WSCF Europe            

Shortcut Navigation:

World Student Christian Federation Europe Region Living faith together for justice. Learn More

News

  1. Call for applications: ‘You(th) Voice: faith & advocacy for human rights in the 21st century

    A strong civil society is essential for democracy and the rule of law. A diverse and pluralist civil society has paramount importance in achieving sustainable and inclusive development, good governance and responsible citizenship. One of the key factors ensuring that democracy and human rights are guaranteed is to encourage young people to take an active role in society. The Council of Europe’s recent work on the issue of youth participation affirms that the younger generations are, in fact, very much committed to actively address issues in their communities and wider society.

    To further strengthen this activism, authorities and civil society organisations should ensure that young people, especially those coming from the religious communities, are included in civic spaces. Therefore, it is crucial to elevate young voices when promoting democracy, human rights, justice and peace on all levels, from local to global.

    The capacity-building of our member movements and young people with a shared agenda on justice and peace has always been one of our  key activities. We continue to support youth participation, active citizenship, access to rights and opportunities, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    The Advocacy and Solidarity Working Group is inviting representatives of the WSCF member movements from Europe and beyond and a number of young people from partner organisations to take part in its first Winter School, titled “You(th) Voice: Faith and Advocacy for  human rights in the 21st century”, which will be run online, from 27th to 30th  November 2020.

    Aims and objectives

    The Winter School aims to educate and empower young people to participate in civil society, addressing the issues that affect their lives and the communities they live in.

    The specific objectives we set for this training course are to:

    • helping participants find empowerment in the unique intersection of religion/church and civil rights;
    • helping uproot the political movement that seeks to obstruct the exercise of the most vital rights and
      freedoms;
    • providing historical background on the human rights movement and the role that religions/churches played
      in civil rights movements worldwide;
    • providing specific insight into the work of some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and International Organisations (IOs);
    • creating a safe and constructive environment for conversations about the future and establishing strong cooperation between young people from Europe and beyond, encouraging them to advocate and plan common campaigns and activities;
    • motivating young people to further share the information and experience they will gain during the training course in their communities and movements, in particular through the development and implementation of their actions and campaigns; and
    • training young people in advocacy skills, and enabling them to formulate policy arguments, communicate with confidence and deliver effectively.

    Programme

    The training programme will include daily online sessions built on non-formal education principles and participant-oriented approaches. The project leadership team will ensure that the entire programme is based on the active participation of young people. We expect that the invited delegates will interact and exchange with the trainers, facilitators of the sessions and with other participants of the training course.

    During the 4-day training programme, young people will have opportunities to learn from interactive lectures, field experts’ talks, discuss case studies, work in pairs, small and big groups, receive individual support from the trainers in the form of the mentoring sessions, gain knowledge on various advocacy tools and methods, reflect during daily debriefings, share their own experience, best practices and develop a clear vision on how to maximise outcomes for their communities and movements.

    To ensure the smooth and efficient learning process of the training course, the number of selected participants to take part in the Winter School will be limited (max. 30 people). Therefore, selected participants must commit to taking part in the whole duration of the training course – that means that participating in all daily sessions is obligatory and direct and personal interaction between the participants and organisers of the Winter School will be expected.

    All selected participants will receive full technical and on-boarding support for three weeks before the Winter School. A detailed daily programme and all other relevant documents will be provided before the start of the Winter School. The working language of the training programme will be English.

    Profile of participants

    We invite the students and young people from WSCF member movements in Europe, WSCF member movements in other regions, representatives of WSCF-Europe partner organisations, youth leaders, youth activists, youth workers who:

    • commit to take part in the daily online sessions, contribute to the discussions and exchange with the experts, facilitators of the sessions and other participants on the issues raised during the Winter School;
    • have experience or interest in actively participating in society or policy-making at local and/or regional levels;
    • are willing to bring valuable insight from their own countries and communities in regards to human rights and civic participation;
    • are open and motivated to cooperation and common understanding; are
    • willing to further share the information obtained during the training course and disseminate the results within their movements and communities.

    Application procedure and selection of participants

    Young people interested in taking part in the Winter School must submit the completed application form by 1st November 2020. Participation in the entire programme is compulsory, and it is not possible to attend only one session of the training course.

    The leadership team of the Winter School will select the participants based on their motivation and will ensure that invited participants represent a balanced group with regards o gender, geography, cultural and religious background and experience.

    Selected young people will receive the confirmation of acceptance to the training course shortly after the application deadline.

    All enquiries related to the Winter School should be sent the email address .

    The leadership team is looking forward to hearing from you and receiving your applications for the Winter School.

    Julia Alexandra Pocze, WSCF-Europe Programme Coordinator
    Marta Sappé Griot, European Representative on the WSCF Executive Committee
    Shoghakat Muradyan, WSCF-Europe Treasurer
    Natia Tsintsadze, WSCF Executive for Europe & Program Director for Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation

    wscfe-editor

    September 7th, 2020 9:58 pm | Continue Reading
  2. #Blacklivesmatter

    #blacklivesmatter

    Following the ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the United States of America, we feel compelled to make the following statement:

    WSCF-Europe strives for more diversity on all levels – global, European, national and local.

    We, as WSCF-E, do not tolerate racism, hate and discrimination of any kind. We stand with all people affected by discrimination and violence.

    We recognize that systemic racism is not just a problem in the USA, but also in Europe. While the European community is built on the celebration of diversity, the problem of racism is still present in our countries. And even though racial bias, hate and discrimination might look different in the European context, the fight against racism is and should be, a global issue.

    Police brutality against Black people is only one alarming symptom of systemic racism. The history of people of colour, but especially of Black people, has been tainted by oppression, violence and prejudice, as they have been enslaved, exploited and stripped of dignity and human rights. A history that has been caused largely by white Europeans, looking to colonize and conquer the whole world. Therefore, we acknowledge the role we and our countries, ancestors and churches have played in this and are committed to not just do better, but to dismantle white supremacy.

    As a diverse organisation, our mission is to educate, activate and advocate for an inclusive community.

    And as Christians, we believe that all people are created equal in the image of God and as our siblings. We distance ourselves from all Christians neglecting the current discussion and the responsibility we have in the process of fighting for love and tolerance. We are taught by Jesus Christ to love one another, to stand against injustice and to raise our voice for the ones in need as we are all one in Christ (Gal 3:28). According to our motto at WSCF-Europe, “proclaiming faith together for justice”, we strive for equality, for loving acceptance and for the end of systemic oppression and racism.

    We pledge to continue working for a more just and accepting society for all people and we urge you to join us on this mission.

    Black lives matter!

    June 2020, European Regional Committee

    wscfe-editor

    July 20th, 2020 10:00 pm | Continue Reading
  3. Pride 2020

    WSCF-Europe wants to wish you all a happy Pride. We are very proud that many of our members are Christian members of the LGBTQ+ community. Many of us are, no doubt, disappointed that the Pride month festivities are cancelled this year. Getting together and celebrating in June brings joy to many members of the LGBTQ+ community, and this, in many ways, is similar to the sense of community that is so important to Christians. Corona virus has forced both communities to go without their vital physical ‘togetherness’ and we can empathise with each other. Let us pray that technology provides a worthwhile substitute to us in this trying time. Let us celebrate in whatever means is available to us!

    This Pride, as every Pride, we call on all faith communities to honour same sex relationships and gender diversity in their teachings. We also advocate that all faith communities accept and acknowledge those in transition. This Pride, we are all very aware of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Too often the relative safety of our LGBTQ+ members is dependent on race and economic background. We respect and draw your attention to the importance of #translivesmatter, as trans people can be among the most vulnerable in our community.

    As Christians we know that, in Luke 17:23, when Christ states that the Kingdom of God is amongst us, He did not mean simply straight-cis-gendered believers, but all who call on His name and praise Him. WSCF also calls on any who would use the words of scripture to spread hate, to remember the words of Galatians 5:14 ‘For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.

    June 2020, European Regional Committee

    wscfe-editor

    July 20th, 2020 9:38 pm | Continue Reading
  4. WSCF-Europe Cookbook: Call for contributions

    What is the taste of your childhood? What dishes remind you of your home and home country? What do you cook when you feel homesick or want to celebrate your traditions?

    WSCF-Europe needs your recipe suggestions for the WSCF-Europe Cookbook. If you have a recipe you would like to share with us, here’s what we need from you:

    • A recipe for an appetizer, main dish or dessert;
    • A photo of the dish, preferably (but not compulsory) from when you cooked it;
    • A photo and/or description of the food culture in your country/Student Christian Movement (SCM);
    • Translation in your language of the following words: “Enjoy your meal”, “delicious”;
    • A short prayer (optional).
    If you have plenty of ideas and want to share more than just one recipe,
    please do not hesitate do so. Send us your contribution by emailing it to 

    wscfe-editor

    May 10th, 2020 1:50 am | Continue Reading
  5. MOZAIK 39: Together Against Youth Extremism

    The 39th issue of our ecumenical journal MOZAIK has now been published! The new issue focuses on the topic of youth extremism, its causes, manifestations and consequences. As it is the tradition for MOZAIK, the new issue tries to bring together reflections from our previous training sessions, namely our Ecumenical Leadership Training in Kobuleti, Georgia, and our training on combating youth extremism, which took place in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Among the contributors to this new issue, we count: Khattar Abou Diab, Franco-Lebanese political scientist, geopolitical consultant and specialist in Islam and the Middle-East;  Slava Mezhdoyan, youth worker, informal education trainer and president of Umbrella, a youth-focused Georgian NGO; and many others! All contributions are supplemented by carefully-crafted graphics, that artistically portray the different meanings and messages that the new MOZAIK is analysing. Enjoy your reading!

    The latest issue can be found on Issuu: https://issuu.com/wscfeurope/docs/mozaik39_issuu_version.

    wscfe-editor

    April 1st, 2020 12:47 am | Continue Reading
  6. Katerina Mavroeidi

    KATERINA MAVROEIDI

    Outreach Coordinator

    outreach@wscf-europe.org

     

    “I am Katerina and I am the Outreach Coordinator of WSCF-Europe. I manage the social media, and I participate in the creation of campaigns and other creative tasks. I currently study Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Milan, but my interests also involve drawing, travelling and everything that needs some creativity. I see my values reflected in WSCF -Europe’s vision, so I am really thankful to be part of the team.”

    wscfe-editor

    March 29th, 2020 9:25 pm | Continue Reading
  7. Júlia Alexandra Pőcze

    JULIA ALEXANDRA POCZE

    Programme Coordinator

    @wscf-europe.org

     

    “My name is Julia and I was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. For the past three and a half years, I have been living in Germany, in the small Bavarian town Passau, where I am studying Law, specializing in public international law and international economic law. I have been brought up in the Lutheran faith, actively participating in the congregation alongside my parents, but it was not until I started university that my faith became especially important to me. I joined a local Student Christian Movement (SCM), that I have grown to regard as my second family, and where I have been enthusiastically attending and organizing events for the past years.

    My SCM and other international projects provided me with invaluable experiences that ultimately motivated me to apply to become a Programme Coordinator for WSCF-Europe. As part of the European Regional Committee, I hope to achieve two things: create opportunities for other young people, similar to those that shaped me as a person, so that they can broaden their horizons and meet new people and cultures while doing so. Secondly, I hope to bring faith closer to my generation and enable a progressive, constructive interfaith dialogue.”

    wscfe-editor

    March 29th, 2020 8:55 pm | Continue Reading
  8. Shoghakat Muradyan

    SHOGHAKAT MURADYAN

    Treasurer

    treasurer@wscf-europe.org

     

    “I am Shoghakat, and I am 24 years old. I am from Armenia, and I am a former student of Marketing and Trade. Previously, I was a Chariperson and Board Member of the Armenian Student Christian Movement, which created my connection with WSCF, back in 2013, when I attended my first international youth program in Romania. Since then, my movement became a member of WSCF, I had the opportunity to participate in many conferences and training sessions of the organization, and I had life-changing experiences and gained understanding of the importance of Christian youth in nowadays society.

    Now I am delighted to be chosen as Treasurer of WSCF-Europe, which I am sure will be another imporant attempt to share my knowledge and support with ERC. Most importantly, I will be involved in budget preparations and financial management, sharing budgeting reports and ensuring the stability and improvement of WSCF-Europe.”

    wscfe-editor

    March 29th, 2020 8:22 pm | Continue Reading
  9. CANCELLED: Study Session ‘Confessing Church today: combating right wing populism as Christians’

    We regret to inform you that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and restrictions, we have had to cancel our study session “Confessing church today: combating right-wing populism as Christians”. We are currently looking at the possibility of rescheduling this event for some time in the future.

    For the last decade, right wing populism has been gaining visibility all around Europe, and the existence and relevance of this can no longer be denied – it is already part of the institutional bodies in many European countries. Our lives are affected by right wing populism, daily discussions about this phenomenon are omnipresent.

    But do we actually know what we are discussing? Do we actively seek ways to interact with it and take the discussion to a higher level? Does our Christian identity influence our perception and how? Are we ready to challenge right wing populism? Probably not yet, but we, at WSCF-Europe and the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, are ready to accept the challenge with you and work on innovative approaches.

    The aim of the Study Session is to empower young Europeans…
    … to understand the idea behind and the methods used by right wing populism.
    … to interact with it from an individual and church perspective.
    … to learn from each other.
    … to grow to act as multipliers.

    During the training we will…
    … get to know different realities from all across Europe.
    … discover new ways to address this issue.
    … explore the Christian perspective on right wing populism.
    … gain insights from a local organization active in the field.
    … use innovative and informal methods when speaking about difficult topics.
    … prepare each other for taking the discussion to our individual backgrounds.

    You should apply if…
    … you are eager to gain an understanding of what right wing populism is.
    … you are keen to work with an international group on ways to challenge yourself.
    … you are ready to share your experience and learn from each other.
    … you are curious about how to make a difference.
    … you are 18-35 years young.

    The meeting
    … is held by WSCF-Europe and the Council of Europe Youth Department.
    … will take place in Budapest on May 4-8, 2020.
    … has a participation fee of 50€, accommodation, food and travel being covered.
    … requires at least 90% attendance commitment from you.

    The application deadline is March 15, 2020 (extended). Please apply through by completing this form.

    If you have any questions, please contact .

    Could I ask you to add this note to the call for applications for the Study Session?
    Please note: Due to the Coronavirus situation activities at the Council of Europe’s European Youth Centres in Strasbourg and Budapest are suspended for March and April. The current activity in this call is not affected for the moment, but depending on how the situation evolves, further activities may be postponed or cancelled. The organisers will make sure that all applicants are duly informed and restrictions are applied.

    wscfe-editor

    February 20th, 2020 4:49 pm | Continue Reading
  10. 2019 – Year in Review

    As 2019 comes to an end, the WSCF-Europe team reflects on all the activities undertaken over the past 12 months. It’s been a busy year, which brought about a lot of change, including new activities, new ideas and topics for discussion, and a new European Regional Committee (ERC). Here’s what we’ve been up to in 2019!

    1 – ERC and Staff Meeting

    25-28th April; Malente, Germany.

    We started the year with a meeting for our European Regional Committee and staff, which took place between 25-28th April, in Malente, Germany. The aim of the meeting was to discuss issues facing the region and to plan activities for the rest of the year. The team also discussed ways of strengthening the relationship of WSCF-Europe with our affiliated and associated Student Christian Movements (SCMs), and ways of improving our fundraising and communications. The meeting was funded through the Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Union.

     

    2 – Lingua Franca Leadership Training

    14-19th May; Kobuleti, Georgia

    The first event of the year was our Lingua Franca Leadership Training, which took place between 14-19th May, in Kobuleti, Georgia. This was the first edition of the Lingua Franca Programme, which first started in 1991, after a break of a few years, so we were really pleased to be able to host this event in 2019. The theme of the training was “Shared future, shared responsibilities: Empowering a new generation of Europeans”, and the focus was on developing leadership, language, ecumenical and inter-cultural skills. The event was made possible by funding received from Otto per Mille Valdese.

     

    3 – National Scoping Study on Youth Extremism

    February-July.

     

    The key topic addressed through most of our events in 2019 was that of youth extremism, and in particular how to identify and challenge youth extremism leading to violence. To set the ground for the events that we organised later on in the year, from February to July, we undertook a scoping study to help us understand the various types of extremism that movements and young people, from across the SCMs we are working with, are witnessing or are faced with. This involved having conversations with our SCMs, experts in the field and other key stakeholders, running surveys to get their views, and encouraging young people to reflect on youth extremism in their country and local community. This activity was funded by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

     

    4 -European Regional Assembly

    3rd-8th October; Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Between 3rd-8th October, delegates of SCMs from across Europe, WSCF-Europe committee and staff members, and WSCF-Europe partners and Senior Friends, have all gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the 2019 European Regional Assembly. The Assembly is the highest decision-making body of WSCF Europe, and gathers bi-annually. The Assembly discussed issued facing the Federation and plans for the future, and voted on a number of amendments to the WSCF-Europe By-Laws and the new ERC members. The Assembly was funded by the European Commission, and supported by our local partners, YMCA Denmark.

     

    5- Training Session “Challenge it: Exploring approaches & innovation for combating youth extremism”

    2nd-6th November; Utrecht, the Netherlands.

    Continuing work on the topic of youth extremism, young people from across Europe have gathered between 2nd and 6th November, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, for the training session “Challenge it: Exploring approaches & innovation for combating youth extremism”. The training addressed questions, such as: ‘What is extremism?’, ‘What are the reasons behind it?’, and ‘What is the role of young people in combating it?’, through interactive activities and discussions. The training session was funded by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

     

    6 – Workshop “The Anatomy of Extremism: Identifying the problem – a first step toward solving it”

    30th November; Kiev, Ukraine.

    On 30th November, WSCF Europe former Campaigns Coordinator and dear friend, Pavlina Manavska, delivered a workshop, titled “The Anatomy of Extremism: Identifying the problem – a first step towards solving it”, which focused on the topic of combating extremism leading to violence. The workshop was organised in Kiev, Ukraine, in collaboration with SCM Ukraine, and was part of the wider WSCF Europe 2019 campaign on youth extremism, funded by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

     

    In 2019, we also continued to publish our MOZAIK ecumenical journal, with the latest release being published in August and focusing on diversity and inclusion from a European youth perspective.

    We want to thank all our Student Christian Movements, supports, friends, participants, volunteers, and donors for helping us achieve all of these things! We look forward to seeing you all at the WSCF General Assembly and at our Study Session in 2020!

     

    wscfe-editor

    December 31st, 2019 7:16 pm | Continue Reading