As part of our EU Drug Policy Training & Strategy Series for Young People, funded by the Erasmus+ programme, we ran the first of two in person components of this project, co-managed with SSDP International. We brought the participants of this project, young people engaged or interested in drug policy, from all over Europe to attend this event in Dublin, Ireland. These participants came from Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Austria, United Kingdom, Belgium, Greece, and Hungary.
The weekend was organized by the fantastic Manuela Memi, our Project Coordinator for this project, with the support of Iulia Vatau the Project Coordinator from our partner in this project, SSDP International, and Rebeca Marques Rocha, our International Working Group member living in Vienna, Austria (originally from Brazil). The weekend was a huge success, no thanks to the SSDP chapter in University College Dublin for helping us with the venue, and the incredible effort of the three above named organizers.
The focus of the weekend was to further equip these young people with skills to support their advocacy for more humane and just drug policies in Europe, with an interactive training developed and ran by Rebeca on Advocacy for Drug Policy Reform, and a training developed by Manuela and Rebeca on Public Speaking. The final part of the weekends formal activities was a model EU, in which the participants put into practice all they have learned so far.
An important focus of this weekend, as well as the skills building activities, was to allow the group to socialise with each other, as the training series so far as been done online since we began this project, and there hadn’t been much opportunity for the group getting to know each other. Luckily, amongst the busy schedule of the weekend, we managed to find the time to explore Dublin together and take in the cultural and historic buildings and museums in the city!
Some feedback from the participants:
“Thank you so much for this amazing experience, nothing to complain about! I especially valued that you planned in time for us to explore Dublin on our own/in groups :)”
“It was really amazing! It was an absolute pleasure to meet you and I am greatly looking forward to our next session!”
“It was amazing really! I didn’t expect that I won’t be needed to do anything, was super organised I just had to be there and had everything done for me. It was also pretty fun that no one knew the city and otherwise I don’t know when I would have the chance to visit Dublin, but I always wanted the proper irish pub experience so thank you for that!”
“I think the training was well organised and I am very satisfied.”
“Thank you so much to everyone for this weekend, it was truly lovely!”
“It was such a nice experience, looking forward for the next one :)”
Thank you to all who came, and we are excited for the next in-person component in Vienna, Austria in December, where we will build a youth-led strategy for engaging EU drug policy!