IDEA trainer Roeland Hemsteede and eleven young people from the Adyne network took a closer look at the inclusion of African youth in Europe through a debate workshop in Terneuzen on the morning of the 15th of February. The participants from the African Diaspora Youth Network in Europe all had African backgrounds or a strong interest in issues of inclusion. They were able to integrate a lot of personal experiences and insights into the debates, which enhanced the learning experience for all.
The training started with an instruction of how to effectively construct arguments, and how to capture an audience. The participants quickly learned that debating is as much about listening as it is about speaking. They showed they had learned that lessons in practices, on topics ranging from affirmative action policies and migration in and to Europe. The participants showed how migrant quotas for companies and educational institutions might overcome prejudices and support disadvantaged youth, but could also create the risk that people hired to fill up quotas will not be taken seriously. During the final practice debate about opening up Europe’s borders to migrants, the proponents focused on the right to self-determination, while the opponents highlighted the potential risk to current national identities and the costs for European countries. The debate continued well into lunch and the training certainly helped these well-spoken youth to develop their skills even further.
The Inclusion of African Youth in Europe project is organised by IDEA NL together with NCDO, Youth in Action, a European Commission youth fund and the African Studies Centre. It has included a full debate program with trainings, a competition and a public debate in November 2013 on topics like education, employment and security. The project continued with blog writing and advocacy trainings in January and will conclude with a public event in Nieuwspoort in May. For more information and questions, contact Roeland Hemsteede.