Gathering associations associated with the CEMEA : thinking with, about and for youth across the world.

By Jeanne Frommer

Monday morning, we are still in the Pre-Congress time but for some work has already started. It is the case of the 40 attendees of the International Seminar. Members of associations associated with the CEMEA across the world but also militants and permanent employees of the regional associations of the CEMEA. Attendees coming from Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Belgium, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon, Hungary, Latvia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Reunion Island and mainland France.

2015 is a year full of innovations and experimentations for the CEMEA Congress. It is especially the first time that an International Seminar is being held at the same time than the Congress. Attendees have many expectations regarding the seminar but also the Congress. Katerina, European volunteer in CEMEA Centre, is coming from Russia and is thrilled to be a part of this event that has no equivalent in her country. She thinks that she and all the other attendees can “see what is done in France and take inspiration in the experience of the CEMEA” in their respective countries. The topics addressed during the seminar will keep on feeding the conferences and the focus groups proposed through all of the Congress.

But the presence of the international seminar is also important for the congress comers. The presence of partners coming from all around the World will provide a lot to the Congress work through an intercultural insight, an exchange of experiences and activities and the discovery of others. It goes into its spirit of openness and a will to start working together, with one another again, to make up the future of the national association of the CEMEA as a part of an international network, which works only with others. The reflexion of the attendees on the topic of youth will feed the one of all congress comers.

Indeed, the goal of the 2015 Congress is to lay the basis of tomorrow’s CEMEA. “Think and act the future” tells the slogan of this 11th edition. And who better to think and live the future than the youth? Those who carry the CEMEA today and will carry it tomorrow. But also every young person in general. Those who constitute an essential part of our societies that are at the core of our associations’ actions. It is on this topic that the European and International seminar is focusing. By questioning the position of youth in the associative life and civil society.

To question ourselves, to diagnose this situation, this role of youth to eventually offer some recommendation concerning youth and young people. But of which youth are we talking about? What is youth? Which issues do young people encounter in the different countries represented? And what about youth associations? How can we explain those problems, this situation? It is with those questions that the reflexion times of this seminar have started. By confronting their reflexions, their experiences during the week, the attendees of the seminar will be able to lay on their level the basis for the actions of tomorrow’s CEMEA in the field of youth and those of their associated associations.

Let’s meet again at the end of the week with the first elements of response and pieces of advice.

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