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Ixelles (Belgium)-Zababdeh (Palestine): Millennium Youth Project

30 January 2018

PLATFORMA has decided to reward the best city to city and region to region international cooperation projects. Twelve projects have been shortlisted out of 25 applications. This is how Ixelles (Belgium) is presenting its project with Zababdeh (Palestine):

The “Millennium Youth Project” (MYP), financed by the European Commission is a development education project conducted over a three-year period (2013-2016), coordinated by Ixelles municipality, in partnership with six other local authorities from Europe, Africa and Middle-East.

The main objective aimed at reinforcing the support of local authorities to international commitments for development, and in particular, to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to citizen’s mobilisation for fairer relations between countries from the North and the South.

This project was conducted towards the global learning of teachers and students of secondary education: each partner municipality chose one class (students between 14-18 years old) and two teachers, so that students would be the project carriers throughout all its implementation period.

After taking a preparatory training on development education and challenges of international solidarity in Brussels, the teachers then joined their students with the appropriate pedagogical resources to allow them working for the next two years with their students on MDGs.

Then they undertook information and awareness raising activities towards youth around development issues and MDGs in particular. During the second year, students were invited to get involved in a concrete action and around one MDG per municipality. Each class was then involved in activities of awareness raising towards a broader audience, throughout carrying out collective art work and through local advocacy campaign to promote more specifically “their” MDG.

For instance, in Kalamu, students made a big painted fresco to illustrate MDG 1 “reduce hunger and extreme poverty”. In Megiddo a public exhibition of posters made up by students was the starting point of a wide campaign on MDG 6 “Fighting AIDS, malaria and other deceases”; In Mizil, students carried out different symbolic actions and an on-line petition to raise awareness on the high child mortality that is still facing Romania (MDG4).

Finally, the climax of the project took place in Ixelles between 3-8 May 2015 during the “MYP Festival” that gathered all partner stakeholders (students, teachers, official representatives) around MDG 8 “Global partnership for development”. At the end of that week, a commitments and claims Charter, written by all students to support the MDGs was signed by public authorities.

In parallel, this week of meeting as well as the concrete involvement of students and their teachers in their respective cities was documented by young Belgium students in audio-visual studies, whose 8 short-movies are available on a DVD that comes together with a bilingual pedagogical textbook that was published after the MYP and aiming at ensuring the transition between MDGs and the new “Sustainable Development Goals”.

(Translated from French by PLATFORMA)

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