Sitting down to debate our ideas but also being able to listen to others’ is a pending issue at the global level.
Today we’re telling you how young undergraduates are going ahead together to achieve it!
Today we celebrate World Youth Day. Approximately one billion young people live in the world today. That means that one person out of five is between 15 and 24 years old.
This youth population in much of the world is highly exposed to problems such as poverty, unemployment and discrimination. However, it is also that young people the ones that have the potentiality to be the solution to their own problems by means of participation.
More than 400 university students from 90 countries have been meeting since 2011 to discuss social, economic, political and ecological issues that affect us all. Each year they meet at the World University Debating Championship in Spanish for a week to discuss the best ideas and purposes.
The spanish María García and Carmen Vallecillo came to Guatemala in 2017 where they experienced the final from the audience and from that moment they understood that if they wanted to get there they would have to work hard. And a year later they were the ones who took the stage – this time in Chile – to impress in their discussions about the feminist movement #MeeToo and the creation of international truth and reconciliation commissions. They managed to win the world title!
For Maria and Carmen, talking about feminism in their finale was a gift, both girls are convinced that women can get anything they want. Maybe they are the proof! This is why these competitions, in which young university students from all over the world come together, have become the perfect platforms to make themselves heard.
The two university women were aware that they had to be informed all year round about what was happening in all the countries because any current issue could be the question of the next round of the championship. Carmen is studying Medicine and María Law and Business, which they say has been very positive because they complement each other very well.
[mkd_blockquote text=”“If I had to keep something to myself it would be that we both managed to get the best out of each other and trusted each other blindly. There are many times when one of the couple has to take the reins and save the debate (because the other person doesn’t know about it, is going through a bad personal time or is just exhausted), and there you have to be generous”. – Carmen Vallecillo” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]
The competition is frenetic, you get the question 15 minutes before the debate and you can’t use electronic devices. It’s about being able to think the arguments by yourself and having read about it! When that time is up, there will be four couples in the room, two of whom will be in favor and the other two will be against. If you ask them, they’ll tell you that sometimes it’s hard when you have to defend something you don’t believe in, but because of that you force yourself to ask yourself what reasons make the other person think differently from you and understand them, even if you don’t share it. At the end, it’s an exercise in empathy!
If anyone should think of being disrespectful, the organization of the event – which is also made up of young university students – has designed the ‘equity’ department. What is it? It’s a group of people in charge of ensuring that the values of respect and equality are observed in all the rooms. Fortunately, they rarely need to act!
[mkd_blockquote text=”“Sitting down to express your ideas but being able to listen to the other person also gives you a broader view of all the issues. Perhaps that is what is needed today among many leaders, communities and individuals. Youth have a lot to do!”. – Carmen Vallecillo” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]
Also discussing ideas with three other couples of young people in the room brings up many that you hadn’t thought of it. It’s not uncommon to see competitors talking at half-time about arguments that they have seemed cool to them to apply to the real world. Later, it will be the judges who decide which pair has been the best.
But it wasn’t all about competition, there’s time to chat, get to know each other, make jokes and party. There’a lot of people so they don’t know many students at first but at the end of the week they have friends of all nationalities and sometimes even international relationship.
It’s great to see how university youth from all over the world have built an event that opens the door to diversity of opinions and cultures, and that promotes education in values and critical thinking among youth. The only bad thing is that on their return home it will be more difficult for parents to win the discussions at home! Good luck! 💪😅
Happy #InternationalYouthDay to everyone from Moneytrans team! 😘
#UN4Youth #SafeSpaces4Youth #YouthDay
At Moneytrans we want to do our bit by spreading the word about some initiatives that promote education, women’s empowerment and global integration. We are not just a money transfer company, we are many more. Discover all the actions we take and JOIN OUR CHALLENGES!