In 2017 MIJARC Europe has redefined its vision, adopting new strategic objectives and an action plan for the period 2018-2021. With the new strategy, three new thematic focus points were set and in 2018,  MIJARC Europe chose to focus on promoting its European vision in an interconnected world in an attempt to answer the challenge of building a peaceful world. Peace is indeed the annual topic chosen by our member organisations (MOs) and in line with our strategic focus, the topic will be pursued with a view to: promote cooperation with our neighbours and to promote and build a peaceful vision towards the others and the world.

On 11th November 2018 the world will celebrate 100 years since the end of the First World War (WW1). As the first major global conflict, the WW1 saw unprecedented levels of carnage and destruction but also massive social upheaval for women who entered the workforce. The young people in MIJARC Europe what to mark this historical landmark by focusing on peace and using the memory of the war as a warning signal that we should never take peace, stability and security for granted and always work to promote and maintain them. Also, we should not forget that our continent and our world are still affected by conflict or continue to bear the consequences of past hostilities. Peace is far from being reached in many parts of the world and young people are one of the main actors that can rebuild their societies, maintain peace and promote it so that present and future generations do not have to bear the consequences of conflicts.

This is why in 2018 we will work together towards making young people in MIJARC Europe’s network and beyond aware of the important and positive role they play in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security. Our annual work plan includes one local activity, two international activities backed by follow-up measures and a peace festival hosted by our member movements MRJC-France and KLJB-Germany. The activities work towards one common concrete output – an educational travelling photo exhibition and a booklet with activities.

Our first activity will be a local activity. Under the title – “If only” – this local activity invited volunteers from all 10 MOs to do a creative recreation of two meaningful photos taken during WW1 in their country and to write an article about the causes/effects of the conflict and the lessons to be learnt. Briefly, the participants do a research at local level about their country’s involvement in WWI, write an article about it, choose two emblematic photos taken during that time and recreate them in a creative way, changing one element in each photo to portray what they would have done differently “if only” they could change the past and not repeat the same mistakes. Each photo will be accompanied by a caption no longer than 100 words, describing in the original photos the context and the scene and in the recreated photo the idea behind the recreation. In the context of celebrating 100 years since the end of WWI, the idea is to create the space for our member organisations to look into the history of their country during a time of conflict that affected the entire continent and almost the entire world and to draw the lessons from the past and discover what is there to learn from the mistakes of others and what mistakes we are repeating today. The photos will constitute the first section of the final product of our work in 2018 – an educational travelling exhibition.

Our first international activity will be a youth peace camp – “We are the others”. The camp will focus on participants’ personal relation to peace and conflict and on equipping them with intercultural competencies. The conclusions of their discussions and work will materialize in a second section of the exhibition – portraits and stories of conflict – and a booklet with educational activities that can be done around the exhibition.

The international peace festival “Rendez-vous” will the perfect place for young people to meet and attend workshops, open sessions and moderated discussions on peace and conflict. The event will gather about 5,000 people from all over Europe and people from other continents and it will truly be a festival of friendship and openness.

Our last international activity of the year will be a simulation – “Messages from the future”. An unconventional activity that will make the participants travel through time and join a youth meeting which takes place in 2068. During the meeting they will have to look at what went wrong in the past and why global peace is still not achieved. They will transform their ideas into meaningful messages and photos creating the third section of the exhibition.

As a follow-up measure, the exhibition will travel in 10 different countries with the help of the pax at the two international activities.

Did we manage to make you curios and interested in joining us?

If so, contact your national organization or write to our Secretariat to find out how to join our activities!