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Empowering Young People to be Agent of Change
an article by Ieva and Csilla

Regional Intergenerational Forum, UNESCO Young Leadership Training Program 2011, San Marcello Pistoiese, Italy

Sharing and learning

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About 60-70 people from more than 40 countries in the world are currently participating in the 2nd European Regional Intergenerational Forum, International Leadership Training Program in Italy. This program is informed by the principle of reciprocal consultation, learning and empowerment of young emerging human rights leaders and cross pollination of ideas and ideals.

The main areas of discussions are poverty and hunger, education, health, HIV/AIDS, conflict resolution and /or transformation, the rights and plight of children, refugees and war, gender equality and environmental concerns. The expected outcome of the forum is the development and strengthening of a network of young human rights professionals dedicated to making a change in their local communities and the world at large.

One special aspect about the forum is that, even if regional in topics and lectures, the event brings together people from all over the world in a spirit of solidarity to discuss regional problems, issues, challenges from a global perspective, providing the possibility to learn through the sharing of best practices and experiences.

One of the highlights of today’s sessions was a lecture on deliberative democracy and public problem solving delivered by Dr. Nancy Thomas and Dr. Rodolfo Lewanski. Their presentation focused on democratic approaches to address issues affecting communities locally, nationally and globally. We were provided with ideas on how to facilitate community-wide dialogues, public conversations, sustained dialogue programs, issue forums, working groups and other communities.

We are very much looking forward to the next 6 days filled with lectures and insights on media and human rights reporting and monitoring, aspects of migration issues, fundraising, conflict resolution, community service, sustainability, ethics and environment and last but not least a colorful multicultural night organized by the participants themselves.

We strongly recommend the forum to all young leaders interested in making a significant change for the better in the world.


Question(s) related to this article:

Youth as furture peace-builders, What project-based learning initiatives are available?

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Latest reader comment:

Yes! Youth can and does make a difference, if given the opportunity.

In all of our inter-action on Peace youth played a very important role.

Million Minutes of Peace: Signing of the Manifesto initiative, more than 900 signature were submitted by us.

In 2001 at 1pm. we had a young man of 10 lead the City Officials in the First Steps into the International Decade of Peace 2001 -2010

Every year on September 21st an activity led by youth is held, the last two years we planted trees in memory of those who lost their lives to natural disasters, or participated in a walk led by the Minister of Education with many schools involved.

Yes! Youth can and does play a very important role in the promotion of peace.  


Trinidad and Tobago

This report was posted on 01.05.2011.