The European Youth Week in Latvia ended with an ambitious event

The European Youth Week in Latvia ended with an ambitious event
The European Youth Week in Latvia ended with an ambitious event

Youth International Programs Agency (JSPA) As part of the European Youth Week, an international event for young people “Hop on the train of Europe” was organized from April 19 to 20. More than 70 participants from Latvia gathered at the event, who traveled by train from Riga to Valga to celebrate the European Youth Week together with young people from Estonia. During two days, the participants discussed participation and democracy, learned what opportunities the European Union offers them, and also realized the importance of their vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections.

“This year, the main goal of the European Youth Week was to increase the participation of young people, which the event succeeded on several levels. Young people theoretically learned about the ways of participation and acted out situations, and practically organized activities and workshops for their peers themselves, with the aim of involving them in EU programs and increasing interest in the European Parliament elections. It was a pleasure to see the satisfaction of the young people after what they had done, as well as the sparkle in their eyes to get involved in the projects. I would like to compare this train trip and activities in the border towns with the youth exchange micro-model of the “Erasmus+” program, where young people plan the program themselves and implement it together with young people from another country.” emphasizes JSPA and the European Information Network for young people Eurodesk Arita Zvejniece, coordinator of the project and this event.

On the first day of the event, young people on the Riga-Valga train got to know each other, cooperated and engaged in educational activities, updated the European Parliament elections by forming parties, and learned about Europe’s diversity and rich culture by taking part in a quiz. Within the framework of the event, young people had the opportunity to cooperate with experts, teaching leaders and other active young people, promoting fellowship and the achievement of common goals. Normunds Buntovskis from Olaine shared his thoughts after the first day that “the event has been successful and very inspiring so far. The activities that made it possible to get together and get to know other young people appealed the most.”

On the second day, the event was joined by a group of Estonian youth who arrived in Valga by train from Tartu. In the border towns of Valka and Valga, discussions and workshops on civic participation, EU programs were held throughout the day at various venues. “Erasmus+” and “European Solidarity Corps”, as well as other topics. For example, young people debated the importance and promotion of solidarity in local communities and participated in workshops on various topics related to Europe, including the upcoming European Parliament elections. It should be emphasized that mostly the leaders of the workshops were groups of young people who planned, organized and implemented these activities themselves with the support of educational leaders.

After the event, it was clear that young people are ready to drive positive change in their organizations, communities and beyond. Event organizer and participant, EuroPeers the young person of the network Ingars Jēkabsons from Mālpils admitted: “I went home with new inspiration, a strengthened sense of European identity, armed with newly discovered knowledge and a commitment to act together!”. In general, youth agencies of Latvia and Estonia, Valka and Valga institutions, as well as young leaders who took part in training organized by JSPA in early April, were involved in the organization of “Hop on the train of Europe”, preparing the activities of the event.

Although the European Youth Week officially ended on April 19, events within it take place throughout April. On the interactive map it can be seen that it is still possible to participate in six events in Latvia – in Riga, Jūrmala, Sigulda and Liepāja. In total, more than 55 events throughout Latvia were registered on the interactive map.

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The article is in Latvian


Tags: European Youth Week Latvia ended ambitious event


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