A REFLECTION OF MY FIRST WORK TRIP ABROAD

Warm greetings to my fellow young people, as well as other readers! I would like to share with you my experience as I went abroad for my first work trip at the The IARS International Institute. Recently, I had the tremendous fortune of travelling to and attend the Promyse staff training event in Vilnius, Lithuania. This took place as part of a short-term staff training event put on through IARS International institute among other representative, including Diesis COOP based in Belgium, Diversity Development Group in Vilnius, ICSE & Co in Italy and finally, KMOP in London. All teams came together to discuss Promyse – a project that was founded by the European commission, with the objective to promote social entrepreneurship in the health and social care sector. The whole journey was an unreal experience and greatly expanded my own perspective on the world, youth engagement and of the increasing importance of social enterprise. My fellow colleague, Natalia and I met at Liverpool Street Station to get the train to Stansted Airport. Upon arriving at the hotel at 1am, we retired for the night and prepared ourselves for the busy week ahead. On our first day, we all ushered into the meeting room where we would experience our first encounter with the rest of the team and prepared for the introduction and team building, along with the social networking. Towards the evening, we had a relaxed walk around the beautiful city of Vilnius. There is a variety of Soviet architecture in the city and remarkable buildings like the Seimas Palace which is a symbol of resistance of the Lithuanian nation...
Celebrating European Youth Week by Changing Mind-sets

Celebrating European Youth Week by Changing Mind-sets

1-7 May is European Youth Week, and the IARS International Institute, the leading UK youth-led social policy charity is pleased to disseminate the findings from the 5th IARS Annual International Conference: Youth-led Solutions to Unemployment, the Voices of young marginalised carers” which was held on the 27th April 2017. The Erasmus+ co-funded conference, hosted at the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in London, brought together 110 international delegates including young people with caring responsibilities to explore together organic youth-led solutions for policy and practice. The event was chaired by Simon Israel (IARS Patron and senior Home Affairs Correspondent, Channel 4 News) and Dr. Theo Gavrielides (Founder and Director, IARS International Institute).  Watch them setting the scene for the conference. Professor Gavrielides said: “The UK may have said no to the European Commission, but Erasmus has said yes to our youth. As we celebrate European Youth Week and Parliament is dissolved today, I want to remind everyone where the future of this country and Europe lies. I look forward to continue working with our Institute’s members, users and supporters for building a stronger and more inclusive society for our youth, where “demos” is given real value through statements of truth and reality”. Watch the keynote speech of  Arti Lad, a BAME Young Carer and Member of the IARS Youth Advisory Board presenting her experiences as a young carer in the pursue of employment and education. Watch the keynote speech of Simon Chambers,  Programme Lead, Youth, Erasmus+, UK National Agency, British Council. The conference fostered discussions through workshops and panel debates that aimed to challenge the current discourse, and attitudes used and held among practitioners,...
International Question Time: Combating Hate Crime and Xenophobia through Restorative Justice: Reflections

International Question Time: Combating Hate Crime and Xenophobia through Restorative Justice: Reflections

Author: Gabriel Sanders, 99% Campaign team member and IARS Communications and Policy Intern On the evening of 13 April 2015, at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, some of the most accredited and acutely aware minds of United Kingdom academia gathered to discuss restorative justice and hate crimes, the issues closest to our hearts at IARS. The present writer from the University of California, Davis, was there as well as an unexpected but very fortunate participant. Surveying the room from my place on the panel, I took in the faces of men and women seated in the audience who hailed from widely varied academic and personal backgrounds. To my left sat the three distinguished panelists: hate crime expert Dr. Mark Walters of Sussex University, restorative justice Professor Marelize Schoeman from the University of South Africa, and of course Dr. Theo Gavrieledes, chair of the event and founder of IARS. Fashioning the event after the well-known Question Time T.V. programme, Dr. Gavrieledes guided the panelists through stimulating, hard-hitting questions from attendees of the event. Some were preselected by Dr. Gavrieledes and some were posed spontaneously by the audience. Questions ranged from topics addressing hate crime education in the UK and the US, to the role of religion in hate crimes and restorative justice, to the steps necessary for restorative justice to begin on a large scale between peoples and nations. As the least pedigreed member of the panel, I found myself answering questions in what I heard characterized as a bold, fresh, and even controversial perspective that seemed to complement the well-seasoned and long-researched theories of...
Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Warm Hearts vs. Cold Blood

Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Warm Hearts vs. Cold Blood

Author: Gabriel Sanders, 99% Campaign team member and IARS Communications and Policy Intern Jet-lagged, hungry, and bedraggled, my first encounter with the London Metropolitan Police began when I sat down with several student companions at a Cromwell road restaurant for lunch. The officer had been standing at the bar with his partner, intermittently eyeing our table. Having arrived in this country the previous day, my brain was still swimming in American paradigms; the officer’s presence set me on edge. Why? Lately, in my home country of the United States, a spate of highly publicized incidents of police abusing their authority, and abusing even further the citizens they are sworn to protect has sent waves of discomfort, distress, and outrage through many cities in America. Ethnic minority communities in my small hometown and especially in large metropolitan areas have much more reason to fear their ostensible “protectors” than I ever have or will as a middle-class white male. Notably, the outrage over the lack of any effective indictment of police officers responsible for the deaths of two unarmed African Americans on two separate occasions in 2014 (Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner of New York City) demonstrated an utter lack of public satisfaction or faith. Peaceful, albeit ominous protests occurred nearly every day as investigations took place and the fate of the police officers in question were being determined by the “justice” system. Predictably, however, the situation devolved to a cycle of reprisals in the form of public mayhem and vicious verbal condemnations. Two New York City police officers were murdered in cold blood, and for a time...
E-Democracy: Still a Distant Dream

E-Democracy: Still a Distant Dream

Author’s note: This blog post was written by Editorial Team Creative Associate, Jack Welch. Jack is a graduate in English and Creative Writing from the University of Winchester The mighty click of a mouse these days can speak greater volumes than that of vehement chanting on the streets, placards in hand may just be one summary of the cultural shift of ordinary people voicing their disgust at government policy or when there may be an injustice on their own doorstep. Over that time murmurs of introducing systems of electronic voting and wider technology utilisation within our democracy have continued to rumble on in the UK, which have resulted in steps this year of initiating the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy, led by Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow. Due to feedback in early 2015, one of the commission’s remits which it will be scrutinising is the process of e-voting, or simply, if the ballot should be transferred to the computer. If argued purely from the point of view in accessibility and participation, this would surely present a winning argument. A report by Ofcom found that 83% of adults are now all online, combined with an average 62% overall who use a smartphone. The practicalities of this process though reflect a different kind of proposition, with an independent report on this feature in Estonia, one of the few countries that offer e-voting in all elections, concluded that the system should be withdrawn due to “serious design weaknesses that are exacerbated by weak operational management.” Issues of security, data protection and malware penetration have indicated the severe government limitations...