People in society experience different aspects of discrimination on a daily basis, whether its about the colour of their skin; their age; sexuality; religion; race; or their nationality.
This project provides the perfect opportunity for teachers, youth workers and even parents to encourage young people to consider the values being raised and try to use the design competition as a teaching platform that will hopefully have a positive impact on those taking part.
The competition also promotes the importance of team work as all design entries must be produced by groups of at least four young people in the following age categories: 12-14 and 15-18.
It might seem like the subject matter of “The European Union and non-discrimination” is a little heavy going for a young people’s poster competition, but it should be seen as a superb chance for them to address a topic that might already be prominent in their lives in some way or form.
Franco Frattini, Vice-President of the European Commission with responsibility for justice, freedom and security, said: “Abolishing discrimination and ensuring equal treatment and equal opportunities for EU citizens and residents, particularly the youngest among them, are objectives common to the European Union and its Member States. By saying no to discrimination, we are reaffirming one of the fundamental values of Europe. This is a battle we have to fight every single day.
“This is why as part of this competition and at a time when the European Union is celebrating its 50th birthday, I am encouraging young people to work together in team on the theme of non-discrimination, so that they are better equipped to defend and promote this principle.”
This year is an ideal time to launch the initiative, as the European Commission has declared 2007 as the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All.
The term a ‘design for life’ is a metaphor often banded around in different situations but its meaning is directly poignant for this EU poster competition; which is open to young people from the length and breadth of the country.
The competition – important dates and details:
1). Young people from across the UK have until 24th September to register their teams, this can be done via an online registration form available from www.europayouth.eu
2). Wednesday 31st October is the deadline for registered teams to submit their poster designs.
3). The entries will be firstly judged at national level and prizes will be awarded to the best three teams in each age category at special ceremonies to be held in all competing EU countries on 20th November, a date which holds extra significance as it’s International Children’s Rights Day.
4). Finally, between 15th-17th December the top three teams from across Europe in each age group will be invited to visit Brussels – home of the EU’s headquarters – for an amazing opportunity to experience a tour of the city and the European institutions with the exciting conclusion being a special award ceremony hosted by Vice-President Frattini.
Additional quote details:
The UK coordinators of The European Union and non-discrimination poster competition is a North East-based organisation called Global Voice UK; and the key Development Worker on the project is Karolina Tomczyk – she’s in a better position than most to comment about the subject of discrimination.
In January of this year Karolina (24) moved to the UK from Lodz in Central Poland to start working for Global Voice UK and as a young woman from another country she experienced in a small way examples of how discrimination can occur in people’s lives. Karolina had only been in the country for a matter of weeks when she came face-to-face with an instance of discrimination. She met up with her friend in a cafe-bar, where they happily chatted away in Polish, which to Karolina and her friend is their first language, when a member of the public rudely interrupted them and said “… you’re in England now, so speak English”.
Karolina said: “Discrimination can take place in everyday life without most of us realising it, as it can occur in the form of ignorance or petty mindedness. But it’s something we all must address and be aware of the implications it might have on others.
“The best way of doing this is by educating people of all generations through campaigns like the poster competition, as this is a simple method of communicating a very important issue that affects everyone in society at one stage in their youth or adult life, and the sooner we appreciate the diversity of all EU communities the sooner we can enjoy being part of each other’s future.”
The next move:
The organisers wish every entrant the best of luck and if any teams would like to speak with the UK project team about any aspect of the competition please contact Karolina Tomczyk c/o Global Voice UK on +44 (0) 191 200 5313 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively visit their website www.globalvoice.org.uk
A reminder about the important competition deadlines – the registration deadline is 24th September and the final submission date for poster designs is 31st October.
All of the competition winners will be proudly paraded on the official www.europayouth.eu website at the end of the campaign.
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