“ENOC has opened up doors of friendship for me”: Visiting Paris for ENYA 2017

Last week, guest blogger Jack wrote about his experiences visiting Paris with this year’s ENYA project, which lets young people air their views on a children’s rights issue to the annual conference of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC). This week, guest blogger Georgia writes about her own trip to France’s capital.

People always say that you fall in love with the culture of Paris upon first sight; this was no different for myself. Only I had the privilege of falling in love with many European cultures through participating in the amazing ENOC conference.

Although we came to Paris with the intention of raising awareness for young people and issues concerning them, RASAC (the Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre, Perth & Kinross) did that and so much more.

We presented our recommendations, listened and empathised with the challenges facing other countries’ young people— to my surprise, there were many issues that Scotland could relate to that were raised by countries such as Malta and Cyprus.

These issues included neglect from those leading the education system to the everyday sexism that women in Europe are exposed to.

I personally enjoyed the conversations and discussions that involved the young people and ombudspersons— this destroyed the barrier between us, and there were open thoughts that were respected and took on board.

Alongside this educational experience, ENOC has opened up doors of friendship for me too. Due to my participation in the conference I have friends all over Europe, and I treasure every moment I spent with the young people: I only wish I had longer with them.

It was amazing to spend time with such like-minded people driven to see a change and shift in society. For this I have to thank everyone involved in the campaign for giving the young people in Europe the chance and opportunity to be heard and listened to.

From this opportunity, I hope to see a positive effect for all young people. I am also looking forward to seeing my new friends from Cyprus in the coming months, and I have to credit that to the ENOC campaign. It has truly been the most eye-opening experience of my lifetime, and I have felt blessed to be a small part in the process.