Think before you pack – an ASJC member in Krakow

article by Claudiu Degan, member of ASJC Romania

Living Together is the British Council’s project on intercultural dialogue in South East Europe, so starting with November 2008, a group of 60 youngsters from 20 countries worked online on a series of tasks and projects regarding social cohesion and the impact of migration on the societies in which we live, study or work.

Krakow seemed as a nice place to be, so during the first days of March, they came together as a team, but with different projects and with different visions about our 21st century problems. There were workshops to attend for a better approach when you have to create a campaign (fundraising, public speaking, web 2.0 activism, community action, and high-level advocacy or negotiation skills).

Krakow - British Council's project on intercultural dialogue in South East Europe| Foto: Claudiu Degan

Krakow - British Council's project on intercultural dialogue in South East Europe| Foto: Claudiu Degan

You may wonder how this is connected with our organization, ASJC Romania. Well, as a young journalist, I think that is important to know about the society you live in and about the society you write about. So, I’ve applied and I got selected. During this period of time I learned how similar we are, but how different we approach the same situation when it comes to create a campaign for your country.

I had an idea about the risks of migration, and how we can learn from the mistakes of others. Both Bulgaria and Romania have experienced an exodus of population after joining the European Union. Those that chose to migrate made it without knowing about the risks that may appear with this decision. This will happen in countries that will start negotiations on joining the EU or countries that will develop in a few years. With the help of Galya (Bulgaria), Dajana (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Dana (Romania) and Keith (Scotland) we created a team, and started working on a campaign that should inform people about the risks of migration, not to persuade them to stay in their country, just to give them the information they need to do what is best for them.

There were nine projects, but only two of them got selected and received support to become reality. “Think before you pack” was the name of our campaign, and apparently we were different. In a good way, because we received support, we won. So, there is a long road ahead, but we will now work and try to make the best of our ideas.