Aksa, a MEOW member, got the chance to interview the keynote speaker of the day, Julie Ward. Julie Ward, a British Member of the European Parliament, co-founded the European Parliament cross-party and cross-committee intergroup on Children’s Rights. She explained how her role in the European Parliament includes being a spokesperson for Education and Culture, encompassing media, citizenship, youth policy as well as formal and informal education. She is also on the committee for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.
Julie explained how important it is for politicians and law makers to take children’s opinions seriously, since it is the government who is truly making decisions on the behalf of young people who do not yet have a vote.
When asked what she was doing up in Caux, this MEP explained that she comes to CATS every year, to help her reconnect with the children and people she represents. It is also an opportunity for her to hear more conversations from around the world and engage in the program itself. Besides all this, CATS is also a space to have some fun!
To find out what else Axa and Julie spoke about, head over to the video below:
Following an interview by Aksa, a MEOW member, Julie Ward joined the CATS participants for the daily Together Time. As a key note speaker, Julie shared with us how she uses her work and position in the European Parliament to promote children’s rights. Julie said how she is constantly advocating for intercultural dialogue to take place. She rightly believes that open discussion is the key to changing attitudes, without which change cannot occur. Change is essential to allow for a more accepting world in which we can live in better harmony with one another.
The Safety Quiz then followed. Completed through an app, this paperless and interactive activity served as an occasion to further our understanding of safety as opposed to violence. Throughout the quiz, teams had a chance to learn a little more about the Protective Environment Framework and some legislations in place against violence, especially violence against children. All this was completed in the spirit of friendly competition.
Today also saw us picking up our passports and heading to our first workshops and session destinations. Eight parallel workshops took place before lunch while 12 parallel arts and skills sessions took place in the afternoon. Below are a few photos which capture the atmosphere, be it fun or serious.
More than 300 participants gathered in the historic palace of Caux, YET ONLY ON Tuesday would they meet its secrets! Suddenly people started asking about ghosts? And legends? Only to find out that they would actually chase them? Crazy? Yes! But LOOOOADS of fun too! This year’s History of CATS unfolded right in front of our eyes! Legendary personalities who passed through this wonderful place of earth – or at least their ghosts – were hidden all over the castle, ready to be discovered and ready to get their stories retold. Only a few examples of our ghosts where the Maharaja of Baroda himself as well as the great inventors of Kellog’s, Gillete, the architect of Caux palace and some of the refugees from concentration camps – how cool is that?
The secret of the game – recognize a ghost and ask the magic question “Are you a ghost?”. If a ghost has been correctly identified, this question would bring it back to life, enabling him or her to go through an important moment of their lives again. The more ghosts a group managed to find, the richer their experience was and the greater the satisfaction.
If, for some reason, you did not manage to catch all the ghosts yesterday – do not despair! A special Caux character will be featured daily on this newsletter, so make sure to check it out!
Irene, a French woman and Carlita, a German widow in post-war have a shared history of great importance. Following Germany’s attack on France during WWII, Irene saw all Germans as sworn enemies.
At the end of the war, she imagined rebuilding a Europe without a Germany or German race. In fact, her hatred towards the Germans was so great that once that both French and German people were gathered in Caux, Irene refused to interact with them in any way. She isolated herself in her room for three days, until she finally agreed to meet with just one German lady, the widowed Clarita, who was a part of the Resistance in Germany.
It was after this conversation that Irene truly understood how the war devastated both their countries. She realized that her hatred was misplaced and rather inappropriate. Instead, she decided to publicly apologize for her hatred to 500 people, a 100 of whom were German. Following this reconciliation with herself, Irene began a journey dialogue throughout a broken Europe.