EYP or European Youth Parliament is an international non-profit organisation that encourages young people who are interested in politics to be involved in something bigger, to share opinions and make a great experience for life.
On the 7th October, people from EYP came to our school to tell us everything we needed to know about what they are doing and how we can possibly join them. Students who wanted to participate went to a classroom where we were introduced with everything. At the beginning, there was a short presentation in Czech. After the presentation, we switched to English and didn’t speak Czech for the rest of the day.
After the short beginning, we were divided into three groups and each of them had a different theme. There was ENVI, DROI and CLIN. ENVI had cannabis problematics, DROI’s quest was to protect LGBT+ community from homophobia and CLIN had climate change problems.
Each group was separated from each other so we didn’t know how the other groups are going or how are they dealing with their quests. Because the groups were chosen randomly, we didn’t really know each other and spent some time by introducing. Of course, everything was happening in English so for some of us it was hard at the beginning but they got used to it really soon.
After getting used to each other, we played a few games that were meant to help us work as a team, which turned out to be really important because there were several moments where we had to depend on our team.
Simona Melicharová, kvinta B
After the presentation we were separated to three groups. And our first activity was introduction. We were just standing in the circle and introduced ourselves. We said our names, age and some interesting thing about us, for example our favourite TV show.
We were playing some games to know each other better. By the first game we remembered our names. One person was going around the rest standing in the circle and saying names. When it was wrong, the person changed. Then there was one very interesting game called blind date. We made two circles. The outside circle was turning, so we spent one minute with everybody. And we were talking about some funny topic such as our most embarrassing moment, etc. The last game was a little bit challenge for us. We were staying in a very close circle again, but with closed eyes and the leader of our group joined ours hands so there was a “node”. Then we were supposed to untangle us, but without talking and we still had to hold our hands. After few minutes we made it and we were really happy.
Our leader read us one story after we had finished the games. The story was about a girl called Abbey, who slept with another boy, because she needed to use his ship to go to her boyfriend. Our job was to say who was acting the best and the worst. It was hard to make a final decision, because everybody had a different opinion
Kateřina Hajžmanová, kvinta B
After the introduction and some entertaining games, we started to work on our project on specified topic that included problematic of marijuana on the black market, marijuana in medicine and how the society perceives this drug.
We were divided into small groups containing two members and each group had to process one problem and find some rational solutions. We were allowed to use our mobile phones and the Internet to find some interesting articles about our topic. After ten minutes of hard work, we presented our results to the other students and Martina (our EYP leader) and everyone could express their agreement and disagreement. After a small discussion Martina told us what we should focus on and then we got ten more minutes to finish our job in new groups counting three members. The debates are described in details below.
At the end Martina helped us to turn our solutions into one or two clever-sounding sentences and finished the protocol on her computer. Then we selected who was going to have which kind of speech and who would take a part in the open debate. As the last thing in this part of the program, we prepared our speeches and mainly, we had to mentally prepare to talk to strange people, because some of us were pretty nervous.
Klára Vísnerová, kvinta B
First group presented their problems and solutions on a given topic. Then, one person of this group had a defence debate. The essential thing about this type of debate is talking only about positive side of the group’s solution. After the first group presented what they were working on, the second group had offensive debate and tried to show disadvantages of the first group. The next part was open debates. Other two groups said 4 of their questions and problems with first group’s solutions and one person of the first group answered with help of the others the questions. After this, a different person in the first group told the others an emotional story or just simply story about positives for example:
I had a grandfather. I don’t have him anymore. He died because he couldn’t buy cannabis. That’s the reason why we should legalize it (well, I wrote about legalization because it was our group’s topic)
This repeated twice more, but on different topics.
Jan Mach, kvinta B
I was a bit nervous from at the beginning, because I was afraid that I wouldn't understand something, but when I heard our instructor and other people talking, I realized that my worries were unnecessary. I could understand mostly everything, and those words, which I didn't understand, I figured out from the context. We started with cognitive games, in which I sucked because I'm not good at remembering names, but I wasn't the only one and those games were done in an entertaining way so it wasn't that bad for me and I actually enjoyed it.
Then we started debating about few themes, which I really enjoyed. I didn't talk much from at the beginning but I warmed up soon and started to talk more. Our main theme was rising attacks on people belonging to LGBT+ community and what should the member states of the European Union do about it. We came to conclusion that hatred against those people come mostly from older people, who include this hatred to raising their children. We thought that we can't change those people, but we still can change their children. We must change mostly view of other people on the community. They must see that gay, lesbian and trans people can be as normal as they are. I was thrilled by this discussion, because I am interested in this topic very much, and because my team was really eager to talk to each other.
In the end we had to present our proposal in front of other groups, which didn't catch me at all. I didn't present anything myself, because there were a lot of people in our group, but that imagination that I should stand before all of those people scared me a lot. What I enjoyed in the presentation was “open debate” in which other groups asked questions and the asked one answered. I didn't join the EYP, but I considered that for a while, but after all it was really entertaining day.
Damien Špulák, kvinta B
When our English teacher told us that we had an opportunity to take part on day with European Youth Parliament (EYP) in our school, many enthusiasts from my English group immediately signed up for this event. Well, I cannot surely say that some people did not sign up just that they miss school for a day but even if they did, they still would work very hard during this day. This is how I feel about Monday, 7th of September 2019.
The day went this way: some students from classes kvarta to sexta gathered in one class and 4 envoys from EYP introduced us what is EYP, what is their aim, how the day with EYP are organized etc. Then we were divided into 3 groups and each group went working with one envoy. Our work included meeting games and discussing problems
concerning environment and finding possible solution for them. In the end, all three groups had an open debate about solutions for their problems. Students, who were interested, could sign up for more meetings with EYP.
I personally find this event really interesting, because students from different schools, cities and nationalities can meet up, make new friends, improve their English and debating skills, solve actual problems concerning our future and mainly experience so many beautiful and funny things.
To sum up, I am happy that I could experience how things go in EYP and try to improve my English skills.
Petra Vítová, kvinta B
On Monday, 7th October 2019, I and my classmates participated in the Day of European Youth Parliament. On that day, we became acquainted with EYP organization tried one of their conferences. We were divided into three committees, each focused on different area of interest – climate, health and environment and human rights. After some teambuilding, we started to discuss a question in our area of interest. For me, a member of human rights, it was attacks on LGBT+ community. After lunch, we gathered in one room and proposed our ideas on solving the problems. Then we voted, if our ideas would be approved or not.
It was an interesting experience to speak with people that I don’t really know and discuss things that I don’t know much about. Also, it was a great test of our English knowledge as well as our speaking abilities. In addition, the great organization and leadership of former students of our school made time pass away very quickly. The worst thing about whole day was probably going out from the classroom, realising that you are still at school, when you met teachers and other students. We were so interested in speaking that we almost forgot that we were still at school. Anyway, it was very funny and interesting experience, so I’m looking forward to next year.
Ladislav Čákora, kvinta B
7th October 2019 was a very different and exciting day for a few people from my and neighbour classes. We chose to spend the whole day with committees from the European Youth Parliament. They told us how the organization works, what’s its purpose and how we can also be a part of it.
After the introduction we were divided into three groups, every group had its committee. First, we played some games that helped us remember each other names and get comfortable speaking in English. It was fun and we all laughed a lot.
Then the committees told us the topic we were going to discuss, ours was the climate change. I really enjoyed this activity because I love to discuss my opinions with other people. However, I was kind of disappointed by the lack of activity from a few classmates in our group who haven’t said a single sentence in the discussion. I felt bad for the committee who tried so hard to entertain us.
The last part of the programme was a simulation of GA. We all gathered in one class and presented our ideas and solutions to the rest of our friends. I was quite nervous because I don’t like speaking in front of lot of people but eventually it was okay.
Overall it was a great experience but I didn’t end up signing in because I was afraid that I wouldn’t have time for it.
Tereza Hejduková, kvinta B
On 7th of October I participated in a European Youth Parliament workshop. The participants were supposed to get the general idea of how would a session of the Parliament look like. The people taking care of us and educating us about this were also former delegates so they could speak from a personal experience. At first, they showed us a quick and brief presentation with general info about the program. Then they divided us to three groups that each got a problem to work with. The topics of the problems were Human rights, Climate change and Environment, public health and food safety. Each group went to a different class so we’d have privacy. We did a few get-to-know-each-other games and then we started working on the problems. We worked in pairs, in different pairs and as a whole group and we slowly completed a list of solutions to problems surrounding the given topic. Then we chose several delegates among each group to perform an introductory speech, defence speech, attach speech (on another group’s solutions), response speech (to other group’s attack speech) and an emotional summary speech that was supposed to move others to vote in favour of our solutions. At last all groups got back together to one class and simulated an EYP session (lots of formalities and fancy language!). Each group got to present their ideas and speeches and then everyone voted. All suggestions passed!
This was a very pleasant and interesting experience and I’m very sad that timing won’t allow me to participate in the official event.
Daniela Holecová, kvinta B
On Monday, 7th of October, a few of my classmates and I participated in a sample meeting with representatives of the European Youth Parliament. The event lasted from 8 AM to 2 PM and was ended with a collective debate on tree topics: climate change, LGBT+ rights and legalization of medical cannabis.
At the beginning, we were divided into three groups, each with one mentor and one topic to discuss. First, we played name games to get to know each other a little bit, which was, speaking for myself, unnecessary, since in my group we already knew each other quite well, but it was still fun.
Then we jumped right onto the discussion. Our topic was climate change and we had to solve problems such as how the emissions and greenhouse gases in EU could be reduced. This task was very difficult for us, because most of us aren´t really educated in this topic, so it was quite hard to come up with our own ideas.
However difficult this task seemed, we came up with some good ideas, a defence speech, an attack speech on another group, a response speech to an attack speech on our group and a summary speech in six hours.
This project was interesting because we had an opportunity to try and learn something new, or eventually decide to take a part in the next EYP event. It didn’t impress me that much, but for me it was a great opportunity to improve my English.
Adéla Kotková, kvinta B