About a two weeks ago, AEGEE-Krakow and Europe on Track 7 met online for an online workshop and discussion. If you are familiar with Europe on Track, you may have noticed that online workshops are not our usual format. Like many organisations around Europe, AEGEE-Europe is adapting to the current reality and making the best out of the situation caused by COVID-19. But how do you manage to move an international, offline project completely to an online format? Before we dive into that, let’s tell you what Europe on Track is and what we do.
photo owned by Europe on Track
About Europe on Track
Europe on Track is a project of AEGEE, run by young volunteers who aim to raise awareness, to create a space for discussion and to capture the opinions of youth in Europe on important social issues. Thanks to Interrail and European Youth Foundation, six ambassadors in two teams (one videographer, one photographer and one interviewer per team) can travel by train across twenty cities in one month. During the journey, the teams deliver workshops, interview young people and organize events in cooperation with 200 volunteers from all over Europe.
This year, we are running the seventh edition on the topic of ‘Social Inclusion: from Gender Equality to Mental Health’. Social inclusion touches all of us across the continent: it is about well-being, participation in society and a sense of belonging to one’s community. By focusing on gender equality and mental health, we enable dialogue on a wide spectrum of issues regarding social inclusion while using concrete examples.
Europe on Track 7 kicked off in Moscow, where the ambassadors participated in the HerMainY training for trainers on gender mainstreaming. Together with nine other participants from all over the continent, we discussed sexual orientation and gender identity and its implications for social inclusion and equality.
Parallel to this training, the ambassadors received training on mental health by the Content Team of Europe on Track 7. This part of the project is crucial, as it prepares the ambassadors for their journey. By training our ambassadors optimally, we guarantee a high standard of all events during the route, which contributes to gaining valuable insights from youth on the topic.
Offline to online
Moving the project online is not a simple task, as some of you may experience currently when moving work, study, and/or AEGEE projects to an online format as well. Luckily, the project team and ambassadors have worked together over many months prior to the event and during our twelve-day training in Moscow. It is this team spirit and flow that makes the project resilient to unaccounted challenges.
Instead of travelling through twenty European cities, we have now moved to the online platform 'Clickmeeting’ where we have been offering more than twenty online workshops on both gender equality and mental health. We are happy and proud that the project can still go on and fulfill its objectives in this format while offering contentful activities to all AEGEE and non-AEGEE members around Europe while being currently at home.
photo owned by Europe on Track
Of course, we could not realise the project online without all AEGEE locals that help us to create a space for dialogue with Europeans from all over the continent. In line with this, we want to thank AEGEE-Kraków for participating in our online workshop on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity on 28 March 2020. During the workshop, our trainers Alejandra (content manager) and Anne-Sophie (ambassador/interviewer), facilitated dialogue on the implications of both sexual orientation and gender identity on social inclusion.
Members of AEGEE-Kraków and other AEGEE locals (all workshops are open to join for all AEGEEans and non-AEGEEans) participated in open dialogue on the topic and sparkled constructive discussion. The trainers were positively surprised by the input from your side: critical questions were asked, experiences were shared openly and different viewpoints were being welcomed.
Notably, your participation in our workshop on gender equality is not just valuable for Europe on Track as a project: your input will be captured in our results and outtakes of the project which will serve as a tool for advocacy and policy. By summarizing the opinions of young Europeans on the topic of social inclusion, AEGEE can contribute to influencing the policy agenda in Europe.
A huge thank you from Europe on Track 7 to AEGEE-Kraków, among all other cooperating locals, for your contribution to social inclusion in Europe. We hope to involve all of you in the rest of our online journey via www.facebook.com/europeontrack and @europeontrack on Instagram. See you somewhere online!