Europe on the Ground, a Greek youth media project, was awarded first prize at the 2012 Charlemagne Youth Prize ceremony on 15 May in Aachen. Second prize went to Europe Meets School, an exchange programme for Erasmus students (Czech Republic) and the winner of the third prize was the Cycle Me Home project, a documentary road-movie (Hungary). The Charlemagne Youth Prize is awarded annually to projects that foster a shared sense of European identity and integration among young people.
GREECE: 'Europe on the ground' European feature reports and debates for young citizen journalists
'Europe on the ground' is an innovative youth media project consisting in sending every year multicultural teams of over 50 young citizen journalists and amateur photographers (10 teams of 5 young journalists) in 10 European capitals.
When 'on the ground' young journalists enjoy a true multicultural experience. Teaming up with other young Europeans from various nationalities, they are given 4 days to write articles and produce photo galleries on subjects related to European culture and society.
For each journalism trip, volunteers from cafebabel.com network hosting the journalists organise a citizen debate bringing together civil society leaders and an average of 50 local people to discuss and debate issues of European interest in a European perspective.
Coming back to their home countries, young citizen journalists and photographers have 2 weeks to write their article and edit their photo galleries. All contributions are then edited by professional journalists and published in six languages - French, English, German, Spanish, Italian and Polish - on the European online magazine cafebabel.com.
After they are published online in a dedicated page on cafebabel.com, all contents are then free of access for over 350 000 visitors per month.
Dealing with subjects related to society, lifestyle, culture and politics, young journalists enjoy a unique pan-European journalism experience 'on the ground' in multicultural European environment.
With 'Europe on the ground', we promote cultural dialogue and respect in allowing young citizens to discover their neighbours and their own country through news, habits, lifestyles, cultures and politics. By making Europe more concrete for young European citizens, we contribute to a better understanding between the people of Europe and innovate in new forms of European journalism.
Czech Republic - "Evropa dělá Školu, Praha (Europe Meets School, Prague)"
The programme Evropa dělá školu, Praha (the title used in the contact with the participating international students: Europe Meets School, Prague) has been enabling Erasmus students of Charles University in Prague and their friends to meet children in Czech schools and learn more about Czech school and teaching system while preparing a short time voluntary teaching projects introducing their home country since the year 2008/9.
The idea of the programme comes from our partner, the German association Europa Macht Schule e.V., http://www.europamachtschule.de, with whom agreement we use the Czech translation of their title as our name.
There are several Czech country specifics such as the limitation of the projects to usually 3-hour-lenght (upon request of the host schools) or the necessity to interpret the majority of projects from the original language into Czech (and vice versa) by Czech student volunteers.
Overview of our seasons so far:
- 2008/9: 4 projects by 5 Erasmus students
- 2009/10: 21 projects by 21 Erasmus students
- 2010/11: 29 projects by 35 Erasmus students
- 2011/12: January 2012 - 3 projects finished, 13 projects in preparation
Hungary - "Cycle Me Home"
In the summer of 2011, a few film students and bike lovers decided to make a documentary movie. The original idea came from Levi, a Hungarian film student, who went to Madrid for 5 months to study, and after finishing school there, he decided to go back to Budapest on his fixie bike and asked the people of Europe to join him on his way.
The journey started in July, at the European Cycle Messenger Championship, Madrid and ended at the gates of Sziget Festival, Budapest in August. Friends from film schools of Budapest, Madrid and London joined the trip to make a road-movie about the challenges and most of all the fun that Levi and the other riders had on the way to Budapest. The Cycle Me Home project promotes not only the European consciousness, but shows an environmental-friendly alternative of travelling.
During the filming it was of utmost importance that we met young people from six EU member countries, gaining insight into their cultural and social background, through their every-day life. The project was based on openness, as we asked young adults to join the ride, even if only for a few kilometres, and in many cases, they even housed us. Volunteerism was a primary segment of the Cycle Me Home project, as all the participants joined out of devotion.
It is a non-profit film project, based only on our own funding. Levente Klara, the main character of the road movie can serve as an example for young Europeans to start their own projects.
In the future we would like to create an interactive homepage, where all interested people can get involved with the project. With the financial aid of the European Charlemagne Youth Prize we would like to increase the range of people reached, as we think that the Cycle Me Home project could overgrow the boundaries of a simple film project, and be converted into a youth movement. The support of the Charlemagne Prize would give us the resources to move on with our project, growing bigger, nurturing the concept of a joint Europe.