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Number 6 August 2000

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The Youth Workshop in Action

Page coordinated by Tijana Zivanovic

We are all part of a process that has always placed youth at the centre of the transformations that need to take place for the betterment of our societies. What role and what impact can we have in this gigantic spiral that symbolises the evolution of humanity? How is it possible to not feel completely helpless? The only answer to these questions, which encourages us to keep moving forward, is to believe that humans are responsible for their destinies, but that they can not do it alone.

Brazil: another 500 years?

The celebration of the 500th "anniversary" of Brazil on April 22nd, 2000 went into two different directions: the official glamorous and expensive programme had provoked mobilisation of those whose rights were neglected throughout the five century history, aiming to change its context and put new demands for the years to come.

One of the Youth Workshop co-ordinators for Brazil, Eduardo Rombauer van den Bosch, was invited to help organise the first meeting of the indigenous tribes which has gathered around 3.000 indigenous people in Coroa Vermelha, the place where Portuguese settled the first. The official celebration took place in Porto Seguro, just 18 km away.

Around 45,000 people from all over the country tried to gather in Coroa Vermelha and march together to Porto Seguro organising this way a public protest under the title "Another 500 Years" (which popularly means also "another story") but 200 military barricades blocked their way. Only the indigenous people were allowed to start the march but were stopped by tear-gas, rubber bullets and bombs at the end of the eighteenth kilometre. For many of them who have never left the woods before, this was a real shock. The repression was planned and very few journalists who escaped the barricades could be present. The happening had a big repercussion in favour of indigenous people and Eduardo has immediately organised a network to share information on this issue. The network contains precious reports, as well as confessions of the participants of the interrupted march and has become an important source of information for the Human Rights Commission and media. The network members still follow the strikes which had started the week after.

For further information, please visit the Website:

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The hCa International Meeting on Identity, Tradition and Citizenship

The Helsinki Citizens' Assembly (hCa) is an international network of civic initiatives, movements, social and political groups in East and West, working for the democratic integration of Europe and is one of the partners of the Youth Workshop. From March 29th to April 5th, 2000, the hCa France and the European Assembly of citizens (AEC) has organised the first SIDU (School for Intercultural/religious/national Dialogue and Understanding) in a picturesque village of Algajola on the north-west of Corsica. Fifty participants attended from 21 countries (Chechnya, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldavia, Hungary, Republic Czech, Belorussia, France, Lebanon, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia).

The meeting was an original experience for participants coming from conflict countries from the East and the Mediterranean to meet in an island often seen as one of the conflict areas in Western Europe. Discussion around identity, tradition and citizenship took place in various conferences and round-tables such as: "Tradition and relation with others", "Identity and political representation: a mechanism of peace or conflict?", "Identity and religion". The work was also strengthened by four different workshops dealing mostly with hCa structure and its current projects.

During our stay in Corsica we had an opportunity to visit the city of Monticello (where we were welcomed by the mayor himself), than the city of Ile Rouse, as well as to climb up into the hills to meet a group of musicians playing traditional Corsican music in Casa Musical of the village of Pigna. Our last visit was to the city of Corte (the local capital) where we were welcomed by the professors of the University of Corte.

Contact Tijana Zivanovic:

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The March for international Solidarity--Montreal (May 2000)

This year Youth Workshop participated in the annual Marche 2/3, an annual march for international solidarity organized by Club 2/3 in Montreal, Quebec. Club 2/3 has as its mission to raise awareness about world interdependence and to encourage young people to promote social justice and equality and to act as responsible citizens within their communities.

This event coincided with International Youth Week, during which a series of events were organized for youth throughout Canada and around the world. To highlight Youth Week, in collaboration with Club 2/3, Youth Participation Jeunesse and Open Cities Productions 2002, Youth Workshop helped co-organize a live painting activity at the end of the March. The young people were encouraged to paint on two large canvases expressing themselves freely through an artistic means. During this activity, they painted designs and slogans that highlighted many of the day's themes such as international solidarity, world peace, etc.

Contact Sterling Lambert: or Club 2/3:

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  • Fabrice Coppin, YW coordinator for Euro-Mediterranea, Association Dia Europe, Marseille (France)

I started working as head of the mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the international NGO, Dia five years ago. Now I am responsible for developing the Dia Europe network and responsible for coordination of the Youth Workshop for the Euro-mediterranean region. This two-folded mission gives me the satisfaction of being able to work for what I believe in: putting people who work in development in contact with one another, in order to support and accompany young people as responsible actors in undertaking the transformations that are crucial to the evolution of our societies.

Dia is currently in a period of change, as our experience leads us to develop as a European NGO today. We wish to contribute to the construction of a more united and responsible Europe by working towards a more participative and active youth citizenship, a stronger presence of Europe overseas as a space for freedom, and a greater diversity within Europe.

In 1998, Dia proposed to take on the coordination of the Youth Workshop for the Euro-mediterranean region and I am in charge of facilitating this. This coordination allows us to work with others to build this international youth network. The interaction between our development programmes in the Mediterranean and the development of the Youth Workshop in this region has led us to expand our network in order to share the experience and contacts of Dia and of the Youth Workshop with a growing number of new partners.

Contact: E-mail:
Tel: 33-(0)

  • Tijana Zivanovic, YW coordinator for the Balkans, European Association of Youth of Serbia (Yugoslavia)

From the moment my home land began to be cut into pieces, I became involved in citizen movements working against the politics of civil war in the Balkans. At the time, I was only 16 years old. I quickly found myself involved in the European Association of Youth of Serbia, a small human rights NGO. The door to Europe and to the world was soon opened for me, due to my experiences in the realm of conflicts and especially due to the collective work in which I was involved.

In 1997, I joined the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, a network through which I came in contact with the Alliance and the Youth Workshop. From the first meeting of this network in Manali, India in 1998, I was put in charge of coordinating the Youth Workshop in the Balkans. It is a difficult task, but also an important challenge for building the future that we hope to achieve.

Contact: E-mail:

photo of Tijana and Fabrice
Tijana Z. & Fabrice C. at a meeting in Morocco

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© 2000 Alliance for a Responsible and United World. All rights reserved. Last updated October 21, 2000.