Mid-February the European Youth Parliament, an initiative organised by young people for young people and which has been running for over 20 years, held their first ever regional session in Galicia.
EYP´s aim is to promote debating and public speaking skills as well as develop critical thinking all within the realms of what is going on in the European Union and bring the workings of this often “mysterious” organization much closer to adolescents and young adults, all through English.
So early one Saturday morning three volunteer Chester students, Mateo Lopez Junquera, Beatriz Campos Devesa and Iris Melero Ferro presented themselves with a view to having a very different weekend.
They had already spent a couple of weeks preparing to discuss and debate such issues as the low number of young people choosing to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, the possible secession rights of individual states and countries within a European Framework, the issue of young people facing valueless work contracts as well as other pressing themes.
But it wasn’t all just work, work, work. EYP is run by young people and one of their primary objectives is that the delegates also have fun. Teambuilding activities included silly dances, quirky songs and team challenges. Lunch, snacks and drinks were provided and delegates got a chance to mingle and meet new people from different schools from around Galicia.
Sunday, the big day, was the formal General Assembly where teams got to present and defend their proposals on the issues up for discussion. Every single delegate got the chance to participate and be heard. Issues were presented, debated, attacked, defended and finally voted on.
It really was a unique experience for all involved. Hard work and demanding at times but it was certainly a rewarding and educational experience.
Congratulations to EYP for creating such a worthwhile initiative and a special well done to Bea, Iris and Mateo for all their effort in representing the school.
By accompanying Teacher Mrs Sue Veiga