Several YFCU members recently travelled to an event entitled ‘Be a Piece of Peace’, that was hosted by Landjugend Austria. The event brought together 36 young people from 12 countries throughout Europe.
Over the course of a week, YFCU members Linzi Stewart from Moneyrea YFC who is also Rural Youth Europe Board member, Dr Geoff Thompson from Annaclone & Magherally YFC and Rural Youth Europe Board member and Elaine Paisley from Straid YFC all attended the event which was to actively involve youth workers, leaders and rural youth in defending human rights and promoting peace in a time of change across Europe.
As part of the week participants had an introduction to human rights, learned about human rights at risk in today’s society and looked at everyday life in a conflict zone, peace building and conflict resolution.
The young farmers also visited an exhibition which studied the evolution of human rights law over the last 1000 years in Europe and had meetings and discussions with refugees from Afghanistan, Iran and Somalia. They also helped develop a campaign called ‘Embrace 2 Erase’ which aims to promote equality in order to prevent the rise of extremism in Europe – this campaign will go live during the last week of November.
YFCU member Dr Geoff Thompson commented: “This event saw young people from all over Europe come together to learn about human rights and to share experience with one another. The week was very intense for the participants; however we have all come away with friends for life and realised that they share many of the same interests and concerns right across Europe.”
Linzi Stewart from Moneyrea YFC adds: “The week exceeded all of my expectations in every way and was challenging, encouraging and taught me so much. Geoff led the campaign and was such a great ambassador for the YFCU.”
Elaine Paisley from Straid YFC added: “We all would like to thank the YFCU for the opportunity and would encourage members to consider attending this really worthwhile event next year or consider being a part of the European Rally Team. It really was a life experience that we will never forget.”