If you listen « populism », then you come to terms such as « propaganda, right / left, Europe » or even certain party names in the sense. Then it stops with many but also on…
This knows the network of „YoungCaritas in Europe“ too. Therefore they invited to their Summeruniversity in Italy. It took place in the first week of September in accommodation in Caorle. Caorle is a small city near the beach and outside Venice. Summeruniversity is a program for young adults from Europe. Every year they focus on a different topic. The goal of the days is to inform and educate. This year the topic was « Populism ».
The beginning is hard
On the 3rd of September, all participants arrived. For some, the journey was very long and exhausting. Therefore, many were tired and rather reserved for the other participants.
This « shyness » broke up during the first games and group work. Gradually everyone talked with each other, no matter how one had the English language. This resulted in many friendships and within the group was a sense of belonging.
Various forms of work
To get into the topic, we had a short introduction on the first day of Nina Horaczek, a journalist and author from Austria. In recent years she has dealt with the populism of right-wing parties. If something was unclear or we had questions, Nina gave us an appropriate explanation.
In the afternoon we reduced the big group to smaller ones. This was good for focusing on topics and going deeper. In the groups, we had many discussions and debates on different topics. So we got an overview in different parts of the countries like politics, social, economy.
For me, the last point was the most exciting. It was interesting to know how things are going in the other countries right now. Experiencing these things through personal narratives is something you do not get on a daily basis.
If we finished our program it was free time. The most used this time for playing volleyball or soccer and going to the beach. On some evenings we took some trips to Caorle and Eraclea Mare, two smalls city near the accommodation.
I realized that
Even though we were « only » 80 participants, it has shown me that there are many engaged young people in Europe who want to make a difference. We came from seven different countries together to talk and discuss a topic.
This way of doing was enriching for all of us! That’s why we need to strengthen it and continue to improve it.
A report by Valentin Ham