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Un millennium development goalS A CHALLENGE FOR TODAY’S YOUTH?


AEGEE-Europe Flagship Project 2010-2011




Published by: AEGEE-Europe 2009-2011 Brussels, Belgium Printing: ACCO cvba Drukkerij Herent, Belgium Cover image: Reflexion and Action by Debreuve, Thierry from United Nations ‘We can end poverty’ campaign UNRIC ‘Unleash your creativity’ competition This publication is made possible with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained therein This publication is printed on Chlorine-free recyled paper

Contents Introduction

2 6 34 60

Executive Summary

The Solution is in Our Hands

Dear reader,


2 3 4

Foreword Executive Summary Introduction to the Booklet

Part One - What We Have Done The Project The Millennium Development Goals Objectives 1. Awareness Objectives 2. Participation Objectives 3. Multiplication Objectives 4. Cultural Dialogue Activities Preparatory Meeting Activities Case Study Trip India Activities Case Study Trip South Africa Activities Final Conference Visibility

6 8 12 14 16 18 20 22 26 30 32

Part Two - What We Have Learnt Fearless Lions About India About South Africa About The Youth About Development Youth Contribution to Development Everyday Life Educate Advocate Volunteer Partnership Build Your Own Project

34 36 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58

Team & Acknowledgements


Editor in Chief Mario Giuseppe Varrenti Editorial Staff Sara Rebollo Ramirez, Gabriela Motroc

Cover Design and Layout Maurits Korse Liesje Van Gelder Kushal Parmal

AEGEE, the European Students’ Forum, has striven for equality, human rights and peace in Europe for more than 25 years. Being the biggest interdisciplinary student organisation in Europe, being idealists, we decided to look at the bigger picture and focus on the rest of the world and especially on the Millennium Development Goals.

Manos Valasis President AEGEE-Europe

It is a timely moment to put global challenges and the Millennium Development Goals at the centre of our activities in 2010/11. Ten years have passed since the Millennium Declaration, 5 years still lay ahead of us to achieve the MDGs, however progress is not always linear and often two steps forward are accompanied by one step backward – a fact we also had to come to terms with. We believe that youth has to be part of the process. Putting youth contributions to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals at the heart of this project was not just an idea – it is also an obligation if we want to consider ourselves as responsible European students and active citizens in an increasingly interdependent world. Dialogue, mutual understanding and empathy are key to global youth cooperation. They also stood at the heart of our approach to understand the issues the world is facing in the 21st century. After all young people will be among those affected the most by today’s and future challenges. Rising up to the task is what students in Europe and worldwide need to do – this project can therefore just be regarded as one small step for a better future, but a big step for AEGEE.

- Manos Valasis

This publication, The UN Development Goals - A Challenge for Today’s Youth? is published by the Beyond Europe Flagship project of AEGEE-Europe and has a circulation of 2.000 copies. © AEGEE-Europe 2011

Every Day Life


There is a direct link between small things we do in our everyday life and the big challenges of the developing world. In an increasingly interconnected world our consumption patterns have serious repercussion for those in need. Europeans throw away on average 50% of the food they buy, most of it from the international market, and replace their mobile phones on average every 18 months, unaware of the extent to which this production chain is nontransparent and has adverse effects in mineral producing countries. If Europeans would only become a little bit more frugal in their everyday habits, without undermining their living standards, this would help the lives of millions in the world.

Youth can play a decisive role in influencing decision-making and the allocation of public or private resources. You can write to your university and ask to establish contacts and exchanges with universities and schools in the developing world, you can contact companies in your countries to fund your social projects. You can organise a campaign to raise public awareness on specific issues, you can sign petitions, you can take part to public consultations issued by institutions in your country.

your “power of interconnectedness” to change this world for the better. Keep in touch with young people from other continents, work together, discuss the challenges of the MDGs, find ways of tackling them, design a project and apply for funding in partnership with your friends from Europe, India and South Africa. This is our global partnership for development.


Youth are open-minded, mobile and innovative. Youth are creative in problem solving and solution finding. Youth are good multipliers, they adapt fast to new technology and new means of communication. When the environment offers them a chance, youth reap the benefits of globalisation and build transnational networks. It is only recently that development agencies have started exploring the rationale for working with the youth and started seeing young people not just as targets of development policy, but as leaders and responsible stakeholders. We advocate for the recognition of youth in partner countries as leaders and initiators of development in their full right and we envisage the establishment of development funding schemes for youth-led projects.

Educate Development is not only about aid and technical solutions, development is first of all about minds. Public opinion in Europe often fails to see that economic divergence between rich and poor countries in the world is at the heart of problems like international migration, conflict and terrorism. For our governments to remain committed to their promise to achieve the MDGs, especially at times of economic turmoil and austerity measures, it is necessary that you inform people around you about how worldwide poverty and economic divergence will undermine the future of our world.

Volunteering is an inestimable resource for development. Every year over thousands and thousands of young volunteers in their local communities and around the world provide relief in humanitarian operations, support development programmes, help people with disabilities, or teach foreign languages. To inaugurate 2011 as the European Year of Volunteering, AEGEE now has set up a Volunteering Network. You can join in and volunteer in India, South Africa, or anywhere in the world.

Partnership Young people are the masters of modern communication technology. Thousands of kilometres of distance are no longer an insurmountable barrier today that you can skype, tag, email, poke your friends in India, South Africa or Europe almost at any time. You can use

Build Your Own Project

Introduction   3

Our world has never been as unequal and, at the same time, as interconnected as it is today. Global inequality is larger than the inequality found in any single country. Today, the top 5% of individuals in the world receive about 1/3 of total world income, the 5% bottom only 0.2 %. The richest people earn in about 48 hours as much as the poorest people earn in a year [1] . But what does this mean in concrete terms? As an example, let’s look at the paradoxical different effects across the world of the economic crisis on an individual’s food intake. The economic crisis hits everywhere, no doubt, but in a different way. Being poorer in Europe means getting fatter, being poorer in a developing country means hunger and starvation. Why so? Being poorer in Europe means more unhealthy and cheap food, in times of economic crisis in fact, obesity rates are on the rise over here. By contrast, in the developing world, economic crisis means higher food prices, and thus widespread hunger and starvation. Interconnectedness means that there is a direct link between little things we do everyday and the big challenges of the developing world. The minerals contained in our mobile phones and laptop computers come from the developing world. The sugar we pour in our morning tea or coffee for instance, as well as the tea and coffee them-

Introduction selves, come from the developing world too, and so does much of the food served on our tables, especially fruit and vegetables. Such interconnectedness means opportunities but also threats for the poorest on our planet. Because of our patterns of consumptions for example, we Europeans throw away on average 50% of the food we buy, most of which comes directly from the world market, and replace our mobile phones on average every 18 months, thus fuelling a production chain that starts in the conflict-ridden mines of Congo and ends up in the electronic dumps of Lagos. Inequality and interconnectedness are even more a reality for young people. The first is something we have to struggle against, the second is something we can turn into a powerful tool for our struggle. We have learnt that there are so many things in the life of a human being, especially a young one, that are beyond an individual’s control and can determine his or her life forever. Malnutrition in pregnant mothers affects a

child’s development for ever. A painfully high number of children are born with HIV. Poverty, teenage pregnancy, and ignorance drive children out of school. These are some of the challenges addressed by the Millennium Development Goals.

Mario Giuseppe Varrenti Project Coordinator But if young people are victims Content Manager of inequality and poverty, at the same time youth can be Beyond Europe

very open-minded, mobile and innovative, creative in problem solving and solution finding. Youth can be good multipliers, and adapt fast to new technology and means of communication. When the environment offers them a chance, youth reap the benefits of globalisation and build transnational networks. Thousands of kilometres of distance are no longer an insurmountable barrier today that you can skype, tag, email, poke your friends in India, South Africa or Europe almost at any time, and we can use our “power of interconnectedness” to change this world for the better.

To harness this opportunity, we have established, at the micro-level among young people in Europe, India and South Africa, a global partnership for development. For the first time ever in the history of AEGEE we have looked at the problems addressed by the Millennium Development Goals. For the first time ever in the history of AEGEE, we have gone beyond Europe. In June 2009, we, a group of young people from Europe, India and South Africa, joined hands and took up the challenge of empowering the youth in our countries to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. This booklet tells the story of what happened since our partnership started. It tells you about the objectives we set for ourselves, it tells you what we have done to achieve them, it tells you what we have learnt from this project and what we are going to do next.

- Mario Giuseppe Varrenti

[1] Branko Milanovic, “Global Income Inequality: What It Is And Why It Matters?”, DESA Working Paper No. 26, ST/ESA/2006/DWP/26, August 2006.


Introduction   5

What We Have Done

The Project The year 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the Millennium Declaration and 2010 has also been chosen by the General Assembly of the United Nations as the International Year of Youth. We, a group of young people from Europe, India and South Africa, have joined hands and taken up the challenge of empowering the youth in our countries to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.


Have you ever heard of the Millennium Development Goals?

In June 2009 we applied to a call for proposals issued by the European Commission’s Education, Audiovisual, and Culture Executive Agency, Youth in Action 3.2 “Youth in the World” for a project aimed at increasing aware-

ness of the Millennium Development Goals. We were successful in our grant application for a project composed of four activities: a preliminary meeting held in Brussels in December 2009, two case study trips to India and South Africa, in June and September 2010 respectively, and a final conference in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in November 2010, to discuss our findings. The overall aim of the project is to empower young people in Europe, India and South Africa to contribute to the achievement of the MDGs. This overall goal can be specified into four specific objectives: • To raise young people’s awareness of critical global issues and the MDGs; • To provide young people from Europe, India and South Africa with knowledge to fight for the achievement of the MDGs; • To promote active citizenship and encourage young people to get active on a local level for the achievement of the MDGs; • To establish an inter-cultural dialogue and create a network of European, South African and Indian youth. The direct target group of the project

2% Yes, I know what they are.

are the participants to the Case Study Trips and the Final Conference. The 40 youngsters who took part to the trips to India and South Africa were exposed to a learning curve process. They were divided into nine “task forces” (one for each MDG plus a PR task force). With the help of the trainers, each task force conducted a thorough research on their specific MDG and the reality of the country which led to the drafting of “task force strategies”. Once on the ground, each task force organised workshops to prepare other participants on the challenges addressed by their MDG. The in-country preparation phase was followed by activities on the ground such visits, volunteer activities and training during which participants could observe the concrete work of development actors like institutions, civil society organisations, research centres or other youth organisations. The activities on the ground were followed by constant evaluations, especially on best practices of youth contribution to the progress in the achievement of MDGs, and by “project incubators”, sessions during which participants designed follow-up initiatives. The results of the case study trips were presented and discussed at the Final Conference in Utrecht. The Conference

5% Yes, but I don’t know what they are. 19% No.

74% I don’t Know.

Eurobarometer 2009 – Development Aid in Times of Economic Turmoil After a decade of communication, despite some progress, there is still low awareness of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Almost three-quarters of Europeans have never heard of the MDGs. A mere 5% of respondents are both aware of the MDGs and knowledgeable on their content. This situation does not result from lack of interest: 42% Europeans argue for media coverage of development issues.

combined the experience participants gathered during the case study trips with the knowledge provided during workshops, lectures and extensive networking. This created a fertile environment for the participants to become active as multipliers and to develop of follow-up actions. The project led to the establishment of long-lasting partnerships among individuals and NGOs involved and thus reproduced a global partnership for development at the micro-level. Part One   7

The Millennium  Development Goals Our world is one in which 1.5 billion people live in extreme poverty, 9 million children die every year, and 75 million more are denied primary education. Our world is still plighted by diseases like HIV and AIDS that together kill 2 million people every year, a world where women are often relegated to second rank, and one in which the conditions of life for future generations are being undermined.

MDGs Flash Mob Utrecht Central Station November 2010 8  BEYOND EUROPE

In year 2000, the 192 members of the United Nations set far-reaching goals to free humanity from poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease, to ensure gender equality, respect for the environment and the creation of a global partnership for development. These are the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In a nutshell, the importance of the MDGs can be summarised in two points: 1. The MDGs offer a way of measuring the problem. MDGs provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tracking extreme poverty in its many dimensions and to give it a humanbased focus; 2. The MDGs show a way of solving the problem. With the MDGs, the international community has infact committed to provide more and better aid to the least developed countries, to develop an open and fair international trade and financial systems, to cancel debts.

The Goals 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

• Halve the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day. • Achieve decent employment for women, men, and youngsters. • Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

2. Achieve universal primary education

• By 2015, all children can complete a full course of primary schooling, girls and boys.

3. Promote gender equality and empower women • Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.

4. Reduce child mortality

• Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.

Throughout the project, we did not shy away from looking at the Millennium Development Goals also from a critical Part One   9

The Goals Continued... 5. Improve Maternal Health

• Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio. • Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health.

6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases

• Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. • Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it. • Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

7. Ensure environmental sustainability

• Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental resources. • Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss. • Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. • By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers.

8. Global partnership for development

• Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system. • Address the Special Needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDC). • Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and small island developing States. • Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term. • In co-operation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable, essential drugs in developing countries. • In co-operation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.


perspective. Participants to our activities have read Jeffrey Sachs’ The End of Poverty as well as William Easterly’s The White Man’s Burden and Dambisa Moyo’s Dead Aid. We have discussed whether the MDGs are too ambitious or not ambitious enough, we have discussed about why the MDGs are sometimes seen as a top-down approach doomed to fail, or else, as failing to address the core problem at the heart of all others, growing worldwide inequality. With our project, we have set ourselves the goal of understanding the root causes of poverty in its many dimensions, beyond just simple numbers and figures. Likewise, we have tried to understand how development cooperation works, with its strengths and weaknesses, and how we, the youth, can take active part in it. During and after the case study trips we have asked ourselves questions such as: Why are there every year more kids who drop out of school than kids who enroll in institutions like the Don Bosco Institute in Nakurot in rural India? We asked ourselves the question how can there be, in the same city, Cape Town, a primary school which charges a fee of 100 Rands a year and one that charges 4000 Rands a month? And how likely is it for a student from the first school to study one day at a university compared to a student from the second school? We have asked

In the Monterrey Summit of 2002, world leaders set the target of 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to be spent on Official Development Assistance (ODA). Apart from some exceptions, the target is very unlikely to be met by all EU member states.

ourselves why in some villages of Bihar in India do parents refuse to submit vaccination to their children? We have asked ourselves the question why are there annually 2,500 reported cases of young married women who set themselves on fire or are burnt by their husbands? We have tried to grasp the full consequences of the fact poor people in South Africa spend 16% of their disposable income in alcohol and several other questions.

Interview With Frederik Bordon

During and after the case study trips we have tried to understand concepts like poverty circles, aid effectiveness, ownership, among many others. We have tried to answer questions like whether democracy is a pre-condition to development or the other way round, whether aid is part of the solution or part of the problem, the extent to which policies like for instance trade, agricultural or intellectual property have an impact on development, or, whether population control is a solution to extreme poverty.

Do you think they can be achieved by 2015?

We have also met with development practitioners and tried to understand what works in development. Why for example have some development NGOs started a training on condom-use targeted exclusively at female hair-dressers? Why does Testing Action Campaign in South Africa fight HIV stigma with the help of people going around wearing t-shirts with written “HIV positive”? Why in areas of Khayelitsha where people live in two-floor houses are crime rates lower? This booklet will not provide you with an answer to all these questions, nonetheless, it will show you how we have encouraged over 100 young people from Europe, India and South Africa, together, to ask themselves such questions and to find themselves, through the knowledge and experience acquired throughout the project, answers to them.

Why are the MDGs important? The MDGs are first of all important because they are measurable targets to be met by a specific date. They are goals that can be achieved through global commitment. But more important, they are not only about numbers, but about people, about goals that represent human needs and basic rights.

We can definitely make even more progress than has already been made, but I cannot tell if we can achieve them. However, I think it is our duty to give it a try. We as youth are the future generation. I am convinced that youth can come up with innovative ideas to tackle the challenges the world is facing today.

Do you think Europe is doing enough to achieve the MDGs?

No, I think not. European countries made a promise, but not all have kept it. Billions of people count on the international community to live up to the pledges made, development budgets cannot simply be cut and promises cannot be broken when faced with an economic and financial crisis.

Frederik Bordon Focal point on the International Year of Youth for the United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) in Brussels. He joined us in Utrecht during the Final Conference to share his perspective on youth and the MDGs.

What can the youth do to achieve the MDGs?

Awareness raising is a very important step, and in this respects, the youth can contribute to a better and faster achievement of the MDGs through for instance campaigns and the use of new media and social networks.

What do you think about our project? It is a good example of dialogue and mutual understanding (the themes of the International Year of Youth). It is good to see young organizations getting involved into policy making because they can really make a difference. Cross-cultural projects are great, because they not only raise questions, but also give the youth the opportunity through first hand experience to better understand the problems developing countries are dealing with.

Part One   11

Objectives  1. Awareness Raise young people’s awareness of the global challenges addressed by the MDGs and actions undertaken to tackle them.

1. Cape Town – Not all of us have a development background. During the first days, we level the knowledge playing field. In South Africa for example, the Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden in Cape Town sets the scenery for a number of thematic workshops on the MDGs. 2. India – Once prepared, we engage with external awareness-raising activities. In India for example, we present the MDGs to schoolchildren at the Gujarat Public School, Baroda, we ask them to stand behind the placard of the MDG they think is the most important one and to explain why. 3. Baroda – In India we also organise a drawing competition for over 100 students from all over Baroda, the themes are: health, gender equality and the environment. 4. Delhi – We are welcomed at the premises of the Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, the Indian National Youth Forum, by a fifty-large delegation of Indian youth coming from all over the Indian “continent” to share experience and practices about development work. 5. During the case study trips we also observe best practices of awareness-raising activities. SCORE for example is an NGO which aims at human development through sport and works with children and adolescents from unprivileged environments in Cape Town. We take take part in one of their sport activities aimed at informing adolescents about HIV/AIDS. 6. South Africa – Another example is given by the Volunteer Centre in Khayelitsha which offers training to the local community to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS and encourage responsible behaviour and prevention. For us it is particularly interesting to observe the language and communication tools employed. 7. Utrecht –And it is finally in Utrecht where we reach out to hundreds of young Europeans. We organise a series of panel discussions at the University of Utrecht, as well as debates on the MDGs, micro-credit, and aid at the Utrecht City Hall; we also organise a movie night and, during one of the last days, we take part to a flash mob in Utrecht Central Station.













Part One   13

Objectives  2. Participation Encourage youth involvement in the collective effort to achieve the MDGs.

When visiting a rural area in Gujarat, India, we discover how communities and individuals struggle to maintain their livelihoods, specifically in contexts where water is a scarce commodity.


1. India and South Africa – We visited different schools, from different social and geographical backgrounds. We observed how fees, dropout rates, and gender-related issues create enormous inequality of opportunities. 2. India – Children are driven out of school because they work in farms, migrate to cities when there is no rain, or get married at a very early age. Many children run away from their homes to become street children in large cities. 3. India – Organisations like Don Bosco and Salaam Baalak Trust offer street children a place to stay, education, medical treatment and support to undertake training. 4. New Delhi – Gender Resource Centres teach women about their rights under Indian law as they often do not have socio-economic independence. The organisation also teaches women specific skills such as bag-making, for them to have more autonomy. 5. Cape Town – The Volunteer Centre trains local communities to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS and encourages responsibility and prevention. 6. Baroda – In SGG Hospital we run workshops with medical students and professionals about key health issues like abortion and cultural practice of female foeticide. 7. India and South Africa – Problems faced on a daily basis by slumdwellers: lack of sanitation and sewage systems, power cuts, and high rates of crime. 8. Cape Town – The Nial Mellon Township programme, an Irish organisation that organises a rehabilitation programme for slum-dwellers. Volunteers from all over the world, participate in the construction of new houses. 9. Cape Town – Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) conducts studies and crime mapping , consults the local community and facilitates socio-economic development and the prevention of crime. 10. Delhi – The European Union Delegation to India shows the progress of India’s achievement towards the MDGs and of development cooperation with the EU. 11. Cape Town – The African Monitor, a pan-African research institute established in 2006 assesses the effectiveness of development aid.












Part One   15

Objectives  3. Multiplication Inspire young people to become successful multipliers in their societies using the knowledge, experience and skills acquired during the course of the project.

1. The Case Study Trips provided us with the knowledge and tools to become agents of change and develop new ideas for the follow-up. 2. At the conclusion of each Case Study Trip, we gathered in so-called “project incubators”, sessions especially devoted to the development of follow-up actions. 3. During the final conference in Utrecht we had an opportunity to sharpen our tools with the help of, for instance, specialists in campaigning from BKB, a Dutch organisation that organises events and campaigns in the Netherlands and abroad. 4. Towards the end of the Final conference in Utrecht, the new project ideas could be discussed with a wide range of representatives from development NGOs in The Netherlands during a networking meeting hosted by Utrecht’s city council. 5. The experience acquired through the project is also brought to other fora. Andrea Carafa, involved with the project from April 2010, presented the outcomes of the Case Study Trip to India during the World Youth Congress in Istanbul, Turkey in July 2010. Andrea is now the Liaison Officer of AEGEE to the United Nations. 6. Gabriela Motroc, inspired by her experience in South Africa participated and became one of the finalists of the Young Reporters Against Poverty, a competition organised by EuropeAid in the framework of the European Development Days in Brussels, 6-8 December 2010.













Part One   17

Objectives  4. Cultural Dialogue Create a culturally diverse work environment and increase intercultural dialogue between European, South African and Indian youth.


Part One   19

Activities  Preparatory Meeting Brussels 10-13 December 2009 10 participants

It was a cold and rainy Brussels, in early December, to set the stage for the first step of our project. Representatives of the partner organisations from Europe, India and South Africa gathered in the European capital for a four-day programme. On the agenda: the task of planning the the two case study trips to India and South Africa and the Final Conference in The Netherlands. During the meeting we discussed in detail about the project and its components. But even more importantly, working together, even for only four days, we got a chance to get to know each other and our organisations and create strong interpersonal links. At the end of the sessions, held in at AEGEE’s headquarters and under the auspices of the European Youth Forum, we had hammered out a timeline for the year-long project and a programme for the upcoming events. Brussels offered also the opportunity to get to know the European Union’s institutions, thanks to a visit to the European Commission, and feel the vibe of Brussels’ civil society and youth activ-

ism in a networking session we organised together with Euractiv, the independent specialised European Union affairs portal for EU policy professionals. The meeting ended with a cultural night during which European, Indian and South African typical food, drinks and clothes could be exchanged. A little taste of the next stop... India!

- Mario Giuseppe Varrenti

Young Europeans, Indians and South Africans visit the European Commission in Brussels 20  BEYOND EUROPE

Part One   21

Activities  Case Study Trip India time in its history started on 22 June 2010 and took us for two weeks to Vadodara (23 June - 5 July) and for one week to Delhi (5 July – 13 July).

Vadodara, Delhi 23 June -13 July 2010 24 participants Before arriving to India, when we were still living our routine lives in Europe, all of us knew that it was going to be an unforgettable experience, magical as India is and above all, enriching. In the end, it turned out to be exactly this way. India offered us the best of itself since our arrival. We were welcomed with open arms, people were warm, generous, humble, and lovely. Before going to India, the twenty selected participants prepared the CST’s activities with the help of their trainers and Indian partners. Each participant was responsible for two Millennium Development Goals according to their knowledge or motivation. Each working group or “task force” elaborated a strategy for the activities they would develop in India. Our adventure started when all participants and trainers of the Case Study Trip to India met at Heathrow airport, London, after having arrived from all over Europe. The historic journey of AEGEE going beyond Europe for the first 22  BEYOND EUROPE

After being introduced to our partner organisations, AIESEC-Baroda and the Gujarat Public School-BRG Group, we were taken for a tour around the school, the place where most of our activities would take place in the following two weeks. At the school, the different task forces (the group of participants dealing with each MDG) organised presentations, role plays and discussions for the children related to the MDGs. In order to raise awareness about the challenges tackled by the MDGs, we also organised a drawing competition that involved 150 students from different schools of Vadodara. We divided the participants into three groups according to their age and the topics of the drawings were: “Environment Sustainability”, “Health is Wealth”, and “Gender Equality”. Thanks to these experiences, we could establish a dialogue with kids and discover the extent to which they were aware of the different problems and they shared their opinion about the subject. Education was one of the main themes of our field visits. We visited several schools from different contexts. It was striking for us to see the difference between city and rural schools, in terms

of facilities, availability of teachers and drop-out rates. To redress these inequalities, some schools can offer free access and boarding to their students, thanks to public or private funding. The Mahatma Ghandi Global Indian Foundation Eklavya School for instance, situated in Western India’s area at Tilakwada, offers an opportunity to the most disadvantaged in society by granting free access to education to 300 indigenous children aged between 10-15 years old.

Although many efforts have been made, a large number of children in India are driven out of school. In Vadodara and in Delhi, we were faced with the daily problems of street children. On average, more than 30 children every day arrive to Delhi looking for a better life, they either away from their homes, they try to escape from grinding poverty, violence, drunk parents, arranged marriages or they simply get lost. In Vadodara and especially in Delhi, there are a lot of NGOs aiming to help million of children living in streets. Saalam Baalak Trust and Don Bosco for instance provide street children Mahatma Gandi with basic health care, shelter, “The best way to find a place to play and dream, givyourself, is to lose ing them care and love, educatyourself in the service ing them and helping them find of others..” their parents.

Main Local Organisers:

Abhilasha Agrawal (Gujarat Public School) and Sargam Gupta (BRG Group)

Hamza Adenwala (AIESEC-Boroda)

Part One   23

Highlights • Presentation by AIESEC and GPSBRG Group, Vadodara • Workshops for kids on the MDGs, Vadodara • Drawing Competition on the MDGs for 150 student, Vadodara • Visit to schools from different social and economic contexts, Vadodara • Visit to the Don Bosco Institute, Vadodara • Visit to Salaam Baalak Trust, Delhi • Visit to the Gender Resource Centre of Okhla, Delhi • Visit to the World Health Organisation, Delhi • Visit to SGG Hospital in Vadodara and Eye-care Centre in Nuh, Delhi • Football Game with Sahara House, Delhi • Visit to Reliance Corporation Corporate Social Responsibility programmes, Vadodara • Meeting with families in rural areas, Vadodara • Visit to the hydropower plant on the Narmada River, Gujarat • Meeting with Joining Hands and visit to field programmes, Delhi • Meeting with Vishva Yuwak Kendra (International Youth Council), Delhi • Visit to the European Union Delegation to India and Bhutan, Delhi • Visit to field programmes of Action Aid India, Delhi • Visit to Rotary International’s Livelihood Programme for slum-dwellers, Delhi • Project Incubator, Delhi


Prior to our arrival to India, we had also established contacts with several NGOs and community based organisations, active in urban and in rural areas alike, dealing with women empowerment. Among those which strive to achieve gender equality in India, we visited the Gender Resource Centre in Okhla, Delhi. In this centre, around two hundred women receive daily training about basic IT education, or how to manufacture bags, embroidery products, all skills that will help them find a job. The Gender Resource Centre regularly holds lectures by women lawyers about women rights under the Indian law, we assisted to a lecture on women rights against dowry, the practice whereby the bride’s family transfer huge amounts of money and goods to the husband’s family, which is forbidden in India. When dealing with the health MDGs, namely MDGs 4, 5 and 6, maternal care, child mortality, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, we visited the SGG Hospital in Vadodara and the Eye-care Centre in Delhi. In both cases we could discuss at large with local stuff and medical students about the challenges of maternal care, the still very recurrent cases of female foeticide, and HIV prevention.

In Delhi we also took part to one of the innovative ways of discussing about HIV and fighting stereotypes, trough sport (something we will later come across in South Africa too). It was at the end of a football game with members of Sahara House, an organisation that fights against health-based discrimination. In Delhi we also visited the World Health Organisation, the UN agency dealing with health-related problems, and talked to the unit responsible for organising the national polio vaccination and eradication campaign in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Polio has been defeated in the Western world, but in some states in India, it is still a tangible threat. The experts explained to us that the challenge is very often not to get enough vaccines, but to persuade parents to let their kids being vaccinated as they fear vaccination campaigns are in reality aimed at population control. Rural India was another reality we were faced to. Thanks to a visit to the rural villages in Gujarat (Vadodara’s state), we learnt about life conditions of farmers and the way they endure challenges like water scarcity. During one of the last days in Gujarat we visited the Reliance Corporation. The goal of

the visit was to find out the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the environmental responsibility aspects of the conglomerate, specifically in the field of plasticulture, that is, the use of plastics in agriculture, water management, pants protection and post harvest operations. We learnt that the application of plastic sheeting and pipes, as well as drip irrigation, reduces water usage by us much as 70%, an admirable reduction in terms of environmental impact as well as producing costs savings. However, our doubt about the environmental severe damages of plastics were left unanswered. But we were not only confronted with the problems of rural areas, but also of densely populated and economically depressed urban areas. It was during the first day in Delhi that we saw one of the most impressive realities of India: the slum. Kusumpur Pahari is one of the slums most crowded of Delhi and it counts more than 10,000 inhabitants. The first impact was shocking: goats, pigs, chickens, rubbish and a lot of seminaked children all together.

“Student shows his drawing related to MDG7 “Environmental Sustainability” in the drawing competition”.

But there we also realised how important NGOs and their actions are, trying to save the future of the people living in such precarious conditions. Since 1990, the Rotary Club of South Delhi carries out a project called “Livelihood” which develops different actions in the fields of education, vocational trainings, gender equality, health care and community life. We also took part to the surveys which were being carried out in the different

households to get to know the needs and situation of their members. While in Delhi, we also had a chance to discuss about the global partnership for development and development cooperation between India and the European Union, during a visit to the EU Delegation to India and Bhutan. There we talked with delegation experts about the status of the Millennium Development Goals in India as well as the EU programmes and funding schemes. Finally, we were welcomed by Vishwa Yuvak Kendra (International Youth Centre) whose aim is to develop common understanding and leadership between among young Indians, by a fifty-large delegation of Indian youths coming from all over the Indian “continent”. For them, as well as for us, this was unprecedented, they could discuss in small circles with us about their social work and we could learn from their experience. We also had the opportunity to talk with Prof. Anand Kumar from Jawaharlal Nehru University about youth active citizenship and cooperation between north and south and also with Mr. Manish Sisodia from the NGO KABIR who works to raise awareness about the Right to Information Act. The case study trip offered us also the opportunity to get to know more the Indian culture and lifestyle. For example, we had a basic Hindi language lesson at the Gujarat Public School, a course of cricket (the most important sport for Indian people), and a relaxing yoga lesson! But there was also a non-planned encounter with something typical of South-East Asia: the Monsoon! While in Delhi for the first time in our life, we witnessed to entire days of massive rains, floods, and how Indians cope with this seasonal phenomenon!

- Sara Rebollo Ramírez Part One   25

Activities  Case Study Trip South Africa Cape Town 10-24 September 2010 24 participants

Our journey started on 9 September at Frankfurt International Airport. That was the beginning of a once-ina-life-time experience for all of us, when all relationships bonded, when everything became possible. The case study trip was something we had been waiting with excitement, and it was not going to be a blind-folded experience for us. In fact, we had been preparing it through numerous sessions of Skype meetings with our trainers and many hours of research. Once we reached our final destination, Cape Town, after a fourteen-hour journey, we got to know each other and our friends from India, we got ac-


customed with the city and we were given an introduction by our partner organisations, ARESTA (Agency for Refugee Education, Skills Training and Advocacy) and UTRS (Unity for Tertiary Refugee Students). Our trip would not have been possible without their help. ARESTA and UTRS are two organisations run by refugees that provide support to other refugees in Cape Town. Dealing not only with South Africans, but also with people from all over the continent like Rwanda, DRC Congo, Mozambique, Kenya, and Somalia enriched enormously our experience. ARESTA assists refugees from the moment they step into South African soil until they acquire citizenship rights, UTRS deals specifically with students and strives for tertiary education to be open and accessible to all refugees and asylum seekers wishing to further their knowledge, skills, and personal development. During the first days in South Africa we also took part to workshops on the Millennium Development Goals. The workshops were held in the natural beauty of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and our cosy hostel lounge. Workshops dealt with the different MDGs, they were full of debates and interaction, they inspired us, made us more creative and prepared for the activities on the ground. The following days were devoted to the different MDGs. When dealing with MDG2 – Ensuring

universal primary education we visited three schools. This was for us like climbing down the ladder of standards of education and life opportunities. The first was the Maitland High School, a school which used to be white-only and after the end of Apartheid suddenly became a black-only school. The school retains good education standards, its only challenges are the fact students have to travel much to get to the school, and 80% of them do not speak English as their first language. “Poverty is just around the corner”, one student affirmed, “education is the only way out”, a life insight we would hardly ever hear from a European student of the same age. The following two schools we visited were located in the township named Khayelitsha and were only attended by local kids. One had adequate levels of funding, even private funding, a well-equipped computer room and library, the other, while only a few hundred metres away, lacked teachers, proper infrastructure and teaching facilities (with 35-38 students per class), the headmaster told us that robbers would break in regularly to steal computers and food. The last school had no volunteers, as opposed to the other two, for its students, university education is almost an impossible dream.

Main Local Organisers:

Joseph Eliabson Maniragena and Jean Luc Tshiamala (ARESTA)

Jean-Claude Manaliyo and Jamala Safari (UTRS)

Part One   27

Another day we visited the University of Cape Town (among the top 200 universities in the world) and met with people from the organisation SHAWCO (Student Health and Welfare Centres Organisation). SHAWCO is a student organisation that promotes student volunteering in the community. 1500 of

Highlights • 8 workshops on the MDGs • Presentations by ARESTA and UTRS • Survey among the population • Meeting with the Volunteer Centre and a group of volunteers from Mozambique • Education day: visit to three schools in different social and economic contexts • Lecture with a Professor and Student for the University of Cape Town • Visit to SHAWCO’s field programmes (education and health care) • Football game and HIV knowledge games with SCORE • House building volunteer activity with Niall Mellon Township Trust • Simulation game on a trade agreement • Visit and discussion with the African Monitor • Visit to the South African Parliament • Visit to VPUU (Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading) • Project Incubator


their member students work in education programmes and around 800 work on health care. During the day, we visited their field programmes, we saw volunteers helping children improve their basic skills (such as numeracy and literacy) and in the evening we had the opportunity to see the students working in a mobile clinic in Khayelitsha. The latter not only give free consultations and medicines, but also counselling. This is an exceptional way of bringing future doctors closer to needs of the deprived ones living in the townships.

consulting the local community and thus creating a true “ownership”.

to remember and pass on to friends and classmates.

Another very interesting, once in a life time experience for us, was to build a house. This project is annually organised by Niall Mellon Township Trust and the houses themselves are funded by the Government, which provides free homes for the poorest people from the community. Motivation was sometimes bigger than physical strength, but we, as amateurs, can be proud of having taken part in this volunteer project.

During a visit to the Volunteer Centre in Khayelitsha we also took part to an HIV prevention workshop organised by local trainers for the local community and other volunteers from Mozambique.

During our case study trip we also dealt with other problems affecting slum-dwellers, one of them is the high rate of crime. A visit to VPUU (Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading) made us realise the real scale of criminality in South Africa. VPUU creates partnerships with the public and private sector and several civil society organisations to provide township residents with an enriching, lively and safe environment. VPUU upgrades the urban settings of Harare, an area of Khayelitsha, by creating commonly run public spaces, or building houses in such a way that human presence discourages criminal behaviour along for instance routes people take every morning to go to town to work. VPUU encourages locals to patrol these common spaces in exchanges for credits they can later trade for training or hours of work in the construction sites. More importantly, VPUU does not carry out its urban plans in a top-down fashion, but it does so after

South Africa is sadly also one of the countries in the world with the highest rates of HIV prevalence. During many visits we dealt with this problem and saw how different organisations contribute to raise awareness among civil society. One day we joined the SCORE team for a football match. Based in Kenya, Zambia and South Africa, SCORE is an NGO which aims at human development through sport and works with children and adolescents from unprivileged environments with a view to educating them as individuals. Not only did we play football with the locals and some volunteers, but we also learnt how SCORE spread knowledge about HIV/AIDS through games for youngsters, which makes the information easier

Throughout the Case Study Trip we also dealt assiduously with MDG8 – Developing a Global Partnership for Development. We took part to a workshop and a simulation game on a trade agreement which made us acquainted with the issues of development coop-

eration and aid effectiveness. This prepared us for the time we stepped in the premises of the African Monitor, an independent African body which acts as a catalyst to monitor development funding commitments, delivery and impact on grassroots level and to bring African voices onto the development agenda. A lot of unanswered questions were cleared in an open discussion with the African Monitor staff. For us, it was finally very educative to blend the technical and expert knowledge we were given throughout the trip with a flavour of the opinion of the av-

erage South African. For this reasons we organised a survey among the population during which we asked questions like “what do you and don’t like about your country?”, “what are the key challenges for South Africa?”, “what has changed in your life after Apartheid?”, “do you know the MDGs?”, “will there ever be a female president of South Africa?” and other questions about HIV prevention and the environment. This way we learnt that listening to the people is key for the success of any policy.

- Gabriela Motroc

Part One   29


Activities  Final Conference During the six-day programme, international participants and local youths attended several trainings and lectures on the challenges faced by developing countries and the efforts made to tackle them.

Utrecht, 18-25 November 2010 46 participants

From 18 to 25 November 2010 the year-long project drew to a close with the final conference held in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Forty-six youngsters from all over the world gathered after the two case study trips to India and South Africa to discuss about their experiences, about follow-up initiatives, and about youth contribution to development cooperation.

Vandana Shiva meets young European, Indian and South African students in Utrecht and discusses with them about biodiversity.


The Dutch city of Utrecht turned out to be the most suitable venue for the Final Conference. The municipality of Utrecht, as a Millennium Municipality, is doing its utmost best in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. In addition, the conference could take places within months from the launch of the United Nations Year of Youth, which acknowledges the active role of youth at the local and global level.

Since 20 November was the UN day of children’s rights, part of the programme was devoted to the importance of children’s right. During this very insightful session, we learnt about the Convention on th Right of the Children and the curious fact that Somalia and the United States are the only two countries in the world not to have ratified it. We learnt about best practices of organisations involved in children’s right, like for example Kids Rights, an organisation that inspires youngsters around the world by handing out the youth equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize or the project “Because I’m a Girl” which adopts a holistic approach to children rights that gives particular attention to girls. Another part of the programme dealt with diseases access to medicine. The debate was followed by a lecture by Jonathan King from the University of Cape Town who offered us a critical approach to statistics, especially when it comes to the health MDGs. According to Mr King, some countries count smarter than others and this makes it very important for the researchers to investigate about the source of data.

The conference was also an opportunity for us to learn, in a talk with Member of the European Parliament Ska Keller, about the European Union’s development policy and the principle of policy coherence for development. During the final conference in Utrecht we also had an opportunity to sharpen our campaigning and communication tools with the help of Kay van de Linde, a Dutch communications strategist with extensive experience in strategic communications, crisis communications, press strategy and political campaigns. ‘The power of the people can be strong if you have a good strategy – try to change the world bit by bit’ (more in “Advocate”, p. 52). After this inspiring workshop, the programme of the day about MDG 7 became even more interesting with the arrival of Dr. Vandana Shiva, philosopher and environmental activist. The Nicolai Church was full of enthusiastic people willing to listen and learn from her lecture about sustainable farming. Vandana Shiva concluded her speech with the inspiring words of Ghandi: ‘The Earth has enough for everyone’s needs, but not enough for some people’s greeds’.

• 78,44% liked the speakers. • 83,6% of the people thought the subject of the program was interesting. • 73,8% liked the accommodation. • 31% didn’t know a lot about the MDG’s before. • 61,5% learnt something about the MDG’s. • 68% got inspired. • 76,5% will spread the information gathered amongst their friends. • 50% will change something in his or her way of living. • 44,5% of the visitors will join an existing organization working on MDGs or will start up a new project. • 40% of the visitors is living in Utrecht. • 72% of the visitors were students. • 24,7 years was the average age of the visitors.v

South Africa with the knowledge provided during the workshops and lectures and extensive networking. This created a fertile environment for the participants to become active as multipliers and to develop of follow-up actions of all kinds. From personal actions to international projects. For example, during the conference some people became vegetarian, others set up a volunteering network for AEGEE members, others joined hands in a renewed partnership between young Europeans, Indians and South Africans.

- Yanike Sophie, Muriel Eerkens, Mirjam van Velzen, Hilde de Leeuw, Tos Alles, Jurriaan Kalf and Marleen Dijkhoff

Overall, the Conference combined the experience participants had gathered during the case study trips to India and Part One   31

Visibility The Case Study Trips to India and South Africa enjoyed media coverage and large visibility. News about the field visits were reported in local newspapers, as well as national ones like the Indian Express or international like the United Nations Youth Flash bulletin.

From left to right, from top to bottom: 1. Calendar of the Case Study Trip to India, by Mathieu Soete, Milan Padilla, Dora Kocsis and Mateusz Żuławski. 2. “Youth of Baroda meet up in South-Africa” 3. “Students from AIESEC Baroda will visit Netherlands for MDGs-final conference to fulfill a dream of Peaceful World.” 4. “International youth visited Government Hospital of Baroda to know about services provided by hospital in order to cure disease”. 5. “International students visited Government Hospital of Baroda to know about the services provided by the hospital to the HIV positive patients”.

Online Publications: 32  BEYOND EUROPE

Part One   33

What We Have Learnt

Fearless Lions Shiniest stars on moonless night in a bleak and doomed time of sorrowful and painful ending to all dreams and trances of Earth Youth, you are the redeemers

Jamala Safari UTRS, Deputy Chair: African Artists Unite as One

My sobbing wounds do not daunt your tender nursing hands neither fires nor storms frighten your spirit of fearless lion on a mission you heard my cry and come to my salvation Engraved in the memory of time shall be the wisdom and bravery of your generation as it is not the bitterness of tears nor the mistakes of my yesterday’s crossing that you come to sing and mourn for You come to ignite the dream of the human race in search of answers to the enigma of its history haunted by the grief-stricken cries of starving children endless burial songs of daily HIV-AIDS victims and tears of souls drowning in climate calamity


As my lungs weakness and my heart refuses to beat on the rhythm of happy morning songs my fragile existence lies within your hands your vision and astuteness are my shining hope for you are the rescuer of the human race on this planet

- Jamala Safari 2010

Part Two   35

About  India A million faces of India… “United in diversity” is not just the slogan describing Europe, it could also describe the country we visited during our first case study trip: Incredible India, one of the most diverse countries on earth. In size, Prisca Merz number of languages, religions and different cultures, India seems to be a continent on its own. Next to its ethnic diversity, the Indian society has traditionally been divided into different castes, a division that originally stem from the Hindu religion but was also followed by Muslims and Christians in India. According to the caste system, every citizen is born inside a certain caste which determines the further course of his/her life, the choice of his/her profession and the right partner to marry for life. The system is based on four different groups, the priests (Brahmans), the princes, the merchants and the craftsmen. At the bottom of or, according to some interpretations, even outside the caste system are the “untouchables”, also known as dalits who are discriminated in many ways. The untouchables are for example forbidden from entering temples and they must work barefoot in presence of higher castes members, and they cannot drink from the same cup as others. Even though the concept of castes is slowly blurring, and caste-based discrimination is forbidden by law, we still encoun-


tered many examples of people adhering to their old positions in the system. The double face of India became especially apparent during our visit to Delhi. On the one hand one could find sophisticated restaurants, five star hotels, wonderful, air conditioned congress centres and skyscrapers that might as well have been taken out of the skyline of Manhattan – and right next to this there were slums, which were cut off from the city’s water and sewage systems. We could experience a Delhi that is growing, expanding and continuously renewing itself. Ahead of the Commonwealth games of October 2010 a lot of infrastructure projects were undertaken. But the dark side of this development are the many shelters alongside the streets where all the construction workers were living for the duration of the works – who knows what happened to them as soon as the constructions were finished? Could they find another job? Or another shelter? Poverty is still prevailing in an India, where income is very unequally distributed. For us, this extreme poverty was sometimes difficult to picture or describe. “Sometimes you meet children and think ‘these poor kids live in these squalid conditions’ – said one of the participants - and then you realise that they’re the lucky ones who are in a Rotary programme or in a free primary school…”

t it is one of tiful country, ye India is a beau juxtaposed , ones that are contradictions t blatant of os her in the m against each ot ty towns, an sh d crapers an ways. The skys teracy, the ols and the illi the fancy scho arving rants and the st exclusive restau dirty tracks, e th d ulevards an infants, the bo ren… e barefoot child the SUVs and th

ar, Malta

Christine Cass

Youth as the Future? India’s growing population is the country’s blessing and curse at the same time. There are simply not enough teachers, doctors, universities and schools to offer their services to all Indians. But at the same time, there are so many young enthusiastic students among whom fierce competition encourages children to give their best at school and therefore have a chance for a university place. During our case study trip, we visited many different schools and what was striking is the difference in quality between government schools and private schools [1]. At the Gujarat Public School, our partner school in Vadodora, we met many well-educated children. We held workshops with 13 year-olds in which we asked them to choose one of the MDGs and then give arguments about why they chose that particular MDG – their answers left all of us speechless – those chil-

[1] Confusingly, private schools are sometimes called public schools which still dates back to the times of British colonial rule as in old Britain public schools where the schools where people sent their kids when they could not afford private teaching at home – but those “public” schools were still private and quite expensive.

Part Two   37

dren were better in giving presentations than some of our fellow university students! On the other hand, we visited rural schools where not even the teachers were able to speak English and government schools in the outskirts of Delhi with 100 children per class and where, due to the lack of rooms, pupils were taught outside, without tables, chairs or proper teaching facilities.

A talk with Father Stanny Ferrera, from one of the Don Bosco institutes in Gujarat, told us why in the last years there were more dropouts than new enrolments in his school. In the rural areas, he said, kids work in farms and when there is no rainfalls, in July and September, they migrate to the cities.

Gender Equality? Do you wonder why baby gender prediction tests are forbidden by law in India? The answer is that gender can lead to the suppression of a girl’s life even before her birth. India is in fact one of the places in the world still largely afflicted by cases of foeticide, the cruel practice of killing babies at birth. A girl in rural India is also very likely to receive worse food and health services. Another problem that Father Stanny Ferrera confronted us with is the low school enrolment of girls, especially in later years of education. He told us that in the villages it is still very normal for


girls to get married and pregnant long before the age of 18, even though this is also forbidden by law (the official marriage age for girls is 18 and for men 21). Early marriage is one of the reasons why girls, especially in rural India, are less educated and have less chances in society. Mostly in rural India, young girls are usually married according to the wishes of their parents or those of their husband’s family. It was shocking to read in the Indian news about cases of honour killings in which parents or brothers had killed their sister or daughter and her boyfriend or even husband for having married against the wish of their families. Even though honour killings are forbidden by law, there are still many reported cases in which the police has been accused of not investigating sufficiently – but thanks to the work of some NGOs the situation is slowly but surely improving.

In their professional life, women face gender-based prejudices. We were for instance told in several cases that women should rather work in a kind of job that is considered to be “female” (such as in the social or health sector or as teachers) or rather take care of the household. Also, it still happens quite often that even girls with university education quit their job as soon as they get married.

A Culture of Contestation

Although India is the largest democracy on earth, we have learnt that the enforcement of laws, on marriages, against dowries, against violence inside the family, against discrimination of lower castes and fostering their participation in the political life, and in many other areas is very challenging. The rule of law is not manifested in many parts of the country yet.

Another problem we learned about is “dowry”. Dowry is the money that a woman brings to her husband in marriage to facilitate the union. In India the sums are so tremendously high that often poor families are stripped of all their savings. Furthermore, the amount to be paid increases with education and a girl should find a husband who has at least the same education as her – another disincentive for a girl’s parents to send her to school. In the most terrible cases, known as “bride burning”, the wife is burned because of her family’s refusal to pay additional dowry.

Furthermore, for example for laws offering material benefits for the most disadvantaged citizens it is not enough that they are adopted in Parliament. A constant process of “contestation” is needed in order for laws to reach the bottom of society. Contestation is the struggle the most deprived ones, with the help of organisations like Action Aid India, undertake to increase awareness about and enforce their rights under the law.

Dowries have been forbidden by law, but there is still widespread lack of awareness about it. To address this challenge, Gender Resource Centres, like the one we visited in Delhi, host once a week public meetings between local women and a lawyer who explains each time different laws and the rights they entrust upon women. Even though this initiative is quite successful and there are many similar initiatives, there is still a long way to go to reach gender equality.

“I did not know anything about the concept itself of right before I took part to this project” told us a participant to one of Action Aid’s projects in Bawana, in the state of Delhi. The project empowers members of the resettlement colony of Bawana to claim their rights towards the local Public Distribution System. In 2001, the Supreme Court of India imposed on local authorities to make the central food schemes enforceable,

food and grain distribution however continues to be marred with corrupt and negligent behaviour by the officials. Another law that was very important to increase not only the rule of law, but also the legitimacy, accountability and transparency of the Indian government was the Right of Information Act of 2005. The state is now required to respond to inquiries from its citizens, government officials’ behaviour, inefficiencies or abused can now be reported to higher level authorities, and there is growing awareness of people’s rights. For instance, schools in India now publicly display what rights pupils are entitled to. The role of civil society organisation, and potentially the youth, is key to ensure that India’s culture of contestation remains alive. India has still a long way to go in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, but what we could feel many times when talking especially to young people in India was hope and confidence: Confidence that the time for India has come.

During our visit to the international youth centre Vishwa Yuvak Kendra we also had a chance to meet Manish Sisodia, the chief functionary of KABIR, a NGO that lobbied strongly for the adoption of the Right to Information Act in 2005.

- Prisca Merz

Part Two   39

About  South Africa The plight of post-Apartheid South Africa – and the role of youth for a better future. For foreigners – especially those who have never been there – South Africa has a face. Nelson Mandela stands for the struggle of a country and its people to overcome its division. ‘Madiba’ – as he Christian is lovingly called by his counEichenmüller trymen and -women – stands out as the figure in the country’s recent history and contemporary politicians still might feel intimated by his timely presence. Yet – and this is especially evident the more you learn about South Africa – the country has also moved on. The essential question is: Is the end of apartheid enough to change people’s lifes for the better? The racial discrimination and inhumane divisions of the Apartheid era have been overcome. For four decades brave South Africans opposed, and at times also fought against a regime that due to its racial discrimination and hatred had increasingly caused embarrassment and outrage around the world until its downfall in the early 1990s. It is Nelson Mandela’s release from imprisonment that ransformed a society of ‘Whites Only’ policies to the rainbow nation of modern South Africa.


Yet today’s reality is far from the enthusiastic dreams of the transition period. Like every euphoria, South Africa’s colourful transition was followed by a period of fading dreams and shattered ambitions. Its fast-track into the 21st century became a bumpy ride, mainly due to its terrible record on three problematic societal arenas: HIV/AIDS, economic inequality and lack of education. As we were arriving in South Africa one of the first statistics that captured our attention was the country’s AIDS rate. Estimations are that one in three South Africans is HIV positive. Its devastating record on tackling the ‘worst of all diseases’ was aggravated by sheer neglect on behalf of politicians. Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela’s successor as President of the Republic of South Africa, didn’t believe in scientific reasoning and medical evidence and opposed any policies tackling the epidemic. Decisive change was only achieved when civil society movements such as the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), one of the most successful advocacy and pressure groups in Southern Africa, entered the scene – but activists and allied politicians still face an uphill battle. Our way from the airport – a newly polished complex of cracking moder-

nity – to Cape Town centre already illustrated un known economic disparities, situated geographically close though separated as if of two different worlds. Post-apartheid inequality – along with its worst side effect: crime – poses the biggest challenge and stumbling block to a new South Africa. Racial apartheid was replaced by an economic apartheid in which a person’s birth place and family situation almost inescapably determines success or failure. The government’s efforts to tackle the racial divide (namely Black Economic Empowerment) can just be regarded as a small step causing its own controversies. South Africa up until now remains a divided society. Education – though suffering from lack of resources and coherent policies – remains a major challenge but is nevertheless more part of the solution than it is part of the problem. Unfortunately education is still a privilege for those who can afford it. Nevertheless abetter society is possible with more focus on access to and improvement of education. Our experience through visiting schools in different townships in and around Cape Town, is that youngsters and educational staff are aware of the challenges confronting them. Pupils

seem to sense that their only way to a better life runs through their classroom. Lack of political vision and will to tackle the above mentioned problems leads to mixed progress with regard to the Millennium Development Goals. And it is here, that civil society organisations – like AIESEC, ARESTA, Gujarat Public School, UTRS and AEGEE – can most effectively work together. This project brought together youth from Europe, India and South Africa and it showed that another way is possible through increased awareness and participation of young people. As some participants put it, the Case Study Trip to South Africa was the best experience of their life – but it also opened their eyes with regard to the challenges ahead. The lessons learnt are an indispensable foundation for the future. To make this project successful, it is now on the participants to transform experience and knowledge into follow up initiatives – then Madiba’s struggle for a better life for all will find its continuation though the dozens of young idealists from Europe, India and South Africa.

- Christian Eichenmüller

Part Two   41

About  the Youth Ms Abhilasha Agrawal Director, Gujarat Public School, BRG GROUP

The one aspect that I really appreciate about Europe is youth activism. Not that there is a lack of youth activism and participation in India, but there is a lack of organised and recognised structures in educational institutes. I am amazed how these youth have a voice and how universities and other organisations provide a structured platform for expressing their views and ideas. This makes them more participatory in nature. If I could take one souvenir from Europe, it would be tap this youth activism and enthusiasm and professional work practises within this organisation in a bottle and show it in my school, educational institutes and the government bodies so that we could adapt them for our benefit...

What is Youth?

The Potential of the Youth

When we talk about youth, what do we actually mean? The official definitions are different. For the UN youth goes from 15 to 24, for the European Commission from 13 to 30. In South Africa we found out that the youth age ends at the age of 35.

These striking difference tell a lot about why youth means something different in Europe, and the West in general, than elsewhere in the world. In the Western world we talk about “boomerang kids” to describe the phenomenon of young people who take longer and longer to reach adulthood. The expansion of the transitional phase in life we call youth, especially in Europe, has led to larger self-consciousness among young people and consequent demands for “youth” to be recognised not only by sociologists, but also by policy-makers.

Leaving aside numbers and official definitions, we have learnt two things, one is that youth is a transitional phase in life, a middle way between childhood and adulthood, between protection and responsibility; the second is that the duration of this transitional phase is very much dependent on the place where you grow up. Youth does in fact mean different things in Europe, India and South Africa. But why so? To find an answer we should first of all have a look at some statistics about the age at which people get married or have their first child, two landmarks events in a person’s life which mark the passage from youth to adulthood. In India men get married at an average age of 24.8 and women at 20.2, as opposed to some countries in Europe where the average marital age is around 33 for men and 31 for women [1]. When it comes to pregnancies, in India and South Africa teenage pregnancy is from 13 to 15 times more frequent than in Europe. In India 73 newborn children out of 1000 have mothers aged between 15 and 19, in South Africa the rate is 66, a staggering figure compared to a country like the Netherlands where the teenage pregnancy only occurs in 5 cases every 1000 pregnancies. COUNTRY INDIA SOUTH AFRICA GERMANY ITALY SPAIN


In India and in South Africa we could hardly find organisations that were independent and entirely run by young people. For young people it seemed to be difficult, if not impossible for instance to organise an event or a project, let alone raise financial resources, without the backing of an adult person. This has often to do with traditional patriarchal thinking and the lack of trust towards young people. Nevertheless, there is growing recognition among policy-makers that the youth is an untapped resource for the development of a country and it needs to be engaged, as it emerged from the study trips. For youth potential to be fully tapped, it is necessary not only to provide the right framework and resources, but also to overcome prejudices and mistrusts. This becomes an imperative if only because nearly 50% of population is youth and children [2] and 1 out of 1.2 billion 15 to 24 year olds in the world live in developing countries [3].


UNDP, World Marital Statistics 2008

20.2 28 31 30 29.3

- Mario Giuseppe Varrenti [1] UNDP, World Marital Statistics 2008 [2] World Bank 2010 [3] 2005 figures, UN Population Division, Word Population Prospects, 2008 Revision

Part Two   43

About  Development Development is not just about aid.

We have learnt that to understand the problem of poverty we need to look beyond its symptoms, and beyond just aid as the cure. At the heart of under-development most often lie global patterns of production and trade which make some economies, especially those based on the export of few commodities, more vulnerable than others. At the heart of the problems also lie policies in Europe, for instance agricultural policies, which subsidise European production to the detriment of dispossessed farmers in the third world. In our talk with Member of the European Parliament Franziska Keller, we have discussed about the need for the European Union to ensure coherence between its development cooperation efforts and other policies affecting developing countries, like trade, agriculture, energy, fisheries, security, migration, research, transport, employment. With experts from the African Monitor in Cape Town we have looked at how such holistic approach to development is gaining momentum. If so far we have been dealing with “aid effectiveness”, the concept whereby every euro spent on development should produce the maximum degree of results on the ground, we are now witnessing the emergence of the broader concept of “development effectiveness”, whereby not just money, but every policy domain should be assessed for its impact on developing countries.

Development is a multi-stakeholder process.

Development is About Minds, Not just a Technical Challenge.

Development cooperation is not only a business between governments, but a process in which civil society, the youth, individuals are participants in their own right. We have learnt that for development to make a difference in the lives of the poorest, it is necessary that civil society is involved to the largest extent in the decision-making to allocate resources. In India we were faced with examples of mismanagement of resources when civil society’s voice was not heard such as the creation of a musical mountain or a helicopter pad were preferred to sanitation projects or paying the wage of street sweepers. In South Africa we appreciated the importance, even for projects planned and implemented by foreign development agencies, like the urban upgrading sites run by VPUU (Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading), of consulting with the local community and creating a sense of “ownership”. But we have also learnt that the private sector can play a fundamental role through CSR and the setting up of code of conducts and rules of transparency. In a nutshell, we have learnt that the public sector, business and civil society should work in unison and create synergies for development.

In South Africa for example, it is not the lack of contraceptives that makes HIV prevention difficult, but atavistic instincts, stigma and ignorance. Many think that condoms are ineffective, or diminish the pleasure of a sexual intercourse, many think that HIV can be transmitted by hugging an HIV-positive person, others think that a shower can wash away the virus. Likewise, we have seen that in some areas of India, parents refuse to vaccinate their kids because they fear this will make their kids sterile. Development cooperation is about minds here in Europe too. Public opinion in Europe is concerned about problems like immigration, crime, unemployment, conflict and terrorism, but it often fails to see that poverty and under-development in the world is at the heart of all these problems. A world in which economic divergence between the rich and poor countries widens is going to be a less safe, less stable, and more unjust world. Therefore, for our governments to remain committed to their Official Development Assistance targets, especially at times of economic turmoil, it is necessary, as Paul Collier put it, that there is “a critical mass of informed citizenry” [1].

Development is About Rights. We have seen that for laws to offer material benefits for the most disadvantaged citizens it is not enough that they are adopted in Parliament. A constant process of “contestation” is needed in order for laws to reach the bottom of society. Contestation is the struggle the most deprived ones undertake to increase awareness about and enforce their rights under the law. “I did not know anything about the concept of right before I took part to this project” told us a participant to one of Action Aid’s projects in Bawana, in the state of Delhi. The project empowers members of the resettlement colony of Bawana to claim their rights towards the local Public Distribution System. In 2001, the Supreme Court of India imposed on local authorities to make the central food schemes enforceable, food and grain distribution however continues to be marred with corruption and negligence by public officials. Only a right-based approach to development can ensure long-term sustainability and impact.



Part Two   45

Youth  Contribution to      Development

Marianne Williamson, quoted in the film Coach Carter “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” we were to the people Who were we walking w n people sa us meeting? Whe a hospih ug ro th ms, or through the slu g students ropean‐lookin tal – a set of Eu what did – of devastation in the middle l system na io An internat we represent? of people p ou gr A g them? that was failin ding on anything intru who don’t know help? of tential source their lives? A po ar, Malta

- Christine Cass

It is only recently that development agencies have started exploring the rationale for working with the youth. The youth used to be seen as the target of development policy, rather than as an actor. We aim to challenge this perception and claim a role of leadership for the youth in development. Despite the differences across continents, there are common traits among the youth in Europe, India and South Africa. Youth can be more open-minded than older generation, more mobile and innovative. Youth tend to be creative in problem solving and solution finding. Youth can also be very good multipliers, in the circles of friends or in their family. Youth are also faster to adapt to new technology and new means of communication. When the environment offers them a chance, youth reap the benefits of globalisation and build transnational networks. More than anybody else, youth can profit from the power of interconnectedness.

ed excluuntries don’t ne Developing co s or diper ne gi nurses, en sively doctors, me and e lik le op pe mple” lomats, also “si ed m ium r youth with a like many othe English or e a language lik knowledge of e will of th ith ish and w French or Span nal comio at rn te in r the being useful fo this people. very much for munity can do portant t e of the mos im For me this is on y Trip. ud St se Ca from this things I learnt ly - Marta Ibba, Ita

fifty-large delegation of Indian youth coming from all over the Indian “continent”. This meeting showed us what youth do for the development of their own communities throughout India. Deepak from Orissa for instance runs an educational programme for farmers, a programme financed by international donors. Memul from Delhi organises field surveys in slums, a testimony to the fact that youth organisations can have a greater outreach than international donors when it comes to information gathering. Shailu from Madhaya Pradesh works in awareness programmes on the use of fertilisers and medicinal planting.

Youth, especially in the countries we visited, show also a great sense of responsibility. Asked about why he wanted to pursue his studies, a pupil in the Maitland High School in Cape Town answered “there is no second chance, if you fail with your studies, well, just look around and you can see what your life will look like”.

On the other hand we also recognise that youth can at times be inconsistent, unprofessional, or more vulnerable than others. But these elements are not an excuse for not engaging the youth, but instead they should lead to creating an even more solid ground for youth empowerment. We emphasise the specific need for international donors and partner countries to focus on the empowerment of young people, through capacity-bulding and an adequate framework which ensures mobility and access to funding opportunities. This creates youth as leaders and initiators of development [1].

The case study trips showed us several examples of youth contribution to development. In July 2010 the European delegation of AEGEE in Delhi was welcomed at the premises of the Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, the Indian National Youth Forum, by a

In the following sections we categorise six main areas of youth contribution to development: everyday life, education, advocacy, volunteering, partnership and finally project management.

[1] Youth Participation in Development: A Guide for Development Agencies and Policy-Makers, UK Department for International Development


Part Two   47

Everyday  Life

Before this project, when we thought of development policy, especially here in Europe, we thought of something far, geographically and conceptually distant from our daily life. At a first glance, development sounded like a business of high politics, determined by the outcomes of international conferences of donors, ministers, UN and World Bank experts. It seemed like they (the powerful ones) could make promises, they (the powerful ones again) could break them, and we could not do much about it.

But the reality is a different one. We have learnt that there is a direct link between little things we do everyday and the big challenges of the developing world. The sugar we pour in our morning tea or coffee for instance, or the tea and coffee themselves, come from the developing world. The minerals contained in our mobile phones and laptop computers come from the developing world too, and so does much of the food served on our tables, especially fruit and vegetables, let alone the flower you buy or receive as a present on Valentine’s day. To picture the interconnectedness of our world think of the example that the eruption of an until then unknown Icelandic volcano, which interrupted air travel to and from Europe, brought flower producers in Kenya to their knees [1]. Would have you ever imagined that? Thousands and thousands of kilometres away? This example shows how our world’s interconnectedness means opportunities for the developing world, but also threats. Because of our patterns of consumptions, we Europeans throw away on average 50% of our food [2], which to a large extent we buy from the international market. Our culture of abundance means that supermarkets must replenish their shelves and make them look full to maximum


capacity until the last minute before closing time. It also means that around 50% of freshly picked potatoes are immediately thrown back to the ground after being sorted by a machine, because they do not fit average consumers standards (they might have black spots for example). For many products, the food industry determines the “best by” date of the stuff they sell which, for clear market logics, means that the shorter the “best by” date is, the more profit it brings... and the most wasted food too. All this adds up to 90 million tons of food thrown away in the European Union each year, 100 billion Euros worth of food each year. The food thrown away in Europe and North America would be enough to feed all the hungry people in the world three times over.But food is not the only example. We Europeans also replace our mobile phones on average every 18 months. Most of us do so unaware that this often fuels a production chain that often starts in the conflict-ridden mines of Congo, passes by our homes and offices, and ends up in the electronic dumps of Lagos. If we would waste less, we would buy less and leave the food in the world market. If we would be content with a

Concrete Development-friendly Actions to Avoid Food Waste five year old mobile phone, instead of the latest fancy models, and we would ask questions to our retailer, we would force producers to be more transparent in a supply chain that often fosters conflict, exploitation and child labour. Our power simply derives from the fact that we are consumers, and as consumers we can decide where, what, and how to buy. If we want, we can ask questions, we can put pressure on our food retailer, on our restaurant to know how much food they wasted. We can expose companies and governments, we can blame and shame. Images of mobile phones dripping with blood, stickers saying “made in Congo” generate curiosity, prompt people to start asking questions. And as the pressure mounts, collectively, we can make a difference. If we would only become a little bit more frugal in our everyday habits, without undermining our living standards, we would help the lives of millions in the world. After all, every marathon starts with a single step.

- Mario Giuseppe Varrenti

[1] “Kenya Flower Industry Hit by Flight Cancellations”, BBC, 10 April 2010 [2]

Taste the Waste, the documentary • The basic rule is to cook regularly at home to avoid that purchased food deteriorates; • Plan your meals the next few days in advance to avoid the purchase of products that you won’t use; • Use the entire product. For instance, if you buy a whole chicken you can use the other parts the next day for a sandwich; • Food lasts longer if it is stored properly. Remove vegetables from the plastic bag, before you put the minto the fridge. Wrap lettuce, asparagus and carrots in a protective film. Potatoes or oranges can last up to four months if they are stored dry and cool. • Almost all foods can be frozen. Bread and baked goods last for months. Fresh vegetables, meat, fish, cheese and sausages, sauces, soups and ready meals can be stored in the freezer and ensure supply for days when no time is left for coking; • Smaller leftovers can be frozen and re-utilised for example for a quick soup; • The expiry date is not the same as use-by date. Rice, pasta, cereals and legumes are still perfectly OK months after the expiration date of consumption. Also, yogurt or cottage cheese can be eaten without concern of the expiration date to the end. If in doubt, trust the appearance of the product and your sense of smell. • Buy cucumbers, potatoes or bananas with black spots. These products are not yet ready for the bin, even if they don’t look perfect! • Whole wheat bread lasts longer than white bread and can still be eaten for several more days; • Avoid ready-made food, it has a very short shelf life and its production requires large quantities of waste. Better to prepare your sandwich at home; • Some shops offer their goods which are near the expiration date at a reduced price, ask your retailer! • Ask your supermarket to take measures to prevent food waste. Complain when you see that the fruit and vegetable shelves are filled up until the last minute before the shop closes.

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“Have you ever heard of the MDGs?” asked a Eurobarometer survey in May 2009. The answer was that a mere 5% of respondents were both aware of the MDGs and knowledgeable on their content[1], that was nine years after the launch of the goals! Raising awareness among our friends, family members, and colleagues, about world inequality, poverty, the MDGs and development cooperation is not just an educational exercise, it has a policy relevance in itself. Development is not only about aid, infrastructures, debt relief, trade, foreign direct investment, development is first of all about minds. We have learnt for instance that in South Africa it is not the lack of contraceptives that makes HIV prevention difficult, but a number of atavistic instincts, stigma and ignorance. Many think that condoms are ineffective, or dimin-

“the EU will pay particular attention to development education and raising awareness among EU citizens” European Consensus on Development, 2005 50  BEYOND EUROPE


ish the pleasure of a sexual intercourse, many think that HIV can be transmitted by hugging or sharing the same plate with an HIV-positive person, others think that a shower can wash away the virus. Likewise, we have seen that in some areas in India, parents refuse to vaccinate their kids because they fear this will make their kids sterile. The examples show that development does not always require a technical solution. Development is about minds here in Europe too. Public opinion in Europe is concerned about problems like immigration, crime, unemployment, conflict and terrorism, but it often fails to see that poverty and under-development in the world is at the heart of all these problems. A world in which economic divergence between the rich and poor widens is going to be an unsafe, unstable, and unjust world. Therefore, for our governments to remain committed to their Official Development Assistance targets, especially at times of economic turmoil, it is necessary, as Paul Collier put it, that there is “a critical mass of informed citizenry” [2]. For these reasons, education about development is important and the youth can play a major role in promoting it. In order to reach out to the wider pub-

The European Union and some member states make available funds for civil society projects aimed at development education in Europe. To find out more about some of them: • European Commission, Development Cooperation Instrument – Non-state Actors and Local Authorities. • United Kingdom, Development Awareness Fund Mini-grant scheme. • France, Agence Française de Developpement, Support to NGO initiatives.

lic back home after the case study trips, some of us came up with the idea of designing a calendar. Stories from India and South Africa were told in a selection of the best pictures and quotes which spoke more than 1.000 words. A presentation of the two case study trips was given to AEGEE’s general assembly. Participants to the trips also wrote articles in their local university newspapers and magazines, released interviews, and held presentations. A picture, a presentations or a chat among friends sparked reflections about the interrogatives raised in India and South Africa! The case study trips gave us also an overview of other effective techniques used by NGOs to reach out to the public. An innovative way of educating people about HIV-AIDS for instance is through sports, like SCORE does in Cape Town. We were given the opportunity to take part in one of SCORE’s sport activities aimed at informing adolescents about HIV/AIDS. How did it work? The first game required some football skills to win pieces of papers with letters which we then had to arrange in order to obtain a statement on HIV/AIDS, leading to a short discussion. The second game showed how HIV can affect more and

more people, who then had to answer questions on the topic in order to be allowed back in the game. SCORE trains last year high school student to organise educational games for their younger peers. Similar ideas could be used here in Europe too. YOUrope needs YOU!2 , one of the most successful projects of AEGEE, organises workshops in high schools to empower high school students and shows them how to become active European citizens. In the recent autumn action months in Bucarest, which were centred around the idea of global awareness and development aid, high school students participated to discussions about poverty, aid, the causes and effects of under-development and new ways to help the poor countries to be actively involved at a global scale. Our cooperation with YOUrope needs YOU!2 will continue in the future.

- Gabriela Motroc

[1] Eurobarometer 2009 – Development Aid in Times of Economic Turmoil [2]

Part Two   51

Advocate Examples from the Case Study Trips

The Recipe for a Successful Campaign For advocacy to be successful, it often needs to go hand in hand with a good campaigning strategy. During the final conference in Utrecht, professional campaigners from BKB, a Dutch group that organises events and campaigns in the Netherlands and abroad, gave us a workshop on successful campaigning techniques. Here some useful tips: • Be focussed in time, geographical scope, and objectives. • Research! It is fundamental to know your stakeholders, who you want to convince, what they are concerned about. Opinion polls are a good tool to access this fundamental information. • Target people who don’t know and could potentially develop an opinion on the subject, rather than the very convinced ones, either pro or con. • Be organised! It is not enough to gather a group of idealists, you need an organisation with a clear structure and chain of command. • Use a very precise communication strategy, create a referendum context, a “digital situation”, 1 or 0, win or lose!

Throughout the project, we have come across many examples of advocacy. The Social Justice Coalition for instance advocates for the provision of adequate sanitation services in Khayelitsha, Cape Town’s township. They bring the media to the communities to give people a say, they organise street actions and solidarity walks or send petitions to the public authorities. Another example is Action Aid India which advocates local authorities for the provision of food schemes or property rights for slum dwellers. These examples of advocacy are aimed at the implementation of rights existing under the constitution and the law which have not been enforced, advocacy can also be aimed at the shaping of policy itself and the allocation of resources. Youth can play a decisive role in influencing decision-making and the allocation of public or private resources.

Some participants to our case study trips submitted a document on behalf of “youth” on the subject of climate change and the green economy to the Stakeholders Forum which is organising the 2012 Earth Summit. Other have tried to encourage school headmasters and teachers to give their consent to the organisation of workshop for students on the issues of poverty, development and aid or, the establishment of channels of communication and exchange we universities and schools we visited in India and South Africa. One participant from the case study trip to India tried to establish contacts in order to get someone to import to Europe the manufactures hand-crafted at the Gender Resource Centre in Delhi.

The project team submitted a contribution to the European Commission’s public consultation on the future of EU’s development policy. We advocate for the recognition of youth in partner countries as leaders and initiators of development in their full right. We envisage the establishment of a budget line in the EU’s instruments for development cooperation which provides for mini-grants exclusively reserved to youth-led projects.

For more info:


Part Two   53

Volunteer Volunteering is an inestimable resource for development. Every year a large number of volunteers in their local communities or around the world provide relief in humanitarian operations, support long-lasting development programmes, help people with disabilities, or teach foreign languages. What is Voluntourism? One of the most interesting things we discovered in India is the intersection between development volunteering and tourism – often called volontourism. Whilst this is a fashionable trend in a number ofcountries that are relatively new to both tourism and international development assistance, it is also an important part of an individual’s travel plans. Organisations such as Joining Hands and Salaam Baalak engage in activities such as these – Salaam Baalak takes tourists to areas where street children live and where they are taken when rescued; Joining Hands, on the other hands, places tourists with organisations from a few hours to a few days (as well as for longer-term placements) according to their knowledge and skills, ensuring that they help local communities as part of their otherwise touristic trip.

- Christine Cassar 54  BEYOND EUROPE

Throughout our project, we have met and interacted with many organisations working with volunteers. Salaam Baalak Trust in Delhi or SCORE in Cape Town for instance welcome every year several international volunteers. Organisations like SHAWCO (Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation) count over 1200 student volunteers from the University of Cape Town in education and health programmes, SHAWCO medical students tour the townships with a mobile clinic to provide assistance to the local community. The Volunteer Centre in Khayelitsha trains young volunteers from South Africa and Mozambique to deliver HIV/ AIDS workshops. The organisation Joining Hands India started up with one goal: “to make volunteering a mass movement”. Joining Hands aims to bridge the distance between people by providing opportunities to individuals to volunteer in India’s social development sector. Today around 45 NGOs are partner with Joining Hands.

The importance of volunteering has been recognised by the European Union with the decision to adopt 2011 as the European Year of Volunteering. In response to this call for action, AEGEE has set up a Steering Committee to coordinate the activities of our network in the field of volunteering. As a follow-up project to the case study trips to India and South Africa, a group of motivated AEGEE members has set up the AEGEE Volunteering Network!

The AEGEE Volunteering Network It was somewhere in the middle of the Case Study Trip to South Africa, that a fellow participant and I came to the conclusion that for individuals to “make a change” for some people anywhere in the world, you Milan Padilla have to be present for a longer period of time and act on the grassroots with the people hands on. Volunteering seemed to us then the most direct influence we can give, worth more than just sending of money, books and “good advice”. Then again, how can we encourage people to go abroad and volunteer? This is when the idea of the AEGEE Volunteering Network was born. Our slogan is: “Building the bridges between volunteers and NGOs”. The principle is that we bring NGOs and possible volunteers together by encouraging them through an online database on a website with both NGOs and contact information of AEGEE members that have already been volunteering. We believe that future volunteers will only contact and join an NGO if they have the feeling of being able to trust them because they can talk to someone who has simply already worked there. We build trust between the potential volunteer and the receiving NGO only by giving information on organisations that we have a personal contact to. Thus we create a network within the network that goes superbly together with the European Year of Volunteering 2011. It’s a fresh new concept within the AEGEE network and we are open for all ideas!

AEGEE Volunteering Network Part Two   55

Partnership Partnership is key to development. Throughout our project, we have learnt that cooperation between the North and the South is no longer exclusively characterised by a relation between “donors” and “recipients”, it has instead embraced more policydomains and it resembles more and more a relations between partners. The cornerstone of the MDGs architecture is MDG8 – Creating a Global Partnership for Development in which govern-

gh school touch with a hi I have kept in and we often in South Africa student I met nice, motily al re ok. He is a talk on Facebo omised him us kid and I pr vated and curio ver I can. him with whate I will try to help

roc, Romania

- Gabriela Mot

a green field of grass in the summer 56  BEYOND EUROPE

ments commit to good governance, the creation of fair and balanced trade and financial systems, debt cancellation and special measures to help the least developed and landlocked countries. Within our means and capacity, our project tried to establish, at a micro-level, the global partnership for development that the MDGs aim to achieve among governments. The project has in fact created a fertile ground for young people from three continents to work together, discuss the challenges of the MDGs and find a way of tackling them on an equal footing, as partners. For us, the global partnership for development started in the bus stuck in Delhi’s peak traffic, or on its bumpy way back from Khayelitsha in Cape Town, or in the workshop room in Utrecht where a group of young Europeans, Indians and Africans discussed what they had seen, sketched ideas and developed project proposals. Young people are the masters of modern communication technology. Thousands of kilome-

tres of distance are no longer an insurmountable barrier today that you can skype, tag, email, poke your friends in India, South Africa or Europe almost at any time. You can use your “power of interconnectedness” to change this world for the better. For instance, you can now easily look for scholarship opportunities in your own university and inform one of the schools in India or South Africa visited during the trip, you can easily share information about examples of youth contributions to development you read on a newspaper or online, you can easily prepare a joint project proposal to submit for funding to your Ministry for Youth with somebody living thousands of kilometres away from you. Towards the end of the Final Conference in Utrecht, a group of participants from South Africa, India and Europe decided to establish a new partnership and they started designing together a project proposal for submission to the next round of open calls issued by the European Commission, Youth in Action Programme..

Our Partner Organisations in India and South Africa Vadodara AIESEC Baroda Don Bosco Snehalaya Goraj Muni Seva Ashram Gujarat Public School Mahatma Gandhi Global Indian Foundation Eklavya school Shri Shivrajpor Adivasi Ashram School St Secdual Tribe school Tilakwada Archery Institute

Delhi Action Aid Joining Hands Rotary International Sahara House Salaam Baalak trust Vishwa Yuvak Kendra international youth centre

Cape Town African Monitor ARESTA Maitland High School Nial Mellon Township Trust SCORE SHAWCO Social Justice Coalition The Volunteer Centre UTRS

Part Two   57

Build Your  Own Project In his critical analysis of the MDGs, the economist William Easterly distinguishes two types of development workers, “planners”, who believe in imposing top-down big plans on poor countries, and “searchers”, who look for bottom-up solutions to specific needs. He refers to the former as utopian, whereas the searchers are more realistic and have a better chance of succeeding.

Donors Providing Funding Opportunities for Civil Society

a green field of grass in the summer 58  BEYOND EUROPE

• European Commission, Development Cooperation Instrument – Support to Nonstate Actors and Local Authorities • United Kingdom, Department for Development Cooperation • Norway, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) • Switzerland, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation • Finland, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland • France, Agence Française de Developpement • Poland, Polish Aid • Italy, Cooperazione Italiana allo Sviluppo • Czech Republic, Czech Development Agency • The Netherlands, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs • Denmark, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

Youth can be “searchers” and initiators of piecemeal interventions. Project like ours show that youth are creative in finding solutions to their own problems, they are interconnected, and develop partnerships across continents.

shed light on EU’s schemes of support to civil society. At the end of the training course in Utrecht, a list of funding opportunities for civil society was distributed among all participants.

To harness these synergies, and for the youth potential to be tapped, we believe that international donors and local governments should provide special funding schemes for youth-led development projects.

RIO+20 Earth Summit Pre-Event

Our project created a platform for young Europeans, Indians and Africans to join hands and design together follow-up projects. During the last days of the case study trip to South Africa, we organised an activity called “project incubator” during which the group was divided into small teams to develop project proposals for the follow-up. During the final conference in Utrecht, we organised a “project bid exercise”. This training was aimed at discussing the challenges related to developing a project: identifying the target group and partners, gaining support for the project, dealing with cultural differences, ensuring the respect of timelines, ensuring proper evaluation and dealing with problems like corruption and bribery. The training was followed by online discussions on how to overcome these challenges. The lessons learnt from this project will be gathered in a joint document. With regard to financing a project, a visit to the European Union delegation to India in Delhi

- Mario Giuseppe Varrenti

During the CST South Africa the idea arose to create a youth event concerning MDG 7 (environmental sustainability) and MDG 8 (global partnership). A group of participants realised that youth of booming economies needs to be informed about issues of sustainable development. Only through awareness of environmental issues future economies can be made more sustainable and less damaging to our earth. Therefore youth leaders of Asia, Africa, Europe and potentially also South-America need to be brought together in an event to learn about sustainable economic development.

Meike Berben

Concerning the scale of this event, a serious partner needed to be found. Therefore the Stakeholder Forum, organiser of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) or RIO+20 in 2012 in Brasil (, was contacted and soon a positive reply was received. At this moment 6 CST South-Africa participants are collaborating with the Stakeholder Forum to create a youth event in 2012 and to provide input for the UNCSD on behalf of the youth. Very recently this group was invited to write a letter to World Leaders on the concerns of youth regarding the environment and sustainable development. Potentially the Beyond Europe project will lead to yet another great youth event!

- Meike Berben and Ivanka Bloom Part Two   59

Team Christian Eichenmüller

Mario Giuseppe Varrenti

Project Manager BE Coordinator CST South Africa

Content Manager BE Project Coordinator

Ramon Martinez

Marta Gutierrez Benet

Innovation Responsible BE Trainer CST India

FR Responsible BE Trainer CST India

Cezary Sczcepaniuk PR Manager BE Trainer CST India

Julia Batkaeva

FR Responsible BE Trainer CST South Africa

Prisca Merz

HR Manager BE Coordinator CST India

Marzena Gawenda

Trainer CST South Africa

General Beyond Europe Maciej Gad, Fotis Kanavos, Agnjia Kazusa, Thomas Nijzink, Isabel Perez, Anya Petrova, Ignazio Romeo; Peter Seenan; Comité Directeur of AEGEE 2010-2011, 2009-2010, 2008-2009; AEGEE International Politics Working Group; AEGEE-Utrecht; Asociación Estudios Sin Fronteras; Preliminary Meeting Brussels European Commission Mauro Galluccio; Beyond Europe Thomas Nijzink, Isabel Perez, Ignazio Romeo; AEGEE Miha Suster; Euractiv; European Commission, European Youth Forum; CST India - Vadodora AIESEC-Baroda Hamza Adenwala, Ankita Aggarwal, Hardik Patel, Ankur Sharma; Gujarat Public School Abhilasha Agrawal, David Christian, Pradnya Deshmuskh, Nareshi, Apekaha Patel, Bina Praskent, Sabita Pry, Rishi, Chirag Shot, Vrial Shot, Arjun Singh Makwana; BRG Group Sargam Gupta; Don Bosco Snehalaya; Goraj Muni Seva Ashram; Gujarat Public School; Mahatma Gandhi Global Indian Foundation Eklavya school; Reliance Corporation; Shri Shivrajpor Adivasi Ashram school; SSG hospital Vadodora; St. Secdual Tribe school; Tilakwada Archery Institute CST India - Delhi MEWAT Medical Education and Human Welfare Society Shamim Ahmed; Education for Livelihood Project Kusumpur Pahari Marya Ak; Rotary Community Club John Maria Arokiya Raj; Vishwa Yuvak Kendra Banj Bora; Joining Hands Amita Dahiya, Sumedha Nair; Jawahral Nehru University Anand Kumar, Shahid Rahman; Delegation of the European Commission to India and Bhutan Shagun Mehrotra; Action Aid James Pochury; Sahara House Faith Ross; Rotary Manjit S. Sawhney, Gobind Shahani, Sayantan Sinha; Salaam Baalak Trust Shahadutt; KABIR Manish Sisodia; Action Aid; Cataract hospital in Nuh (Rotary); Delegation of the European Commission to India and Bhutan; Gender Resource Centre in Okhla (Joining Hands); Joining Hands; Kusumpur Pahari slum livelihood project (Rotary); LAKSH project in Gurgoam (Joining Hands); Mahaveer Enclave slum (Rotary); Sahara House ; Salaam Baalak trust; Vishwa Yuvak Kendra (international youth centre); WHO World Health Organisation; CST South Africa Cape Town Taryn Campbell, Jacqueline Oester, Jenny Young; ARESTA Joseph Eliabson Maniragena, Jean Luc Tshiamala; Volunteer Centre Owen Esethu Mdledle, Deline van Boom, Susan Wamatu; Niall Mellon Township Trust Hillary Faulman; SHAWCO Varkey George, Lana Sassman; CPUT Anette Grobler; VPUU Michael Krause; UTRS Elizabeth Lanzi Mazzocchini, Jean-Claude Manaliyo, Jamala Safari, Alice Wamundiya; African Monitor Freddy Nkosi Lutonadio, Masiiwa Rusare; SCORE Palombi Melissa; African Monitor; ARESTA; Nial Mellon Township Trust; Riverview Lodge Hostel; SCORE; SHAWCO; Social Justice Coalition; The Volunteer Centre; UTRS; Final Conference - Utrecht Babette Anhalt, Wim van der Beek, Sylvia Borren, Klaas van Egmond, Sandra Evers, Henk Gilhuis, Pascalle Grotenhuis, Jyotsna Gupta, Jan-Willem de Heer, Janneke Juffermans, Jonathan King, Joep Lange, Wim Leereveld, Kay van der Linde, Elsa van de Loo, Stineke Oenema, Christiaan Rebergen, Laura Reijnders, Hein Roelfsema, Ilse Roos, Vandana Shiva, Leon Simons, David Sogge, Elisabeth van der Steenhoven, Willem Tom, An Wouters; BKB Amsterdam; BOS; Cordaid Micro credit; EEN; ICCO; Kids Rights; Municipality Utrecht; Nicolaikerk; Niza; NSU; Oikocredit; oikosXplore; Plan Nederland; Spontaan; Studium Generale; UNICEF Nederland; Utrecht University; Utrecht University of Applied Sciences; CST Calendars Dora Kocsis, Milan Padilla, Mathieu Soete, Mateusz Żuławski; CST Photographers Mateusz Żuławski, Mathieu Soete, Milan Padilla, Dora Kocsis, Kushal Parmal, Christine Cassar


The “UN Millennium Development Goals - A Challenge for Tomoday’s Youth” result booklet is part of Beyond Europe Perspectives for Tomorrow’s World. Beyond Europe is the flagshipproject for the years 2010-2011 of European Students’ Forum AEGEE. The project aims at empowering young people in and outside Europe to tackle global challenges. AEGEE-Europe is a student organisation that promotes co-operation, communication and integration amongst young people in Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young professionals from all faculties and disciplines – today it counts 15.000 members, active in more than 240 university cities in 43 European countries, making it the biggest interdisciplinary student association in Europe.

The project is a result of a cooperation with ARESTA, UTRS, AIESEC Baroda and Gujarat Public School BRG Group.

Beyond Europe - Millenium Development Goals  

Final results publication of the AEGEE-Europe Flagship Project: Beyond Europe. Focus on the Millenium Development Goals.