Hoping against hope

Hoping against hope

Young adults from several European countries discussed burning issues

© Anežka Pěnkavová

Water in all its forms and meanings was the topic of this year's European Youth Dialogue "Burning Waters. Hope and despair". As a means for transportation, a natural border, an element of life and, above all, as a scarce resource, water raises many burning questions. How do we shape a Europe that remains open to the world and recognizes the interconnectedness of regions and countries? How can we develop Europe into a place where ecological resources are used sustainably and fairly and where hope for a good future remains a guiding principle for politics and civil society?

For seven days, participants jointly experimented and discussed at the Agape Centro Ecumenico, a meeting place of the Waldensian Church in the mountains North of Turin (Italy). They explored when and how prejudices and structural inequalities become limits to access to opportunities in life. Through interactive games, they experienced the power dynamics that influence democratic togetherness and access to water. Creative reflections on the personal life path as a "river of life" were just as much a part of the workshop as research into how water is an essential element in current climate change.

"Agape is a special place for experiencing spectacular nature and great community – karaoke evenings, quiz shows and campfires were just as much a part of it as climbing the nearest mountain and celebrating a church service at a mountain lake," says Hannah Schilling, director of studies for youth education. "Burning Waters" is a cooperative event organized by the Centro Ecumenico Agape, the Ekumenická Academy Prague (Czech Republic) and the Evangelische Akademie zu Berlin, all members of Oikosnet Europe, the ecumenical network of Christian academies in Europe.

The group documented their perspectives, discussions and visions of this European Youth Dialogue in a “manifesto (PDF-Dokument, 650.7 KB)”.

2024 29-6 Mai-Jun

European Youth Dialogue

Centro Ecumenico Agape

Burning waters

Hope and despair in Europe

Water is a symbol for life. It nourishes body and soul. Water serves for survival as well as for our visions for a sustainable future. It can destroy stone and let the desert blossom. At the moment water burns at many places and we have to look… weiter
Dr. Hannah Schilling 2021

Dr. Hannah Schilling

Studienleiterin für gesellschaftspolitische Jugendbildung

Telefon (030) 203 55 - 311

Trotzdem! Die Werkstatt der Evangelischen Akademie zu Berlin.


Die Werkstatt der Evangelischen Akademie zu Berlin

Es geht ums Ganze: Ob Klimawandel, wachsende Ungleichheit oder neue Kriege in Europa, um nur ein paar Beispiele zu nennen – die Herausforderungen der Gegenwart scheinen unlösbar. Gegen Perspektiv- und Mutlosigkeit setzen wir Trotz und Hoffnung. Denn gerade jetzt ist der Moment, die Zukunft …

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