21 December 2016

Alumni political trainings

When the participants arrived one by one we could see the smiles and excitement on their faces when they reunited with their old friends and some of the trainers. After a short welcome by the institute manager, the Ambassador of the Netherlands gave an inspiring speech emphasising the important relationship between Morocco and the Netherlands.

Professor Moudden gave a short introduction about Democracy. According to the professor we should get more involved in politics, we need an active society. His inspiring quote "We are the problem, but we are also the solution" is something that will be repeated a couple of times during the rest of the weekend.

Team up

After this introduction it was time to team up: the participants could choose between 2 trainings, one about Local governance and Ideology by Annet Doesburg and one about Political Core Values and Communication by Friso Douwstra. Annet fired the first question about why you should (not) vote. Most participants agreed that they don't vote because it's pointless. Other participants spoke up about having to vote in order to make a change.

"Nobody is going to offer you democracy, you have to get it yourself, fight for it, be a part of it"

In the meantime Friso Douwstra was talking upstairs about how to sell a strong message followed by campaigning and communication. The participants teamed up for an assignment: talk about a Real issue for Real people with Real solutions, selling the message using the 3 W's: What do you want? Why do you want it? Why is it important? The participants did great and Friso gave some feedback in order to improve their speaking skills: KISS (Keep it Short and Simple) and think of body language!

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Ready for part two of the training

After a strong dose of caffeine the next morning everyone was ready for part 2 of the training. The participants teamed up again. One half attended the presentation about international politics and democratic values where Jos Denissen talked about how being critical is an important part of democracy. When Jos asked: What makes a democracy a democracy? It turned out that it was rather difficult to answer this because everyone had another definition of democracy.

The other half discussed with Peter Noordhoek about civil society and how to build a society based on democratic values. The group was then divided into two and had to find a solution for two problems: one about changing the community trough change in the school systems and the other one about changing civil society trough social media.

After lunchtime it was time for real action: pitch yourself or debating skills. It turned out that it wasn't that easy to sell yourself in one minute!

The weekend ended with the trainers handing out the certificates to the participants. We congratulate them all and wish them the best of luck in their further careers. Thank you for making this an unforgettable weekend with great memories that will be cherished forever!

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