Solidarity and Activist Training for the Youth Workers
Europe is responsible for global injustices, both historically and today! Enabling unacceptable working conditions, land theft, genocides and civil wars, a lack of access to vaccines and medicines, and the disappearance of cultures and languages are all ongoing injustices that European governments and corporations continue to do in the Global South. It is therefore more than necessary for Europeans to take action to raise awareness of Europe’s involvement in global injustices and how it relates to colonial history, as well as to hold European decision-makers accountable for these injustices.
About the Project
The Erasmus+ founded training “Beyond Neocolonialism” lasted from 17 until 23 of July. 30 participants living in Austria, Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Brasil, Cambodia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Macedonia, Mexico, Mozambique, Portugal, Sierra Leone, Tunisia and Zimbabwe have gathered in a hybrid (online/physicial) training that took place in Vienna, Austria.
The main goal of this training was to create anti-neocolonial campaigns with young people. During this one-week training, participants were divided into groups and learned how to create social media or activist campaigns centred on neocolonialism. During the training, each participant chose a challenge or hot topic to work on and worked in an international group. Campaigns that have been completed will be published online through the channels of Service Civil International (SCI) and its partner Organisations.
To fight neocolonialism, activists in the Global South and North must work together. We hoped that the seminar participants would not only strengthen and revitalise the debate on these issues in Europe, but also to create space for global cooperation and the development of concrete global justice actions. As a result, this training included an online section with activists from the Global South.
There were two parts to the training. First, on July 3, an online meeting with the group and activists from the Global South took place as an introduction to education. We met in Vienna from the 17th to the 23rd of July and collaborated on campaigns.
“Beyond Neocolonialism – Solidarity and activist training for youth workers”, was a first part of the Erasmus+-funded project “European Youth for Global Solidarity” organised by SCI Austria. The second part of the training called “The Power Behind Good Intentions” will take place in December, in Innsbruck and will deal with white saviorism complex and reflect on the colonial power structures that are behind the ideas of “development” and “help”.
As a result of the two trainings, we are developing an adapted version of “The Power Behind Good Intentions”, a toolkit developed by SCI Austria over the past few years through a series of post-colonial seminars.
During the entire week, events and workshops on neocolonialism and campaigning were held. To begin, participants learned how to create effective campaigns and researched previous campaigns to determine what they needed to include in their own campaigns. At the same time, we discussed how to implement the campaigns. While learning about design, visibility, and other aspects of creating a campaign, participants began to brainstorm campaign topics and then grouped together to work on these topics. At the end of the week, each group presented their own campaign, which they had developed to the point where it could be shared on social media. Participants learned the fundamentals of campaign strategy, how to launch successful social media campaigns, how to put pressure on decision makers, and how to deal with backlash at the end of the seminar.
Written by Özge Binbaş
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