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Last week, from 13 until 17 August Joeri Kabalt and Pieterjan van Wijngaarden facilitated the South Caucasus Youth Parliament for Azerbaijani Delegates in Baku. Main objectives where to learn about democracy, to learn how to participate in your own environment, to take influence and to through all that to develop yourself.
To get an quick impression of this extraordinary check the video of YouTube.
The Next Generation
Governmental organisations in the South Caucasus, as well as the European Commission and Christian Democratic Parties in the Netherlands and Germany developed a program to introduce the concept of democracy and political participation for the next generation. Colleagues from Kessels & Smit, The Learning Company have been involved in this program for two years now. We've designed simulation games about democracy for 5.000 school pupils from 60 secondary schools within Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. We've also trained 180 teachers in the three countries on recent methodologies in education
South Caucasus Youth Parliament
This exercise has lead to the election of 20 pupils per country who will be representing their nations in the South Caucasus Youth Parliament (SCYP). In March 2012 K&S-colleagues have facilitated the SCYP for Armenian and Georgian delegates. Last week we enabled the SCYP in Baku for Azerbaijani delegates.
When it comes to democracy, Azerbaijan has its own roots. The first roots of democratic nations where found in the Ancient Greek. And in some independent republics of India. Greece and India, and right in between there’s Azerbaijan and the city of Baku, capital at the silk route. Azerbaijan has a history of being a melting pot where religions, philosophies, ideas and perspectives come together.
During three days 40 politically engaged youngsters worked in four committees on education, youth, environmental and non-oil economic development issues. Through a simulation setting we were able to create experiences for the pupils to learn democracy: debating, active listening, public speaking and influencing. Last but not least, Joeri and Pieterjan were involved in some traditional Azerbaijani cultural activities: dance! The Azeri’s they debate like the dance. Talking about experiences...
Check the blogposts about the SCYP in March in Tblisi.
Check the radio-interview with the project manager of Democracy Starts With You, Shorena Gharibashvili by K&S On Air.