Mollina is the place where magic happens.

Mollina is the place where you realise that regardless to where you come from, whether you are Hungarian, Lebanese, Kenyan or from Honduras, you can always find people thinking the same way, sharing the exact same values as you do.

Mollina is the place where you understand how we are all different but still the same, how we are all connected through our one shared identity that is to be a global citizen.

But wait…What is Mollina?

Between the 17th and 24th September 2017, OBESSU – for the second consecutive year – was invited to bring a one-week-long training program to Mollina, Spain in the framework of the University on Youth and Development. For those who have never heard about it before, the UYD is one of the flagship youth events of the Council of Europe’s North-South Center gathering more than 200 youth leaders from different corners of the world.

The University has two layers, both contributing to a more comprehensive learning experience of all participants. First, just as OBESSU, other organisations have a safe space to deliver a high quality training on a chosen topic. On top of that, every year a team of experienced trainers is organising so-called ‘joint activities’ around the University’s annual theme, which in 2017 was “Developing Global Identities”.

During last year’s UYD, OBESSU organised a training course for multipliers to promote our then new project “Seeds for Integration”. As a follow-up activity, in this edition, 13 initiative leaders – students who have successfully realized a great project on a local, regional or national level - were invited to share their knowledge and experience acquired during the implementation process. The first three days, the OBESSU team had the chance to work together with five representatives of our sister organisation, ESU – the European Students’ Union – bringing their personal practices on refugee inclusion through Together - Moving Forward Project.

Based on the valuable input of the participants, the objective was to create a Migrant Inclusion Toolkit that will contain a set of guidelines providing specific information on the type of activities that are enhancing the inclusion of migrant and refugee students, with concrete, well-defined implementation action plans. In addition to this, a guideline on project management know-how for school organisations will be also part of the toolkit.

As the Programme Coordinator of the Seeds for Integration project, my role in Mollina was to ensure that the OBESSU activity can run smoothly, and participants can fully concentrate on making the most out of the University experience. In addition to this, I was happy to take an active part in supporting the drafting process of the UYD’s Joint Declaration.

Every year, using the ideas, thoughts and contributions of the diverse group of participants, a declaration is put together resonating the views of the youth on the joint theme.  The final text is approved by the Board members of all present organisations (including OBESSU as well) and paints a picture of a world young people want to live in.  You can find the document on the website of the Council of Europe, read it and use it to advocate for a youth-led future in your local, regional and national reality.

A lot of work, new friendships, eye-opening sessions and discussions, more than 10 kilometers of walking between the working room and the canteen, feeling in a space without past and future, living in the moment, and last but not least a group of amazing participants. Thank you for the moments, the conversations we shared, they definitely marked me and gave me a lot of inspiration.

This is my Mollina.

However, in order to get a full picture of what Mollina is, I would like to invite one of the participants to write a testimony of their Mollina. After all it is also our task to spread the word and encourage others to take part in this journey next year. Who is up for the challenge?

 

Article written by Eszter Somogyi – OBESSU staff member

To know more about Seeds for Integration and the Migrant Inclusion Toolkit, you can contact our Working Group: toolkit@obessu.org