YEU International – Belgium

Local activities

In Belgium, YEU has worked with young people who took part in the training course in Portimão to educate their peers in local communities, youth centres, and school events on the topics of the EU.Several workshops were held in Singa, a local organisation that strives for social inclusion in Brussels, during the activity called Bla Bla, made for people from all backgrounds – mainly refugees, migrants and asylum seekers – to exchange, speak and play. The main venues used for the workshops were “La Serre” Centre in Ixelles and “Alléedukaai” Centre in Molenbeek throughout summer and September 2019. The main emphasis of this series of local activities was to educate the disadvantaged youth of Brussels, mainly coming from Molenbeek, about the EU, what it stands for, what it strives for and how it improves our everyday lives at every level. The mix between the local disadvantaged community and the newly arrived refugees and migrants to discuss and learn about the different opportunities they can find in the EU was crucial to empower those communities to take part in European democracy through youth participation. The online gaming platforms were intended to allow young people to try out different educational methodologies, making their learning more fun, interesting, and interactive, and were very successful in doing so. This was particularly important within the communities on which the activity focused, which are, generally, early school dropouts. Therefore, learning about the EU in a different way helped them to understand their role in helping with the improvement of the EU on a social level, striving for equality in all the disadvantaged areas they came from.

Dissemination activities

There were various workshops held in Spawn Cyber-Centre, Charleroi where young people generally go to play games, video-games, chat and have fun! Charleroi is usually known asan industrial belgian city, where the young people there don’t usually have access to all the different opportunities that other youngsters from Brussels or Antwerp for example might have. The formal education level in the schools of the area isn’t great either in comparisonwith the rest of the country, which made GamifyEU’s impact so much greater. This allowed all of the young people that participated to learn more about their capital’s work in European affairs. There’s an enormous gap between the opportunities that can be found in Brussels, capital of Belgium and the EU, and the outreach of the opportunities in youth mobility or intercultural programmes across the country. The games were presented to local young people and team of local GamifyEU ambassadors had a stand at the centre where all the different young people that were usually playing other games there popped by, asked questions about the game and the EU. An open discussion with around 5-8 young people was also held post playing the game in order to review the different things they learned throughout the games. At another instance, the team of GamifyEU ambassadors went to the 8km race organised by the “Collège Saint-Pierre” in Uccle on the 12th May 2019. The YEU group held a stand where the games were explained and played by teachers and students. The involvement of the teachers was extremely important as it allowed them to get acquainted with the platform and use it in their own classes, especially the english, geography and history teachers.Teachers were extremely interested in how gamification as a new educational methodology was going to help captivate the interest of their students and make their learning experience more fun and engaging. Tackling the issues found in the European Union at the moment, also needed a different target group to discuss it with. Workshops and debates with young expats present in
Brussels were held during May 2019 discussing the ongoing campaigns and the frustration caused by the rise of populism and nationalism even among young people. The group of newly arrived young workers, entrepreneurs and students got acquainted with the platform that could be used in their own professional or private spheres to promote the EU and its values, with an aim to actively oppose all sorts of nationalist and populist movements they might have been witnessing in their own spaces or their home countries YEU has also focused a lot on the promotion of the platform online – both in Belgium and Europe-wide together with other organisations working on the promotion of the EU elections.