Almost 100 participants are present at the 2nd Greek-German Youth Forum. We approached a few of them, asking them the question: What do you take with you? Is there room for improvement? What did you profit from?
I came here with not that many expectations – I just wanted to find one partner organisation for eco building in Greece and finally I managed to find four! With one of them I am going to have a cooperation in Lefkada. I will go there for two days after the end of the forum. The other partner is a German guy who is going to visit us in Berlin in order to discuss about our plans. Another potential Greek partner approached me in order to find out if I am willing to do a project together with him. So we are going to have a meeting in October. The Greek-German Youth Forum was a nice and fruitful experience for me. Although I think that there was a need for extra workshops and time. I loved the creativity walk that we had and the variety of NGOs that were participants of the Forum. Also coffee breaks were absolutely perfect, because we had the sufficient time to discuss with other organizations and make collaborations. I would really like to participate in the 3rd Greek-German Youth-Forum.
Fabian Klenner, artstifter e.V., Berlin
We have formed our association to inform the public and people of Cologne, about modern Greece and the situation in Greece. We organize lectures and other kinds of public events. In the partner city framework between Thessaloniki and Cologne, which exists since 25 years, we search and organize international youth encounters, between young citizens of Cologne and young people from Thessaloniki. So I came here to find partner organizations in Thessaloniki, which would be interested in cooperating with us. I met a lot of interesting organizations, some of them are placed in other places all over Greece, so they not so much in our focus of interest. But I also met organizations in Thessaloniki, we had some first talks and we will continue discussing on email and via Skype after the closing of the forum. I found this forum a good chance to meet Greek NGOs and Greek partner organizations and to establish a network. My personal experience is very positive. It was extremely well organized and I enjoyed the Greek friendship and all the coffee breaks. I participated in the city walk, yesterday and I saw how Thessaloniki is developing, which also impressed me, adding to the positive image of the town I had already shaped.
Jutta Lauth Bacas, FILIA, Cologne
We work on historic education on national socialism and the history of the Dachau concentration camp. We wanted to intensify our international work, we wanted to start doing youth exchanges with Greek groups. So, what I’m taking with me from the Forum is that I got a better impression of how Greece in 2017 looks like. How youth work is going on here and who is doing work here. My other goal was to find partners to work on historical education, on the history of the second World War, the occupation of Greece and the national socialism in Germany. So, in 2018 probably, we will bring together people who are working in this field in Germany and Greece, to visit both countries and learn what they actually do. The other project is with the organization called Antigone, in Thessaloniki, and the idea is to work with Roma in Greece and Germany, but also on the history of Roma, but with an artistic approach. Doing artistic workshops in Germany and Thessaloniki, always focusing in history and how does history shapes our identity. Meeting all the people was a very good, interesting experience.
Steffen Jost, Max Mannheimer Study Centre at the City of Dachau
Our presence here is very important, as it is an initiative that began in 2014. Unfortunately it was inactive during this period, but it is very important that it is re-launched. The two countries need it. Both, for the exchange of the ideas and the timing, we should get closer as Europe, achieving the goal of integration, integration between all of the ideas and responses of all countries. We had very good discussion, lectures and workshops. We were very constructive, so that we now have some knowledge of how organizations operate in Germany. This gives us tools to work with and maybe, with some new data we may offer ideas to them about how we operate. We leave from the Forum filled with hope, with some powerful tools for the future, which reinforce the partnerships. The good thing is that we have too much to see in in the future. Already the European Youth Forum where we are members, the official European Union Youth organ, we will share the excellent cooperation. Such initiatives help and progress Europe and countries between them. I believe that we will be present at the Third Forum as well, with more to do and more to say.
Giannis Delakouridis, National Youth Council Greece
I am a teacher in the German education sector in German literature and pedagogy. Voluntary I work for the League of German-Greek Societies Federation, a non-profit association that deals with cultural issues mainly. Since we started thinking about the Foundation, we were pioneers. We opened new horizons in many other projects, wanting to help people. This is why I am the youth representative on this link. I was glad to be here. I saw a lot of prospects and possibilities in youth, many nice ideas of different kinds and I liked them a lot. It is very important for the business orientation, the rotation of practice with theory. Here, in the Forum I liked the many beautiful ideas. We started with the vision for the Greek-German Foundation ten years ago. I am very proud that we got here, looking at what we have achieved.
Vicky Douka, Vereinigung der Deutsch-Griechischen Gesellschaften
We are the largest student organization in Europe with presence in 40 countries and approximately 500 departments in Europe. In Greece we are active since 1992 and we are present in 22 Universities and Technological Education Institutions. Our aim is to support mobility and youth exchange between European countries. Students usually feel afraid of going abroad for studies without knowing that there is a huge community of Erasmus students in lots of countries. So we are here to help them feel safe as members of a big international group. Generally the 2nd Greek German Youth Forum Exchange fell through my expectations because I expected more participants who are young from boths, Greek and German organizations. Also, there was no interaction during workshops and not enough time. It would be better for me if we had more activities and gain practical experiences than hearing mainly speeches. As Youth we have to be present in such events and to discuss our needs, our worries, our future plans. It would be my pleasure if I joined 3rd Greek German Youth Forum Exchange on condition that there will be new participants and more youngsters. I didn’t manage to cooperate with any new organizations because of the lack of youth participants.
Kiriakos Kalandaridis, Erasmus Student Network Greece
Text and Pictures: Sofocles Geroulis and Julie Tsernaki, School of Journalism and Mass Communications of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece #AUThJournalist