Can you feel it? We certainly can. We are a little bit excited, a little bit curious and very happy! The International Youth Peace Forum: Global Youth Rising 2016 is only one month away. Over the past weeks and months, we have spoken to a lot of you, and we can’t wait to finally meet you!
There are also a few places remaining for participants who don’t need a visa for Romania (the United States, Canada, EU, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand) – so if you read this and you haven’t applied yet, you can do it now here. And get ready for some more exciting news: if you have already been accepted and you help recruit a friend or colleague to participate in GYR 2016, your own participation fee will be reduced by 5% per accepted applicant (up to 20% off the original programme fee). For those wanting an even more adventurous experience we also have a special price of Euros 200 if you camp in a tent during the programme.
Who’s Taking Part? A Global Community
Only one month left, so it’s time we have a look at all the people who will be attending so far. You, our participants and trainers, are a truly colourful crowd coming from all over the world – just as we hoped for! We have participants from local, national and international organisations, from social movements, community struggles, women’s movements, peace organisations, teachers, journalists, community mobilisers, activists, artists and more.
You are representing six out of seven continents. We’re only missing Antarctica. That’s okay, after all we need to have some goals left for next year’s edition!
Approximately 60 percent of our participants are female, reflecting the critical role that women play in peacebuilding, conflict transformation and reconciliation processes. The more attentive readers of our blog will already have noticed that this pattern is also visible with regard to our trainers.
So how can you get involved and contribute until you come to meet us at Global Youth Rising 2016? Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Spread the word. We’re accepting applications from qualified and enthusiast participants until 13 June. Many of our participants are coming from the same organisation, enabling them to travel together, cover a wider array of workshops and support each other. If you haven’t already done it, tell your friends, fellow activists and colleagues that they don’t have to be green with envy only because you applied and they didn’t – there is still time. Unfortunately, at this point, we can only accept applicants who don’t require a visa to enter Romania, but this means that activists and youth working for peacebuilding and positive change from the United States, Canada, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries can still apply – and we’d love to welcome you!
- Have a look at our workshops. We’re constantly updating our agenda to reflect the latest changes in workshops and activities, so it’s worth checking back on a regular basis here. We have nearly 40 training programmes, workshops, design and strategy sessions over 10 days – covering everything from practical deep skills training on peacebuilding, nonviolent action, practical measures for what can be done to support the people of Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen in ending the wars in those countries; sharing and exchange sessions on what is happening in each of our countries and communities; yoga, mediation and practical skills for strengthening inner resilience, well-being and peace while working for social change and peacebuilding in often difficult contexts, and much, much, much more!
- Think about how you can present your current work. GYR is about being involved and active. We are a community of individuals, organisations and movements from around the world. As such, we want to ask you to share with us your own work and experiences. Your past, present and future work is important to us, and we hope to learn much about the background and context you’re working in. We encourage everybody to think about how you can share your work, your expertise, your struggles, what you’ve learned, challenges you face, and what you feel is important to bring real change in your community and more broadly. We’re setting up an e-learning platform that will be available over the coming days to help enable us to connect, share and collaborate even more before the official beginning of the forum.
Did we miss anything? Do you have other ideas how to pass the time? Feel free to drop us a comment with your suggestion and we’ll add it to the list!