The IDEA network has looked inward this year, rethinking and reshaping cooperation between IDEA and its members and between members. This was an opportunity given by the project idebateEU that aims to improve cooperation and sharing debate methodologies and organisational knowledge in the framework of common activities on European topics. IDEA and its members share a common enthusiasm for debating and its use as an educative tool in all sorts of settings.
The Bosnian organisation Centar za Kulturu Dijaloga (CCD) organised three demonstration debates in October on European topics. The debates took place in Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla on the 31st of October and attracted students and teachers from several schools. The debates aimed to teach the basics of Karl Popper debating, to provide an introduction to building argumentation and to give participants an understanding of the differences between debating and discussions.
Around 50 people participated in a public debate on the Inclusion of African Youth in Europe on Wednesday the 20th of November, the International Childrens' Rights day. Youth, often of African descent, debated employment, education and security topics with politicians, policy makers, academics and professionals in the Child's Rights House in Leiden.
Twenty-four teams competed in the second edition of the Middle Man tournament in Belgrade on October 26-27. The tournament focuses on students who have finished beginner workshops and debated in their faculty clubs for a while to give them specific feedback and motions for their level. A total of seventy university students were present at the event as debaters and judges. Pictures of the event can be found on the Open Communication Facebookpage.
Thirty debaters and judges participated in the competition that was part of the Inclusion of African Youth in Europe on Tuesday the 19th of November. The competition provided the debaters with an opportunity to immediately put into practice the skills they learned during the After Summer School the weekend before.
Thirty-five participants from seventeen different countries participated in an After Summer Schools training on citizenship and debate in De Rode Hoed in Amsterdam. They included students, community workers, artists, and self-employed young people from the Netherlands and Belgium, most with African roots and many active in youth organisations. They were there to learn how to effectively communicate their ideas and ideals and become more effective advocats for the causes they support.
The exclusion of African youth in the Netherlands has become a burning issue. A recent Amnesty International report on ethnic profiling demonstrates that humiliating stop-and-search police practices apply predominantly to people of African and Northern African appearance. The Dutch National Ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer also warns of widespread discrimination and exclusion, and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights reports that discrimination rates are highest against the Sub-Saharan and North African migrants.
The Debate Centre in Latvia organised two trainings in public speaking at the Iecava Secondary School on the 15th of October and the 5th of November. They both covered the topic of EU expansion. The first one attracted 14 students at elementary and secondary level, the second one attracted 7 secondary school students.
The Association for for Creative Communication and Debate (ACCD) in Serbia organised two one-day debate seminars for students from Southern Serbia in Deca on the 4tha nd 5th of October. Forty students of between 14 and 15 years old from Bujanovac, Vranje and Trgoviste participated in the trainings that taught them how to use debate in youth activism.
The Association for for Creative Communication and Debate (ACCD) in Serbia organised a debate seminar for debate coaches in Belgrade on the 21st and 22nd of September.