The Referendum has created uncertainty for everyone in the international education and youth sector. We believe in the transformative power of international experience for young people, and we strive to offer these opportunities as widely as possible. The Erasmus+ Programme is a financial mainstay of this work: few other significant sources of funding exist for international projects. There is now a real fear that this could be lost. Although the National Agency has issued a statement that nothing will change in the short term, there is no clarity about what will happen after 2017.
More importantly, young people themselves (particularly those aged 16-17) are feeling frustrated, disorientated and (rightly or wrongly) marginalised by the Referendum result. Social media have been buzzing with anger, cynicism and sadness, Facebook groups have been set up, numerous petitions have been circulated. But all this merely intensifies the frustration.
An outlet is needed. So EuroPeers UK is expanding its mission. With support from Momentum World, this newly fledged youth network will play a leading role in campaigning for the UK to continue as a full Programme Country within Erasmus+, regardless of the overall settlement with the EU. The campaign will be youth led. It will be positive. It will engage and empower young people all around the UK and beyond. It will unite people who, wherever they stand on “Brexit” as a whole, still believe in the value of intercultural learning. It will create opportunities for young people to develop leadership, communication and teamworking skills and to take responsibility as active citizens. It will look to the future, respecting the democratic decision but ensuring that young people have a voice in what comes next.
Our fundraising campaign for EuroPeers UK will be launched immediately after the summer holidays, at the beginning of September.
Now is our chance to make a difference. Whether you are a young person who wants to get involved, an educator who would like to join our training team, or a sponsor who could support this exciting initiative, please get in touch. EuroPeers UK needs you.