With Sarah Dorman from Spa YFC - exploring Budapest!
On Sunday 24th February 2019, alongside Spa YFC member Sarah Dorman, I took to the skies from Dublin Airport to travel to Budapest to attend Rural Youth Europe’s Study Session in collaboration with European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA). While I did not know what to expect from this trip, I was extremely excited to get to Budapest and meet rural youth from across Europe.
We arrived in Budapest and travelled to the European Youth Centre where we would be staying for the week. Upon arrival, we had the opportunity to attend a welcome evening, where we met all of the other delegates. I was surprised at the amount of delegates and how far they had come to attend this study session. It was great to get to know them through a series of ice breakers and team building activities.
Our first day involved an introduction to the study session and a discussion of what we expected of the programme. We also focused on rural realities and barriers that rural youth face.
Throughout the week, we had many lessons on the democratic process and rural youth participation in this. We had the opportunity to work on many activities in groups, this showed us how the democratic process works in other countries in Europe. After working in groups, we presented our findings to the rest of the delegates. I really feel that this study session improved my knowledge of democracy and my confidence as by the end of the week I was extremely confident in presenting our work.
We were lucky to hear from some guest speakers throughout the programme of events. They included Andrea Boccuni (Head of Partnership and Education at The Good Lobby) who spoke to us about the opportunities for citizens in advocacy and lobbying. We also heard from Kristen Aigro, a very inspirational speaker and former board member at the European Youth Forum who spoke to us about taking action in the civil society.
We also had the opportunity to speak to students at universities throughout Budapest. We gathered information on what influences young peoples’ decision to vote or not to vote. This gave us a great insight into the range of opinions that young European people have on voting.
A fantastic range of activities and learning techniques were used throughout the week which allowed us to learn a bit about each of the delegates’ organisations and sharing ideas to produce some great pieces of work. At the end of the week, we were required to create an action plan which we could take home with us.
Alongside delegates from Wales YFC and the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, Sarah and I produced a short video on promoting the positive image of Young Farmers. It was excellent to work on this with the two other organisations so that we could share experiences and reflect upon our success in recent years. We played the video to the other delegates at the Study Session and presented our action plan. This allowed us to showcase the many talents of Young Farmers and promoted all positive aspects of YFC to try and remove any negative reputation that we may have.
This was an excellent opportunity to meet new friends from across Europe. Everyone was so passionate about rural life and rural participation in democracy. In the evenings, we had free time to explore Budapest and visit all tourist attractions.
This was an outstanding opportunity and I would highly recommend for members to attend study sessions in the future.
Thank you to Rural Youth Europe & CEJA for their organisation of this study session.
Young Farmers' Clubs of Ulster