The Voice of Young People heard in International Youth Conference

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During October half term break, 6 young people (aged 16-19), with 2 Youth Leaders – Leon Bansal and Katie Lloyd – from RCT CBC Services for Youth People travelled to Ravensburg in Germany to participate in the bi-annual international youth conference held in our twin town. They were all active members within their school and wider communities, and had a good understanding of the cultural issues affecting young people today.

Other groups of young people participating come from France, Italy, Belarus, Croatia, Israel, Turkey, Spain, and of course, Germany.
Since 2003, around 60 young people from Ravensburg’s partner cities or those with a connection to Ravensburg have met every second year in Ravensburg to get to know each other, participate in discussions with their peers and develop and realise various projects. Throughout these meetings, the fun factor is never far away. Our group of delegates from RCT enjoyed themselves immensely, made new friends, and gained valuable experience which will influence their activities within their own schools and communities.

The theme of the conference this year was Environmental Issues and Human Rights, and the group worked hard on researching in preparation for the many meetings, workshops and debates which took place over the course of the week. There were also be opportunities for the group to share experiences whilst undertaking sports, games and excursions to local places of interest, including visiting the international music concert in the town which also featured young people from RCT’s Music Services Orchestra!

The Youth Conference Group attend the Mayor’s Parlour to be presented with Certificates in recognition of their achievement by Cllr Doug Williams, Mayor, Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Katie Lloyd, Youth Leader, said: It’s not often that young people from RCT get the opportunity to meet people from so many different countries and most importantly different cultures. This was a fantastic experience for the group and has given them invaluable life experiences, as well as the opportunity to discuss the key issues of Human Rights and the Environment, both of which impact on their lives and ultimately their futures. But it wasn’t all serious, there was plenty of time for the young people to let their hair down and take advantage of being in the beautiful city of Ravensburg, learn about different cultures and make new friends. There was a lot of sporting competition between countries, especially in rugby, an international buffet and cultural evening, and even a mass snowball fight! Well done to the six young people to took part, they did Rhondda Cynon Taf and Wales proud!“

Alys Servini, aged 16, from Aberdare, commented: It was such a good opportunity for us to meet people from so many different countries and discuss issues that affect us in our lives. It is an experience I will never forget“.

See www.jugendkonferenz.ravensburg.de for full information on the Conference, and photographs of all the delegates.
For further information on international conferences, volunteering, or exchanges, please contact Kerry Rees, RCT Services for Young People, on 01443 744107 , or 07786523915.

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