On may 22nd travelled I and the other Norwegian participant down to Strasbourg to attend the Study Session "Dream it Loud!". We did not know what to expect because neither of us had ever attended such an event.
We talked about it on the way there; who are the people from all the other countries, what will we be doing this week and what is this social rights thing and other big words mentioned in the papers we had gotten. It was supposed to be a week about youths’ social rights and what tools our organisations can create and use to better help struggling and disadvantaged youth.
Yikes, trying to save the world again? We were a bit sceptical at the start of the Study Session. We come from a very well developed country and it was hard to “complain” about our issues in front of countries whose infrastructure was so bad that not all the people had clean water or even housing. And, yes, there is such contrasts within Europe. Some of the participants came from countries so different from Norway that it was hard to imagine their reality. But I think that is a big part of why the Study Session gave me so much. Because the week was not just theory about youth and their rights, it was also (and mostly) simulations, games, reflections and long nights staying up talking and discussing with the other participants. Dreaming really loudly. Sharing experiences and destroying stereotypes. You could feel the barriers falling the longer into the week you got. In the end of the study session you had a wonderful network of people, no one the same as the other, who all wanted to go back home using all the knowledge and experience we had gathered.
This week taught me that we still have a lot to fight for. And now we have the tools!