Five sunny days full of experiences, adventures and fun
Together with committed people from Vienna, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and South Tyrol we were from 05.09 to 10.09.2022 at the youngcaritas Summer University at the Mediterranean Sea in Caorle and exchanged ideas about the climate crisis and racism.
During these 5 days we had workshops, actions, common free time and impressive moments.
In total we were 40 committed people, from youngcaritas in Germany we were 11 participants. We traveled by train via Freiburg, Zurich and Milan and met there in a house of youngCaritas South Tyrol directly at the sea with the other committed people from Vienna, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and South Tyrol.
A young committed generation all over the world
Tutai Herman and Eleanor Wichman from Caritas Oceania Youth Alliance told about their environmental engagement in the Cook Islands. Bright Nnadi from Bolzano told us about his engagement in the Igbo Union association for democracy in Nigeria.
In an online workshop with Dennis Sadiq Kirschbaum from the organization glokal in Berlin, we talked about racism, anti-Semitism, violence and gender.
Particularly memorable was the joint film evening on the film Bigger than us, which reported on the flight across the Mediterranean, forced marriages in Benin and the education of children in Lebanon.
It was filmed at different ends of the world and shows a young, committed generation fighting for human rights, the climate, freedom of expression and social justice, for the dignity of every individual. Who fights for humanity, for everyone to have access to education and for everyone to be provided with food. With irrepressible courage and commitment, these young people are rising up all over the world, from Rio to Jakarta, and showing what it means to be in the world and to take responsibility.
Venice – city in the sea
Very exciting was the city tour in Venice, where we talked about the effects of the climate crisis like floods and high water and learned about the dangers for Venice in the future.
We learned a lot on the city tour, such as that the province of Venezia was built on more than 100 islands in the middle of the lagoon of a shallow inland sea. The small islands are connected to each other with over 400 bridges. And that’s what makes the city on stilts so unique and special.
When we asked the city guide what Venice’s piles are made of, she said, “In fact, only the canal-side facades rest on tree trunks. For the wooden piles located underground, the oak species was used, on which, in turn, boards of larch wood were nailed. Siberian larch is a particularly stable wood that becomes even harder in contact with water. It is important to mention here that this wooden construction is completely submerged in water, because only without contact with the air is wood eternally durable.
Venice is always under water. Due to the climate crisis there are more and more frequent and stronger floods. When the lagoon city was surprised by a severe storm in December 2020, the then new flood protection system called “Mose” could not keep the water masses away from the city. A new system made of glass is currently being installed to protect St. Mark’s Basilica. But it could be too late: climate researchers predict a massive rise in sea levels.
In a collection event, we gathered masses of plastic on the beach in less than 30 minutes. We made an art exhibition out of the trash.
In between our actions we always had free time. Everyone was able to be creative and spend a lot of time by the sea. We also enjoyed letting our energy out playing volleyball and just had a good time.
On the last day we collected and discussed our impressions in a barcamp and then thought about projects that we want to implement.
An emotional, unforgettable moment was our farewell evening around the fire. Many put their warm feelings into words and thanked us until the tears flowed.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who was there and made this precious time possible for us. Thank you for bringing us together and allowing us to meet great people. Thank you to all of us as we think of the future and will not stop until we change the world.
Thank you to youngCaritas South Tyrol as host, the network YoungCaritas in Europe and the Erasmus+ program of the European Union that financed the Summer University.
Yumna Rahhal, youngcaritas Germany