Youth for Dialogue is a project of formation for young people, promoted by Education for an Interdependent World (EDIW), a Non Governmental Organization in partnership with the Teresian Association, and sponsored by the European Union, with the objective of being channel of dialogue in different world realities.
As part of this project, during the first three weeks of August, eight young people from Spain, Peru, Portugal, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Bolivia, went to Cochabamba and lived together an experience of educational and social immersion. The Social Projects “Yachay Tinkuy” and “Centro de educación Permanente Jaihuayco” of the Teresian Association welcomed the young people, who worked supporting activities such as educational workshops with children, youth and teachers from rural and urban schools. They gave computer workshops for the general community and acted as support to the Radio Station CEPJA 90.1 FM.
The experience of immersion in Cochabamba coincided with one of the most important festivities in Bolivia, the feast of the Virgin of Urkupiña, called the celebration of "national integration", one of the main cultural and religious references of the country where the group fully participated in unison with the people in this national pilgrimage.
The immersion experience ended with an international seminar on leadership competences where the immersion experience was shared and processed relating this to needs of youth in a global world and to the various ways of participation in society . Participants from Uruguay, Guatemala, Chile, Venezuela and Columbia also came for the seminar.
At the end of the seminar, the participants were committed to act in the realites of each country. They identified needs , shared reflections, discoveries, perceptions, possibilities and threats that constitute human experience . They called for dialogue between peoples who live in the neighborhood, in the city, a dialogue that generates inclusion, intercultural understanding, mutual enrichment and trust.
They felt that dialogue is urgently needed among the political parties and reflected on the different perceptions of the common good and the different strategies to reach it hoping to develop a strong democratic base, a better use of resources, greater transparency and a better citizenry with the development of democratic values.
The result of the experience was a commitment to assume jointly the imperative need to promote dialogue between groups and to create relations based on recognizing the dignity and rights of all people, and the common good. These young people dream of being promoters of a dialogue of reconciliation, mutual trust and understanding, a dialogue between cultures and regions of the world to put into action strategies of peace.
So, animated with this new beginning, they launched the next part of the project: “Dialogue for Democracy”, with the desire of continuing this journey towards justice in the world.
By: Alejandra Cortez (Bolivia)