Since 2005, FORUM has organised several (inter)national journeys for young adults with different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. The purpose of this project is to discover the values of (partial) identities of youngsters, how these can be experienced and what they mean for their own personal and social ambitions. The participants are offered a space for intensive encounters, dialogue and debates. Furthermore, it forms a platform from which to explore possibilities for cooperation between young people from different cultural backgrounds. The project activities are inclusive and reflective on the participating youngsters’ cultural, religious and ethnic diversities. Showing respect for another person by listening to him or her, debating each other’s differences of opinion and vision freely and openly and yet, working together to build a cohesive, decent and peaceful society.
In the spring of 2009 (16-23 May), FORUM – Institute for Multicultural Affairs, in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry for Integration and several Dutch Embassies, organised Connecting Identities United: an international week for young adults focusing on identity development and dialogue.
A selected group of young adults (32 persons) from 8 different countries joined each other in a week of dialogue on topics such as identity, social ambition, international political issues an social diplomacy. The group was mixed as regards age, gender and religion as well as cultural and national heritage, but what else could one expect with participants from Germany, Spain, Poland, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Indonesia and the Netherlands.
During the programme, they had an open and frank conversation with His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange and Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima, and they met with the Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb. Connecting Identities United 2009 took place in Brussels (Belgium) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands).
The travelreport includes the programme of the week mixed with personal experiences by the young participants.