The whole world gathered at DUFs International Partner Seminar
After three years it was finally time to once again gather young people from the whole world at DUFs International Partner Seminar. From may 3rd to 9th, 42 young people from 12 different countries were gathered in Helsingør, Denmark to develop their partnerships, prepare project applications for DUFs international pool and learn from each other.
The Partner Seminar is a yearly tradition for DUF but has been postponed because of COVID-19. Finally young people from Morocco, Argentina, Kenya, Ghana, Denmark, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Cameroun, Malawi, Nepal, Uganda, and Tanzania were gathered in Helsingør for a week-long seminar.
All in all, 12 partnerships participated and were divided into two different tracks: Project Application and Partnership Development. Theproject application trackworked in dept with DUFs toolbox and guidelines and the participants started writing their application for DUFs international pool. On the partnership development track, the participants worked on building strong partnerships through group work and workshops on dialogue, communication and conflict management. During the seminar all participants were also introduced to DUFs crosscutting requirements as well as project management and financial management.
Projects in uncertain times and contexts
COVID-19 has made the last years difficult for a lot of the partnerships participating at the Partner Seminar while other unexpected factors, such as climate change, political unrest and so on are also affecting many ongoing projects. Therefore, a theme for a joint workshop was “How to do projects in uncertain times and contexts”. The key takeaways were:
- It is hard to motivate and keep volunteers engaged in a time with COVID-19.
- Online meetings can be less formal and strengthen the partnership because it is easy to clarify. Written communication can sometimes create confusion.
- Access to internet and general connection is a huge problem which refrain some to participate. A partnership started always doing minutes in a WhatsApp discussion so people could be informed afterwards.
- It is always nice to feel like a part of a partnership even if the main activity can not be done because of COVID-19. Some organizations did soup instead to help the local community.
Culture exchange and a common ground
The Partner Seminar also focused on culture exchange and exchange of experiences. During the week the participants had the chance to learn from each other and get more knowledge about the context of young people across the globe. Even though the partnerships have different projects they still have some of the same challenges, and they can find a common ground in the fact that all of them want to create a change in the world. The Partner Seminar was, all in all, a gathering of international change makers who believe in solidarity!
From DUF we want to thank all the participants for engaging in the seminar - we can't wait to gather young change makers from all around the world once again next year.