Power to the people

ABCD Innovation Center


On October 4th 2016, we started our 10 day journey to Moldova as actors for change in human rights and equality. It was an incredible journey that soon became a valuable experience for each of us, a journey that made us better young leaders and human rights defenders.

The purpose of our trip to Moldova was to be a part of the Training Course “Actors for Change” with other youngsters and youth workers from 7 different countries such as Denmark, Romania, Moldova, Georgia, Italy, England and Armenia. We considered the topic of the training of a high importance, so we were super excited and expected a lot to learn, share, experience and practice. After arriving to the venue we met the people with whom we were going to spend the next 10 days. That time we didn't know yet that those people were going to become our big and warm family members.

The training started. From the first day we realized that we were seeking for personal development, intercultural dialog, experience sharing and new friends in a right place.
Sharing the growing sense of importance towards the Human rights and equality in Europe, the training included panel discussion to bring together participants to reflect on such human rights’ aspects as LGBT communities, refugees, children, active citizenship etc. It was amazing to see how young people could respectfully discuss and agree or even disagree on such important topics, how they could change someone’s attitude towards an issue by expressing their opinions. We all changed a bit during this training. We become more reflective, open minded, wide thinking and tolerant. 

It was also a great opportunity to get closer to the issues by listening to stories which included real case introductions by people who personally experienced human rights violations. One of us, Mamoun is a refugee from Syria now living in Denmark. When we had a session about refugee rights we were excited and touched to hear his story and to realize that people who constantly meet human rights violations towards them are actually among us, they are one of us. We think that was the goal that we aimed to reach in this training. It was to realize that we are the creators and defenders of our rights, and if someone is attacked or treated unjustly in our society it means that our race is attacked, and we have to fight for each human being rights.

Another empowering activity we had was the simulation of the UN Security Council, which was not planned, but after two days of training our wonderful and creative trainers decided to challenge us with putting the activity in the schedule. The scenario was Israeli-Palestine conflict. It took us almost 2 hours to achieve nothing but at the end it made us realize obviously that politics are not an easy thing, and it is only possible to achieve consensus by multiple revisions.

The other educative part of training was intercultural experience. Meeting diverse personalities from different cultures made us feel closer to Europe and European values. We had loads of similarities, and that made us feel comfortable while communicating. But at the same time we appreciated the differences we had, which lead to learning new things and becoming more flexible thinkers.

During all this non-formal educative discussions, activities and workshops we learnt about a tool which involves members of the society in the fight for human rights. That is participation and active citizenship. Being an active and caring society member we can change many things for better in our countries, cities, communities, families. It’s not only about politics and elections, it involves many minor issues which have to be noticed and solved by us.

Now we are more familiar with human rights and equality issues and we are determined to promote active citizenship, participation and human rights through involving active young people it this process.

Ani Tarjumanyan