By Reinoud Meijer (Holland), May 2008
It is an incredible position to be organizing YIP. We are like the bees buzzing around the network, which is like a rich garden and everywhere we get to, YIP can bring something that is beyond what is there already and at the same time YIP receives the substance it ‘lives’ of.
We want to start by saying thank you to all of you who have received YIP so warmly, have understood the potential of this network initiative and have joint with your contributions, partnerships and support.
It is amazing to think that the beginnings of YIP where only just over a year ago at the international Initiative meeting of the YouthSection in January 2007. YIP will be the result of many people, organizations and initiatives contributing part of their efforts to the program, and the program connecting their part into a community effort. This has been what we set out to do, and it’s happening!
Many of the contributors have confirmed their attendance; projects are being prepared in cooperation with local partners in Sweden, Internships are offered and set up with projects in India, Brazil, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia and Russia. The design of the craft-village we will build at the beginning of YIP is up for approval. It looks great and really has the potential of becoming a social hub for the whole area around the Rudolf Steiner seminar in Järna.
Talks have started around the project to connect the different Initiative in Järna through landscaping, land-art and walking paths.
The community housing is arranged and we are setting the food situation up in such a way that not only all participants can eat together, but it is also open to other students and co-workers in the area to join. Like with the craft village, we hope this will bring a strong social element into the already existing community.
For this first year of YIP, we have been talking to some farmers and agricultural education to help us with preparing the soil and planting the vegetables we will look after and use for our meals during YIP.
We have started to accept participants, and so far we have representation from New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Belgium, USA, Germany, South Africa, Switzerland and Israel.
The closing of the registration process is set for the 31st of May.
We have had numerous questions from people who really feel YIP is what would bring them and their initiative further, but that they don’t fit the 25 year age limit we have so far for YIP. Some are people that are already part of the network that is behind YIP. As part of the Swedish Folk High school system, we can not accept participants under the age of 18, however for those over 25 we feel that it will miss the point if we let the age limit determine whether these people can participate in YIP or not.
So, due to popular demand we have decided to also consider some applications from people up to 28 years of age.
We have established a non-profit association called The International Youth Initiative Program (YIP) in Sweden. The members of the board represent four continents thus far. It is a member association open to both individual and institutional members. To find out more about the association, follow this link: http://www.yip.se/association
For now the income from member fees will be used to publish and distribute a newsletter. So even if you just want to stay updated about what’s happening with YIP, feel free to join!
Now that we are a legal body, we are finalizing the contracts concerning, food, lodging and other necessary agreement for the program.
At the moment there are three of us working fulltime on YIP and three part-time. Apart from two paid positions, some very dedicated colleagues do most work in donated time. Thank you so much, you rock!
So far we have received about 35% of the total costs for organizing YIP. This secures the costs of the contributors and one fulltime wage. More applications are pending with various foundations, but any ideas and help on this is greatly appreciated. Some of the participants that have signed up are already helping us research opportunities for scholarships and financial support in their countries.
A number of interviews and articles have been published in newspapers and magazines around the world. Please feel free to contact our ‘PR man’ Mathias Bolt Lesniak (email@example.com) if you would like to help highlight YIP in the public eye.
To make YIP easier to find online, it helps to be linked as often as possible. So please put a link or a banner on your website referring to YIP.
To do so, go to: http://www.yip.se/support_yip
A lively community is starting to take shape on Facebook. To join it, follow this link: http://www.facebook.com/groups/edit.php?members&gid=9148102702
How can you help?
We are in a very exciting point of this project and allot of the work that will be done over the next 4 months will really make YIP what it will be! So please support us and help us by getting involved!
What YIP needs
First and foremost, we are helped best by people all over the world who enthusiastically talk about this network initiative in what ever setting they might be in. YIP is intended as a International Network initiative, but will only be such if it is carried and visible beyond its geographical limitation.
- Private or organization/institution members.
- International and local Internship possibilities
- Contacts to newsletters, magazines etc. for publications
- Financial support for participants (especially for those who come from less fortunate financial backgrounds)
- Financial support for YIP. Be it sponsors, foundations, privates…or innovative ideas how to raise funds.
- Essays, books and videos with relevance to the topics YIP is addressing, to start our library for YIP. Most contributors are suggesting a reading list, which we will put on our website. If you have any titles on the list spare, we’re happy to find them a nice spot on one of the shelves.
For more information and updates, please keep checking www.yip.se