Almost 100 participants arrived at the 2nd GGYouthForum. We approached a few of them, asking them the question: What are you thinking about after the first speeches and thoughts we heard in the opening ceremony?
In the speeches it was mentioned that Greek students learn by heart the subjects that are being taught at school. In that way students can’t participate in society. You need competence, something that is possible to be gained only with personal research. Sometimes the information we study are not valid, so each person, each student has to seek knowledge and come to his one conclusion. Personal opinion and critical mind are weapons nowadays. This Youth Forum is really important not only for the participants, but also for youth in general. If organizations want to fulfil youth exchanges, they need networking and partners in other countries. I hope that the Greek-German Institute is going to be founded and our relationships will be improved. As NGOs we hope to do our best for this specific purpose, our youth, our future, by not being affected by political issues. The only need of politics is for their subsidy to us in order to continue our work.
Heike Deul, NGO Arbeit& Leben Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
In “Archelon”, we care for the protection of sea turtles. I am here because as a NGO we have a lot of youth volunteers, families and children that support our work. The speeches today were optimistic giving us hope that Greek-German Institute will be real. This means that we will be able to improve our strategies and make important youth collaborations with German and Greek organizations. The political scene between Greece and Germany is not something discouraging for us. We are not prejudiced against Germans. We as NGOs with specific aims and politics are out of this. We all work for the public good. Youth Forums allows us to put connecting links between organizations and countries so their meaning is valuable.
Hara Papailiou, organization Archelon, Athens
The Youth Forum is a chance for us to cooperate with other organizations which are relevant to refugees, the topic on which we work. It is really important for us to exchange strategies, possible solutions and experiences in order to become better. The Greek-German Youth cooperation is based on a fertile solid so it will be successful. We have a lot of work to do in the future with Youth German NGOs. Through the eyes of the other organizations we see things from a different perspective. Apart from that there is an absence of Greek politicians or government representatives. In my opinion they should have been here to see closely what is going to be discussed, which are the problems, the solutions, the needs. It is positive that they support the foundation of the Greek–German Youth Institute but this is not enough. Their presence in our refuges workshop would have been important so as to solve problems immediately.
Dimopoulou Argiro, NGO ARSIS, Athens
Text and Pictures: Julie Tsernaki, School of Journalism and Mass Communications of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki- Greece #AUThJournalists