The aim of this year’s 15th AYUDH European Youth Summit is to promote and celebrate the concept of Unity in Diversity, and thereby foster fundamental European values such as inclusion, solidarity and active citizenship.
The summit provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experiences and skills related to diversity, inclusion and civic engagement between experts and peers.
We wish to equip young activists with competencies to effect change in society through youth-led projects, advocacy and activism in relation to diversity and inclusion as well as train youth to become mindful and inclusive individuals and leaders, equipped with the skills to manage diverse teams.
“Celebrating Diversity” aims to support the formation of a united community of young Europeans that recognise the value of differences in norms, beliefs, attitudes and life experiences”
The project is aligned both to the Social Inclusion aspect of the EU Youth Strategy 2010 - 2018 (to support the active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity of all young people) and the new proposed framework for the EU Youth Strategy 2019 - 2027 (to engage, connect and empower young people).
While the main focus of the project is to address the social dimension of ‘diversity’, we also wish to encourage the protection and preservation of ecological diversity, which is the foundation of our peaceful social coexistence.
Celebrating diversity to us means that we go beyond merely tolerating differences. It means to become aware that diversity is a fundamental principle of life, including the natural world, and that this diversity brings resilience, bounty and mutual enrichment. We are aware that while this sounds like a beautiful and logical concept on paper, it is not always so easy in practice. There might be many hidden stereotypes, even amongst young people who consider themselves as ‘tolerant’. To assess one's own judgements and assumptions requires courage, openness and trust. We understand that this journey can be confronting and challenging. Therefore we will work with experts who are trained in intercultural youth work, and adopt methods that establish a ’safe space’ for an open exchange of opinions and experiences. Through such honest and respectful dialogue we wish to enable participants to perceive the beauty in their own diversity, as well as in those around them.
In addition, we believe that self-transformation lies at the heart of change, and approach all topics through the lenses of practical mindfulness and spirituality, encouraging youth to reflect on their own behaviors while incorporating mindfulness techniques into their lives.
The teachings of Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi) form an essential part of the reflections at the summit and spiritual practices like yoga and meditation will be offered.