We are proud to let you know that from 31 May to 3 June we will be at (* the European Parliament of) Strasbourg to talk about Servas!
Natasha, Angela, Sara, Alexandra, Simao, Lisa, Julia, Aurora, Josselim, Hanae, Francesco, Sara, Emma, Cecilia, Nicola: these are the names of the 15 Servas young people who will take part in the EYE 2018, an event dedicated to young European people between 16 and 30 years of age. The meeting will take place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg during the first weekend of June 2018. It is an opportunity to give voice to thousands of boys and girls like us. We will discuss issues related to the youth world through workshops and debates.
We will personally propose our dream of a future Europe, characterized by so many skin colors, languages, and stories. A Europe that says NO to discrimination, and YES to integration, which enhances the dialogue between different cultures and life experiences. The Europe which has been the dream of many peace-builder activists, like Bob Luitweiler, the founder of Servas.
It is not by chance that we ourselves compose a multicultural group: we are Italians from Bergamo, Catania, and Bari, and among us, there are also students and workers of Pakistani, Filipino, Moroccan and Ukrainian origin. We are 11 members of Servas Italia + 1 member of Servas Portugal and 1 of Servas Germany.
By simply looking at the variety in our own group, it is clear that we are all surrounded by many different nuances of the same color, and who does not like rainbows?
The Youth Servas intervention in the European Parliament has its roots in the issues related to the last Servas Youth Camp, that is, in the Declaration of Human Rights and the need for social justice to affirm peace.
Taking into account that first article of the Declaration states that "Every human being, as such, is born free and equal, with equal opportunities and rights ..." and in article 13 " every individual has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the confines of every state ... " we cannot but recognize that a lot still has to be done.
We are young people coming ALSO from non-European countries but we all feel as citizens of the world. We would like a "universal citizenship", an international conscience, such as Servas offers us.
It will be interesting to speak about, and let our European peers be acquainted with, Servas philosophy, which is particular and for this very reason is to be shared and showed to them with pride.
The concepts of Servas hospitality and Servas way of traveling are undoubtedly examples of how we can practice solidarity and mutual knowledge in simple and authentic ways. Today many people would never dare to let someone they barely know stay overnight at their house. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that today we are all more and more suspicious. But why? Aren’t we, after all, all similar, much as we are different?
Change begins with each one of us, so if we want to have a world which is safer and more peaceful we have to work for it.
Hospitality, superior to any ethnic specification or political views, means opening the doors of your house, letting someone enter your living room and possibly your life. It, therefore, appears here as a good first important step on such a path.
By Servas Youth Italy