M.A. EYS Student Portfolio


Initial brainstorming and expectations.

by Óscar Cabral

After I’ve been to the Netherlands, to my Erasmus period, I started to wonder where to position myself in the Youth field. Before I landed in Holland, I’ve been working for a couple of years as a youth worker, in students associations, and collaborating also with the National Youth Council of Portugal. But I never reached the level to see Youth as a puzzle. A puzzle that is constructed time after time, day after day. A puzzle that says to me that Youth is the one that can adapt its daily routine.

With criticism and irreverence, Youth is by definition the most active group within a Society. The one that can think for itself and on what they need, even lacking the so-called life experience. Why to stop it? And here is the main reason of my believes: I think the fact of not giving an active voice to the Youth in decision-making processes that really affects their lifestyle, as on Education and others, is to throw away a very critical and useful mass and a very powerful mechanism to think out of the box. Specially regarding policy-making.

It is a group, as I was expressing above, defined as the ones that breaks up the sociological dogmas on how people behave inside a group and the ones that doesn’t accept chewed models at all levels.

And I reached a conclusion: Youth is really the nevralgic group inside a Society. Because it has the power not only by drawing a Society’s future but also by helping to understand the actual history of a Society, and in a certain way, its past. And this is because, when one speaks about Youth, it is known that one needs also to speak about housing. And about Education. And about Health. And about Employment. And about well-being. And about Justice. And about Politics. And about participation. And about… And about. So the field of Youth includes all the transversal debates towards life quality within a society.

I usually compare Youth to an octupus: on the first sight it might look as a simple animal but as soon as you go deep in its physionomy you’ll soon realize that an octopus has a lot of tentacles – vital mechanisms for its survival. It happens exactly the same to Youth – apparently a group of youngsters but which, after all, has got a huge amount of implications and needs in a society’ organization.

So, in the very final line of my reflection, I would say that I really expect this course to give me basic and first ideas on how to understand such huge octupus.

And for sure it created an excelent platform for me to share what I already found of it.

Don’t stop them now!

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