On May 20 and 21, the “School of Policy for Global Citizenship” took place at the premises of the Lisbon Youth Centre and the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth, i.p. (IPDJ, I.P.), in Lisbon, whose objective was to mobilize youth for activism, involving them and raising awareness for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Citizenship goals.
The initiative, divided into several moments, was attended by approximately 45 young people and 17 guests, including four moderators and the other speakers, and fostered debate, reflection and sharing on the active participation in politics of this population group in the most diverse themes.
Among group dynamics, carried out based on non-formal education methods, round tables and coffee breaks, there was the involvement of a community that, above all, wants to be informed, participate and has no shame in sharing its vision. A safe space was created so that each one could be himself, without judgments or criticism, and actively participate in all the proposed activities.
To inaugurate the first day of this School of Politics, on May 20, nothing better than a moment of group dynamics to “break the ice” and encourage interaction between participants. Then a short break for a Welcome Coffee, taking a moment to deepen the newly established relationships, and then the opening session of the meeting. Soon after these moments, the action was taken, in what would be the first panel of the event and one of four that would take place this weekend – “New forms of Political Participation of Young People”, just an aperitif of what was yet to come, the next day.
The Sabbath was slowly advancing with the sun hidden, with the young people arriving little by little. Still, it was not for this reason that the enthusiasm was still not evident, right in the first panel, as soon as Clara Carvalho, Professor and Researcher at the Research Studies Center of Iscte-IUL, and Liliana Rodrigues, Professor and Researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Madeira, began to discuss one of the most discussed topics in the entire history of Humanity – Gender Equality. When the theme of Climate Change followed this subject, attention was focused on the place where the speakers were Mourana Monteiro, intersectional activist, and Roberto Henriques, environmental activist of the Climáximo collective. At the end of the debate, and to reorganize ideas, a dynamic was conducted to clarify some concepts, such as what participation meant for each one and the interconnection between each SDG, thus promoting the integration of information and its systematization.
On the afternoon of the second day of School, May 21, the opportunities and threats of politics in the digital age were discussed. Bernardo Gonçalves, the founder of the MyPolis platform, Maria Marques, project manager at the Mais Cidadania Association, Manuel Matos dos Santos, President of YATA Portugal, and Filipe Fernandes, researcher of the study “Different forms of political participation for Development”, were the speakers who deepened the theme.
The last round table of the day, “Migrations in Perspective”, opened the door to a lively and rich debate, with testimonies told in the first person, through which young people (and all of us who were present) had the opportunity to imagine the experiences of a migrant in an unknown country far from their homeland. Data from the Annual Report of the Migration Observatory have enabled many to a real awareness of the fundamental contribution that a migrant can make to a country and the true importance of their inclusion and integration into the host society.
Joana Simões Piedade, Master in Migration, Inter-ethnicities and Transnationalism, Victor Hastenreiter, Representative of the House of Brazil in Lisbon and the # migramyths project, Catarina Reis Oliveira, Scientific Director of the Migration Observatory, and André Lopes, Master’s student in Political Sciences at ISCTE-IUL, were the speakers who ended the meeting with a “golden key”. The minds became envigorated, and the hearts became richer by knowledge and with an unwavering desire to think critically and participate more actively in the world in which we live and of which we are all part.
The event was attended by the Deputy Minister and Parliamentary Affairs, Ana Catarina Mendes, with the President of IPDJ, Vitor Pataco, the Rector of Iscte-IUL, Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues, with the President of the National Youth Council, Rui Oliveira, with the Regional Director of Lisbon and Tagus Valley of IPDJ, i.p. and the Youth Center of Lisbon, Eduarda Marques, with the Chairman of the Board of the National Federation of Youth Associations (FNAJ), Tiago Rego, and with the Chairman of the Board of AIDGLOBAL, Susana Damasceno.
The project “Jovens na Política – Participar para a Cidadania Global (2ª Edição)” (Youth in Politics – Participate for Global Citizenship (2nd Edition)) is promoted by AIDGLOBAL, co-funded by Camões, I.P. and has as partners the Conselho Nacional da Juventude (National Youth Council) (CNJ), Federação Nacional das Associações Juvenis (National Federation of Youth Associations) (FNAJ), Dypall Network, ISCTE Center for International Studies, Instituto Português do Desporto e Juventude (IPDJ), Lisbon Youth Centre (CJL), and the Municipality of Santarém.