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Three great reasons to join our Future Youth School Forum

Posted by Susanna Griffiths Education Marketing and Communications Manager

31st Oct 2017

Rachel Woolrych, a Teacher at Sir John Lawes School has been participating in Future Youth School Forums; an EU funded, school-led citizenship project. This coming March, they are inviting local schools to join them in exploring the topic of Gender Equality.

Future Youth School Forums are structured events led and organised by students, enabling them to explore issues, collaborate and share ideas for action on social justice issues. Having hosted events last June on the theme of Refugees, participants have been reflecting on their experiences and planning ahead for next year's forums on the theme of Gender Equality.

In March I was lucky enough to join enthusiastic and creative individuals from the UK, Italy, Lithuania, and Cyprus in reflecting on, and preparing for my school's involvement in Future Youth School Forums. It was an incredible week and I learned so much, but why should anybody else get involved?  Here are three reasons why:

1. It's already happened once, so we've learned from our mistakes… and successes too!

Getting involved with a project that is still in its infancy can be both daunting and exciting, but it is a great position to be in.  Not only are we able to draw on the expertise of those who ran the project last year, but we are also lucky enough to being involved in planning this year's resources.  

As a participating school, you can be assured that not only have the resources been used successfully before, but a team of professionals and teachers are working hard to make them even more accessible, relevant, and exciting! 

2. The topic of Gender Equality is current and important

One thing that has struck me throughout this project is how relevant the topic of Gender Equality is, worldwide. John McLaverty, Education & Youth Advisor at Oxfam, presented some thought-provoking material on global issues relating to Gender Equality however, each of the four countries involved in the project highlighted concerns locally too.  We all have problems that really need addressing, and who better to begin changing the world than the young people living in it?

3. What it can offer young people is incredible

The Future Youth School Forums project offers young people an opportunity like no other.  Not only will they develop their leadership skills within their own school environment through planning and running the Forum, but they will develop these skills in the community too.  

Operating outside the confines of the school is challenging, but also very rewarding for young people and will provide them with:

• A fantastic set of skills that they can use throughout their life
• A wonderful sense of moral accomplishment through creating a social action in response to an issue
• Excellent experiences to include on personal statements and application forms.

Sir John Lawes School's Gender Equality Forum will be taking place on International Women's Day: Thursday 8 March 2018.  We will be inviting ten local schools to engage in dialogue and practical workshops to create social actions for local and global change. For more information or to get involved, please contact John McLaverty at Oxfam. Hope to see you there!

Blog post written by Susanna Griffiths

Education Marketing and Communications Manager

More by Susanna Griffiths