The study session took place in the European Youth Centre of Budapest, which offered to DBYN both financial and content based support. Furthermore, as the European Youth Centre stands for “Access to Rights” and “Youth Participation” their policy framework was an ideal basis for the learning programme.
To kick-off the week with a positive vibe, there was a team building phase. When participating in a study session it is essential to know the other participants and where they come from. The first session then took place. It introduced Human Rights and advocacy, but also politics, policies and values. The trainers provided an efficient week-long programme which contained interactive sessions, introducing all aspects of the advocacy cycle.
It is evidently not easy to learn about such a broad topic in one week. To help to understand it more, DBYN invited two experts to explain in what way they advocated. They gave examples of how to use it in one's own organization. One of the experts was Anca Sandescu. She is a Human Rights trainer and she clarified why Human Rights are so important when advocating for something.
“I’m a true believer in the fact that we can build up a society in which we can respect everyone.”
The second expert was Angel Gudiña. As executive secretary of Don Bosco International, he explained advocacy from a Salesian perspective and how he advocated towards European institutions and different policy networks.
At the end of the week there was the opportunity to start up an advocacy campaign. In this way the participants could turn their words into actions and show what advocacy meant for them or for their organizations. The outcomes of this study session are a guidebook on youth advocacy, several local advocacy campaigns, and a working group on integrating the No Hate Speech Campaign in the participant’s local organizations.
Advocacy is a new strategic priority for DBYN. It is part of its Master Plan 2018-2020 and DBYN will continue working on this with their member organizations.