By Emma Symeonidou, Coordinator of Non Formal Education & Volunteers Manager - YMCA Thessaloniki, Greece
Peace begins with you…
For me, that was the highlight of this study session!
Don’t let the behavior of others (who are actually an expression of our greater whole) destroy your inner peace – a leader once said.
And I relate to this.
The past stays in the past. What we should focus on is the future!
And being young, gives us the privilege to do so and try to change the world and the future for good.
So, to start with, YMCA Europe managed to bring together 35 delegates aged 18 – 30 from 17 different countries at P.E.A.C.E. study session.
I am sure that you have the same question I had before I attended “PEACE”; How Peace, Campaigning and Digital all match together?
After a week in Budapest, and after many sessions, workshops, presentations from experts and facilitators (to whom I owe a big thanks) I finally got answers to most of my questions. So the question mark became an exclamation mark (!)
And I would like to go deeper in that and try to give you an idea on how the days in Budapest have been like for me from my perspective.
I will continue by saying that In some countries that were present in the study session, the level of external conflict may be very high...
But the greatest thing of all: during the study session, not even for a second, there was zero feeling of "tension" in the room!
We did not let this stay in our way of having fun, interacting and learning from one another.
So, despite our challenges, despite our conflicts and how different we were from one another, this study session granted us with the opportunity to come together and learn from one another.
And it shouldn't really be a surprise to all of you reading this; that we did learn from one another. Either from the questions we addressed, the sessions we attended, or just from chatting over coffee or lunch.
We tend to enjoy new experiences and to bring new creative ideas to the table. Even if we were there to listen, hear and learn, we were also there to interact, think, create and speak up when needed.
YMCA Europe and “PEACE” has provided us with a safe space to further our skills and discover the untold stories of the Youth!
And now we can take on responsibility, we were supported, and they showed confidence in us – this is the YMCA!
So, thank you YMCA Europe for making this seem so easy! Thank you all for your time and your efforts.
And before I finish this article, I would like to give an advice to all: go talk to someone who is different from you, someone who may not have the same skin color or share the same ideas with you, someone you wouldn’t talk to normally, because this is how we truly learn from one another!
After a study session like this, one thing is certain: we are more alike than we are different! We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that separate us!