alongside these fantastic speaker sessions and workshops, we also felt it was very important to hold some mindfulness and well-being sessions and for these we were moved calmly into guided meditation/yoga with Yogioli, Joe Jordan used his handpan to create a sound journey, Jessica Gray-Lightly led a Yoga Nidra Relaxation Session called 'Welcome Home to your Body' and Elis Williams delivered an informative and tasty session on 'Healthy Eating for Healthy Minds'.
Following the November conference, the European Youth Team put out a call for action for young people across Europe to join them in working together to carry forward the messages and actions from the November conference. Already, the European Youth Team has a membership of over 80 young people from across Europe, working in four groups: Projects, Events, Newsletters and Digital Communication. We are organizing events, supporting European youth with projects and initiatives and creating opportunities for young people across Europe.
If you are interested in working with a large group of open-minded and action-driven young people from across Europe, within a youth-led, grassroots organisation then please contact us at EYTPeaceJam@gmail.com or visit our website: https://www.peacejameurope.org/european-youth-team