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First of all, by being a joint Palestinian-European initiative, our board will consist of both Palestinians and Europeans. Jointly, we decide on the most important issues to address within our societies, how we wish to engage with each other and what EPYC’s priorities are. We aim to extend our contacts within youth organizations in both Europe and Palestine and function as a bridge by actively building connections.
Currently, we are building the following projects:
High School Awareness Campaign
The EPYC High School Awareness project aims to connect European and Palestinian high school students. We offer a tailor-made educational package to high schools in Europe and in Palestine that is adjusted to the needs and background of the school, city or country in question. During a multiple-week program, students are faced with concepts such as stereotyping, discrimination and prejudices. We connect European and Palestinian youth through social media and technological communication such as Skype. The meetings are guided by exercises and mutual questions regarding culture, religion, gender, daily life and so on. In this way, students from different societies learn to understand and interact with different cultures from an early age.
Youth empowerment workshops
These workshops prepare youth (16+) to become the leaders of tomorrow and fight for intercultural understanding and mutual respect. During the workshops students meet and engage with community leaders, NGO’s and academics to not only discuss different intercultural issues, but also become familiar with different methods and tool to promote mutual respect in their own communities, with a focus on tools for raising awareness. We offer workshops on a variety of topics, such as the use of social media, leadership, fundraising and facilitating dialogues.
Polarization and tensions are growing in both western and eastern societies. Sectarian conflicts arise from the Middle-East to Europe: the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq, the war in Gaza and growing intolerance and nationalism in Europe. Due to this growing intolerance a gap is being created between people with different identities. In order to combat these tensions and limit them from causing greater conflicts, it is necessary to emphasize mutual understanding, equality and respect. The only way to do so is by carrying on the dialogue between different cultures from a framework based on universal equality for all.
In May 2015, European and Palestinian youth will organize a large conference that addresses these current issues, fosters dialogue and encourages youth to become ambassadors for justice and equality. The conference aims to send out a strong societal message by youth for equality and understanding, strengthened by academic, religious and political leaders.
The EPYC campus events aim to raise awareness about the current situation in Palestine and the Euro-Palestinian relations. We try to do so by organizing small scale, accessible and frequent events on university campuses throughout Europe. The main events consist of movie screenings, debates and symposiums. Due to our focus on youth, small-scale events at university campuses will provide students with the opportunity to get a better understanding of the Palestinian culture, politics and heritage. The events will encourage students to become actively engaged in our effort to build bridges between European and Palestinian youth.
Conference in the Middle East
In the summer or fall of 2015, we aim to organize a large conference in Amman/ Jordan or Palestine. As we aim to extend our call for justice and equality all over the world, we will bring together youth from different continents during an international conference.
Study trips and exchanges between Palestine and Europe
In order to connect youth from Europe and Palestine, we organize study trips to both regions. During these trips, we focus on dialogue and cooperation and exchange of views on politics, religion and culture. We offer a variety of exchanges. We aim to financially cover the main costs, as we want to enable everyone to take part in these trips regardless of economic status. One of the exchanges consist of a two-week program for European and Palestinian youth, during which they will stay together at campuses and do both social and cultural activities together. EPYC also organizes one-week study trips to Palestine or to Europe, during which the students focus on political, cultural and social events. We encourage every student to apply for this trip. We also focus on political youth organizations, as it is very likely that they will become our future political leaders.
Do you want to become part of EPYC? Join one of our projects! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!