Young Ambassadors for Rural Development - YARDs
15 Nov 2008.
The YARDs speak on behalf of young people from rural areas all over the world during this year’s European Development Days.
Updated! There is a much more current feature on the YARDs. See: YARD Homestories in the Globalisation Program “Global 3000” of DW-World.de.
European Development Days 2008 is Europe's first meeting of development cooperation practitioners and decision-makers. Each year the EDD host some 3000 participants from every continent, representing over 1200 organisations in the development community.
Everyone has a say at the EDD: administrations, parliaments, local authorities, civil society, international organisations, academics, development agencies, the private sector and the media.
By breaking down walls between different issues, the EDD serve as a natural platform for debating the major issues of development cooperation and launching new initiatives.
European Development Days 2008
The Young Ambassadors for Rural Development (YARD) discuss their visions for the future during this year’s European Development Days.
YARD Activities on the EDD
Dialogue of Generations
Side Event on Monday, November 17, 2008
14.00—16.00h, Room Tivoli 01
Shaping the future starts with a Dialogue of Generations. On eye-level, the YARDs face high ranking representatives with their daily realities and confront them with their questions. You are invited to join the Dialogue of Generations. In an open discussion the YARDs meet politicians, members of civil society, journalists and YOU!
- What visions do we have for the future?
- What do we need to realise them?
- How can these strengths be unleashed and formed into sustainable initiatives to the benefit of rural people?
- What kind of political framework do we need?
- Europe and the world, young and old, rural and urban: What can we learn and what do we have to learn from each other to save a future worth living?
Stand in the Development Village
The YARDs will also be present with a stand in the Development Village for interviews and discussion. The stand will be a communication hot spot to meet the young ambassadors personally. There will also be possibilities for interviews and bilateral talks. Films of the YARDs and photos will be presented.
During the whole duration of the EDD, a camera team will film the YARDs and their discussions with other participants about the importance and role of rural development and especially the role of youth.
EDD Leaflet en | de | fr
Fact Sheet en | de | fr
Press Invitation en | de | fr
Coordinating Office: GTZ AgenZ
Ute Baumgärtel T +49 30 72614 - 102
Michael Stoyke T +49 30 2067375 - 15
Michaela Wilczek T +49 30 2067375 - 16
Press inquiries: Michaela Wilczek
T +49 30 206 7375-16
M +49 172 3814120
F +49 30 206 7375-29
For security reasons, accreditations for the European Development Days should be applied for via the
French EU presidency
Access is only permitted with accreditation.
A Dialogue of Generations
See the updated video (98MB to load)
Young people from the countryside of all continents express their hopes and visions for the future during the European Development Days 2008 (see box at right) — lively, colourful, and straight to the point. They ask: What is our future? How do we want that future to be? As a background, they unfold the stories of their daily realities.
Download the YARD Flyer en | de | fr
“It is not the impossible which gives cause for despair, but the failure to achieve the possible …”
The question of development is more pressing today than ever before.
Rural development is a field of politics that goes to the root of many challenges of present international politics — but only very rarely it is explicitly recognised to be of significance for resolving these challenges.
Many topics, such as food scarcity, climate change, struggle for resources, especially energy and water, security and biodiversity are directly connected with rural development. And no development will happen without considering the importance of rural areas.
Development is always made by people with visions. And the YARDs — the Young Ambassadors for Rural Development — want to make a change. By sharing their personal stories and experiences they illustrate the importance of rural areas — for all of us.
Young people will be the future decision makers and that is why we should start our discussion today. The dialogue of generations is therefore a chance to learn from each other and to make development happen.
I truly believe that young people are our future.
I wish the YARDs all the best for their mission!
Louis MICHEL | European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid
Who are the YARDs?
YARDs are a selected group of young women and men from all over the world and between 20 and 30 years old — having a rural background and actively influencing and changing the situation in rural areas.
Eka Prahadian Abdurahman | age 26
“It doesn’t take much to be successful when you’re young. Young people have great ideas — and great energy to put these ideas into practice.”
Download Eka’s profile en | de | fr
Francesca Akello | age 31
head of a Malaria Consortium office
“Rural poverty is above all poverty of women and children. I want to help them and to be a role model for them.”
Download Francesca’s profile en | de | fr
Fabian Blöchl | age 22
trained farmer and volunteer
“Many young and qualified people are moving out of rural areas. Young people need a political voice so that we can negotiate — and strengthen confidence in — a future here.”
Download Fabian’s profile en | de | fr
Olivier Dugrain | age 22
project manager for the Organization of Rural Christian Youth (MJRC)
“By cutting out the intermediaries we help farmers stick to traditional agriculture, raise the profits for organic production and at the same time lower the prices for organic produce.”
Download Olivier’s profile en | de | fr
Bilguun Ganbat | age 28
works for the Swiss Agency for Devlepment and Cooperation (SDC)
“Large portions of Mongolia are threatened by desertification. I want to give herdsmen a voice in a process which necessarily means the end of their traditional lifestyle.”
Download Bilguun’s profile en | de | fr
Rachida Izelfanane | age 30
entrepreneur and lecturer
“By cultivating desert crops in the traditional way, I want to improve women’s income while preserving our most important natural resource – water.”
Download Rachida’s profile en | de | fr
Luckson Katsi | age 28
“I grew up in poverty, and today my life is all about the poor again, the poorest of the poor in fact – I want them to be able to live in dignity.”
Download Luckson’s profile en | de | fr
Elena Kruspkaia Mejia Villacis | age 24
works on water and reforestation projects
“They always send engineers and never social workers to rural communities, but rural people have feelings, too. Taking these feelings seriously we can stop the brain drain of rural youth.”
Download Elena’s profile en | de | fr
Damian Longawa | age 21
student, head of the youth section of a small rural NGO
“Many young people from villages like mine feel that rural life is ‘not cool’. They keep saying, ‘nothing depends on me’. I want to fight that state of mind.”
Download Longawa’s profile en | de | fr
Prosper Nambaya | age 32
development banker and farmer
“My personal future lies on a farm – and our shared future lies in the rural areas.”
Download Prosper’s profile en | de | fr
Milena Nikolić | age 27
“The girls and boys I work with are proof that for some people in our country it’s a pleasure to get involved in the community and not a burden.”
Download Milena’s profile en | de | fr
Prateek Tiwari | age 32
businessman and NGO founder
“Indian farmers are predestined to be organic farmers: Their traditional methods of cultivation and keeping livestock protect natural resources.”
Download Prateek’s profile en | de | fr
Do you have ideas, suggestions or comments on the YARD initiative?
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