What is the EYE?
Last April, Chidubem Precious Ezurike and Nancy Naa Aku Brown, from GLOBED 7th cohort, decided to up their engagement game. Their aim was to try to find other career and advocacy-oriented young people living in Europe to share and learn new ideas. They saw an opportunity to attend the European Youth Event (EYE) 2023 as a great way to do this, and they jumped on the opportunity shared by Diaspora Vote to sponsor them to attend the event. They applied and got selected to attend the EYE 2023 held in June 2023 as DiasporaVotes’ delegates.
The European Youth Event is a European Parliament event that brings thousands of participants, hundreds of speakers, facilitators and moderators engaging and sharing different ideas across the fields of education, research, art, advocacy, environmental sustainability etc. This year, Chidubem and Nancy took part in the event together with other 8500+ participants. The GLOBED students participated as part of a larger group called the #DiasporaVote! which is a youth-based community and organization taking action to create inclusive and positive democracy in Europe via empowerment, training and collaboration of the diaspora.
It was thrilling. I was excited about so many things at the same time. The activities we had signed up for the 2-day event made the top of my list. I was particularly happy about the sessions on Active citizenship and global education: Missing pieces in school curricula? and the one on A Union of equality: In need of affirmative action? They were both quite engaging and gave all participants an opportunity to share their thoughts. In the first one, our discussion sessions required groups to come up with ways schools could foster growth in these areas specifically. The sheer number and diversity of ideas my group – of 5 team members – came up with, helped me appreciate the value of collaboration in education to ensure a level-playing field for all children and youth. Also, a big lesson I learnt from the Union of equality session was the importance of modelling the kind of Union we want to see in the EU across different fields. Diversity is always the key. The EYE 2023 was nothing short of amazing this year and the cherry on top was it all happened in the beautiful French city of Strasbourg!
The privilege to participate in the EYE 2023 held on the enchanting city of Strasbourg as a delegate for me is extraordinary. It availed me the opportunity to interact with so many young people from all over Europe and shared ideas that could spur positive change in Europe if implemented. I found it really fascinating that during the DiasporaVote workshop on A Union of Equality: In need of affirmative action? that I was part of the team that discussed Education in School. It was quite interesting for me as an Educationist and that it had a lot to do with my study in GLOBED and my area of interest. I participated actively in our small group discussion and we came up with possible solutions and recommendations on how discrimination can be addressed and eradicated in schools. I particularly enjoyed my participation during the workshop on Active Citizenship and Global education: Missing pieces in School curricula. We brainstormed in the team and projected exchange programmes as one of the ways to promoting global education. We reiterated how active citizenship shouldn’t just be promoted in one subject but on overall Education practice and we also discussed the indispensable role of teachers in doing this.
The EYE is a bi-annual conference, so we will be attending again if the opportunity comes and the time is right. However, for now we will hold onto the new connections and friendships we made through the EYE and within #DiasporaVote! And we will champion the need for diversity and equality in our own small way on this GLOBED journey and beyond!