Reflecting on “Raise Your Voice”


By Valentina Varhelyi, IYNF volunteer 


More than ever, people need to come together and raise their voices on several issues, from social injustice to environment protection, political corruption and many more. These problems exist virtually everywhere, so they should be tackled at the international level. A group of young people from 16 countries came together at the “Raise Your Voice” activity organized by IYNF, in order to think together about these problems and produce a political statement on the issue of migrants and refugees.

To reach this goal, the group of 31 people travelled to the beautiful Naturefriends house in the city of Heerlen in the Netherlands. The local group NIVON supported the IYNF team by providing not only an accommodation but also a truly inspiring environment. “Raise Your Voice” was the third and last event of the year dedicated to the topic of “Border free Solidarity”, and brought together the information and expertise acquired in the previous activities in Frankfurt (Germany) and Siófok (Hungary) to produce a concrete outcome.

Throughout the week of the seminar, the participants had plenty of opportunities for personal development. They could share ideas and ongoing projects in the two “open space” session, and inquiring ones could even take a glance at project management or fundraising possibilities. There were tasks also to expand their practical knowledge, for example, a highly useful and interesting topic was placed in the program about project visibility.

As a result of a long afternoon conference, a joint position paper on migrants and refugees was put together, which will be published in January. The participants also worked on the IYNF Guidelines, which includes tools and methods to deal with displaced people, based on practices and experiences acquired from the participants in Frankfurt. As a participant, I felt more than happy to be part of this lively and active group. It is always motivating to work with inspired people and get to know more about the world surrounding me. I am hopeful for the future projects and almost sure that all the participants will continue their journey in their civil societies.


“Raise your Voice!” was kindly supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and by the European Youth Foundation programme of the Council of Europe.