Lingua Franca Programme
The Lingua Franca Programme belongs to the thematic work of WSCF Europe and culminates in a yearly, week-long a camp organized in Central or Eastern Europe for students with limited financial resources. Participants are from different Christian denominations and from Eastern and Central European countries. The Lingua Franca programme’s primary aims are to provide a space for language learning, cultural exchange, ecumenical encounter and ecumenical leadership training. Simple English language is used. It is organized in July or August, outside of most university term times.
Lingua Franca was set up in 1991 by WSCF Europe and EYCE (Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe). The two international youth organisations wanted to show their support of the great changes and developments that were taking place in Eastern and Central Europe at the time and to assist the youth and student initiatives that were beginning to take shape.
Two key areas where support could be offered were identified:
• Language training as a means of helping to break down linguistic barriers between East and West.
• Leadership training to assist movement building in Eastern and Central Europe.
Over the past more than twenty years Lingua Franca has organised language courses organised by youth and students organisations in Eastern and Central Europe – Poland, Belarus, Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Serbia, Czech Republic – for their members. The courses were taught by students and young people from Western and Northern Europe, some from Greece and Italy and also from the USA and Australia.