E+Virtual Exchanges done by ALF HoN Turkey

Through the years, and thanks to the hard work of our team, ALF HoN Turkey(System and Generation (S&G) and the Association of Civil Society and Development Institute (ACSDI) as ALF Coordinators in Turkey)  has supported young people from different cultures to improve their personal and professional skills, to cooperate in mobility with international institutions and to acquire new knowledge and qualifications.

With regard to these points and to its own mission, ALF HoN Turkey has joined the “E+Virtual Exchange” dealing within the “Advocacy Training” pillar, bringing together young people from diverse backgrounds to meet online and debate topics, with the support of a regional resource network of trained facilitators.

Taking part in this ground-breaking initiative has been a great chance to enable our members and volunteers to engage in meaningful intercultural experiences online, as part of their non-formal education, especially thanks to the opportunity of working together with youth from other countries in order to develop critical thinking skills, intercultural learning and explore subjects that can lead to advocacy impact.

The experience of taking part in the “E+ Virtual Exchange” has started in June 2018, when four of our volunteers, Jacopo, Gabi, Selime and Başak, decided to join the training for trainers, in order to become team leaders of our online debating Clubs. After having successfully passed the training, our new team leaders had to accomplished many tasks such as recruiting debate club members, training them on the debating process, coordinate dates and tasks within their own Club, facilitating the online debate, and spreading the main outcomes with our associates after delivering each of them.

Thanks to their great motivation and will to be involve in this innovative initiative, ALF HoN Turkey has always successfully took part in many virtual debates representing Turkey, and their associates has always demonstrated a great sense of responsibility in accomplished all the requested tasks in the open video platform.

For the members of our debating Clubs was indeed an honor and a great pleasure to have the chance to exchange ideas and opinions on important relevant topics with members of delegations from different backgrounds and cultures coming from many European, North African and Middle East countries such as Germany, Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Italy, Tunisia, Morocco, and so on.

Some of our Clubs’ members were already experienced in the art of debating, as our association also promote a monthly debating club in our office in Ankara, using very similar rules and process of the E+ Virtual Exchange. Other participants were instead not experienced but thanks to their great interest showed in learning and taking part in the event, and thanks to the preparatory training received from our team leaders, they had a successful and fruitful first debate experience.

It has to be mentioned that our team leaders and our participants of the debating Clubs have given a great contribution not only taking part in the event but even on the preparatory process of each of them, by providing every time ideas for the topics of the motions to be debated. On every event of the “E+ Virtual Exchange” in which ALF HoN Turkey took part, Anna Lindh Foundation has accepted at least 1 out of 2 of our suggestions. Knowing that our proposed motions were chosen by such an honorable Institution has contributed in raising the involvement and the quality of the performance of our associates.

Below some of the main topics suggested by our debating Clubs’ members:

- Education should be free for everyone until the highest levels

- Artificial intelligence should have a primary role in our educational system

- Dating applications are ruining the relationships

- Democracy has failed as system of government

- Plastic bags should be banned

- Parents can be punished retrospectively if their sons denounce them for abuses or omissions

- Diplomacy is effective only under wars’ conditions

- Traditional chemical medicines should be massively replaced by natural medicines

- Abortion should be a free choice for every woman

- Death penalty should be banned

- Same gender marriages should be always allowed

- Light drugs should be legalized for medical purposes

- God existence can be proven

- Small countries with weak economies shouldn’t join the European Union

In total
ALF HoN Turkey has taken part in 66 debates (33 events), and into 116 training for trainers with our team leaders. We have done a lot since June but our goal is to be more and more involve in the “E+ Virtual Exchange”, as we strongly believe that this project perfectly matches with our mission and our values. It represents a unique opportunity to be offered to our youth members to enrich their education and to support their personal and professional development.

The 21st of November 2019, Anna Lindh Foundation HoN Turkey hosted the Virtual Youth Debate # 1 on Policy Issues in the frame of "YOUTH ON THE MOVE & DIALOGUE FOR EMPLOYABILITY", bringing into focus the nexus between intercultural learning, mobility and skills for employability". The motion of this debate event was "THBT every long-term volunteering service, lasting for at least 1 year, should be recognized by the government as added value for the development of society, and rewarded in terms of both pension contribution and educational recognition through credits." After a passionate fair debate, the judges delivered the victory to the Opposition Team, which members were Esmeralda from Albania and Liliana from Hungary.