The Youth Summit in Copenhagen 2022
In September 2022, the New Democracy Fund and the Ukrainian-Danish Youth House participated in the Youth Summit in Copenhagen. Here, they met with thousands of committed and curious young people, who wanted to know more about the situation in Ukraine and the Eastern Neighbourhood Countries in general.
The “Europe” tent at the Youth Summit was full of young people at the 2022 edition of the youth summit in Copenhagen.
Here the New Democracy Fund and the Ukrainian-Danish Youth House presented a wide range of creative and interactive activities, all of which aimed to kick-start a dialogue and provide a nuanced insight into the situation in Ukraine and the other Eastern Neighbourhood Countries.
Among other things they gave the young people a possibility to take a virtual trip to beautiful Tbilisi, mapped the young people’s travelling habits in Europe and challenged their idea of preferable “holiday destinations”. In addition, they presented a huge drawing of Ukraine’s most famous architectural monuments – which the young participants painted. While the monuments regained their colours the young were introduced to the motives and got a deeper understanding of Ukraine’s cultural heritage.
Throughout the summit the inquisitiveness was impressive. The young participants interacted, debated, and discussed the situation in Eastern Europe. Especially the Ukrainian-Danish Youth House got asked a lot about their thoughts, hopes, and dreams for Ukraine’s future.
Volunteers from Ukraine
The Youth House had invited three young volunteers from Ukraine on an exchange programme, who generously and openly shared their stories. Suddenly a distant situation became a harsh reality.
The three volunteers conducted a workshop at the Summit, which a class for Nærum Gymnasium attended. The workshop centered around the right to education, which was also the theme of the exchange programme.
During the 2-day exchange programme prior to the Summit, the three young volunteers met with different Danish stakeholders within the fields of education. They also visited Christianshavns Gymnasium to attend a regular class and discuss the state of education in Denmark and in Ukraine with the students.
Solidarity letters for Belarusian political prisoners
The New Democracy Fund also piqued the interest of the young participants. During the summit, the fund had a special focus on Belarus – specifically the situation for the political prisoners in the country. The young people were invited to write a letter of solidarity and thereby give hope to people who need all the support they can get. Via readings of real experiences from the demonstrations in Minsk in 2020 the young people got very close to the fates of the political prisoners.
Lack of knowledge about the ENC-region
Two good days with lots of questions and curious conversations gave valuable insights on the young people’s knowledge and thoughts on the Eastern Neighbourhood Countries. Especially the results of the survey by Ukrainian-Danish Youth House and the New Democracy Fund underlined that there is a need for more education and awareness when it comes to the situation in the region.
When asked about their teaching about Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, and Moldova around 70% of the respondents answered that their teaching has been “not at all sufficient.” Around 20 % answered that their teaching has been “not at all sufficient” when it comes to Ukraine.
At the youth summit the New Democracy Fund and the Ukrainian-Danish Youth House took an important step in increasing the awareness and interest in the Eastern Neighbourhood Countries.