Brussels: gallery from Engage Europe summer school #2

Engage London sent eight young people to the Engage Europe media summer school in Brussels, hosted by the programme co-ordinator, IHECS. Here’s the story in eight portraits

1 We’ve arrived in Belgium for summer school (25-28 June 2018)

Brussels Midi – Charlie, Naomi, Nicola, Savvas, Diana, Favour, Meagan, Matt, Rahim (and one more to join us, Alun) (c) Engage London

2 Here’s where we are staying, Hostel Bruegel, close to Sablon

Engage Europe participants meet up – here are students and staff from Spain, Germany and London (UK). There were also staff and students from Cluj-Napol in Romania. (c) Engage London

3 Last team member to join us

Alun Macer-Wright makes the first day’s plenary at IHECS, a journalism/media uni in Belgium, just in time to join the Engage Europe workshops with students and young people from Romania, Spain, Germany, Belgium and the UK. IHECS journalism school is close to the famous Manneken Pis (c) Engage London

4 IHECS journalism school is in the centre of Brussels

IHECS (this pic will be changed to the full group portrait when it is sent on from Engage Europe) (c) Engage London

5 Trip to the European Parliament (Engage Europe is co-funded by the Erasmus Programme of the EU)

First time visit to the European Parliament for five Engage London students – Charlie, Favour Alun, Diana and Naomi – who met Julie Ward, MEP for North West England (c) Engage London

6 A taster from just one of the workshops linking civil society with uni skills – this one involved portrait photography #baghead #ostcollective

In the back streets of Brussels summer school workshop had turned a garage into a photo studio to connect academia with civil society and mix up the formal portrait using skills of #octcollective. Here are Pilion Trust CEO Savvas Panas and Islington Faces’ Nicola Baird in disguise (c) Engage London

7 After sharing our summer school work there were certificates and a party

Scenes from the photo booth at the IHECS hosted party at Loft 58 – Romanians, British, Spanish, German and Belgian students all know how to party. (c) Engage London/Matt Hardy

8 Goodbye lunch

Delicious lunch at Les Cercle des Voyageurs near IHECS, in Brussels (c) Engage London

Engage London has approx 27 members – a lucky eight were able to attend the Brussels summer school at IHECS from 24-28 June. They were Pilion Trust’s Rahim Amin, Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie, Charlie Tshibangu and City’s journalism undergrads Matt Hardy, Alun Macer-Wright, Diana Serenli, Meagan Walker. Big thanks to Engage Europe for creating this opportunity.

Brussels: World Cup round up #1

Round up of watching the Russia 2018 World Cup in Brussels after the inspiring media workshops at the Engage Europe summer school in Belgium. Report by Engage London’s Charlie Tshibangu (England fan) written on the Eurostar back to London just before the Belgium v England game…

Manneken Pis in central Brussels is dressed in the Belgian football strip ready for the England v Belgium game. The statue has his clothes changed twice a day but is naked by night. (c) Engage London

Watching the matches in a bar in Brussels is a great atmosphere, you get to experience the rollercoaster emotions football gives you with a mix of fans such as Portuguese, German, as well as the Belgian fans (while drinking the famous Belgian beer or two!).

Being a football fan myself and watching all the games in Brussels, it made me get to know and look at the city in a different light. They really embraced their team, plastering the city with posters of players and hanging their flags everywhere you looked… which for me was great.

I asked every Belgian person I came across about their thoughts on the big Belgium V England draw scheduled for Thursday 28 June. Surprisingly a few were less optimistic about their squad and their chances of winning against us. Unfortunately for us, and fortunately for them, they ended up beating us 1-0 by a brilliant goal from Adnan Januzaj.

CAPTION: Football is huge in Brussels – here Morocco fans celebrate a draw (2:2 with Spain). Film by Engage London/Matt Hardy

The 2018 Russia World Cup has been eventful so far, two weeks in and there has already been a couple of heartbreaks. The latest disappointment being Germany, the former 2014 World Cup Champions have crashed out of the group stages.

Germany’s first blow came when they lost their opening game 0-1 when they took on an energetic Mexican side, with the young Mexican Lozano nicknamed ‘Chucky’ grabbing the win. When time came to redeem themselves in their second game against Sweden the Germans answered the critics by adding a much needed 3 points to their account when they beat the Swedes 2-1 with Toni Kroos scoring a 90th minute free-kick at the very last seconds of a frustrating game, the goal without a doubt making its way in top 3 position in best goal of the competition.

Moving forward from their 2-1 win, they took on South Korea who were branded this week as one of the worst teams of the competition having failed to win a single game in their campaign.

Germany as expected created a number of chances failing to score a single goal which would later come back to haunt them as South Korea took their chance in on the 90th minute scoring on corner kick. Germany’s demise continued when the world number 1 goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was caught outside his goal which led to a easy tap in by the Tottenham Hotspur striker Heung-Min Son making the final results 0-2 to South Korea.

The Koreans triumph over the Champions, caused them to be eliminated. It’s the earliest exit for Germany since the competition began in 1938. Some might say this could be one of the most shocking moments of the World Cup since Brazil’s humiliating 7-1 defeat back in 2014.

Other teams whose journeys were cut short are Panama, Tunisia, Iceland, Senegal and Nigeria.

Nigeria was the most unfortunate of the bunch after letting their qualification ticket slip when Argentina’s centre back Marcos Rojo’s volley from an 80th minute corner kick.

For everyone it’s a rollercoaster of emotions.

  • Engage London has approx 27 members – a lucky eight were able to attend the Brussels summer school at IHECS from 24-28 June. They were Pilion Trust’s Rahim Amin, Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie, Charlie Tshibangu and City’s Matt Hardy, Alun Macer-Wright, Diana Serenli, Meagan Walker. Big thanks to Engage Europe for creating this opportunity.

Romania workshop: live digital

Nobody on the Engage London team had been to Romania before, so there was real excitement about going to Cluj-Napoca. Here’s a brief photo story showing some of our workshop highlights.

Pic 1: Introducing ourselves

Engage London presentation in Romania by Pandora Khody, Surelle Stevens and Savvas Panas. (c) Engage London

Pic 2: Trying live reporting

Pandora Khody reporting live from Romania. (c) BS/Engage London                                 1)Here’s Pandora Khody reporting about the digital revolution in Cluj.

2) Blow enjoy the TV voice over made about Romanian sport, starring Surelle Stevens.

Pic 3: Getting to know a place

Exploring the streets of Cluj-Napoca on the last morning. (c) SP/Engage London

Barbara, Savvas and Nicola made clear to the Engage London participants before the Romania trip that: “It’s a WORKING TRIP, not a holiday. The visit includes some sightseeing, but attendance and participation at the workshop is expected.” So it was good that there was some sightseeing built into the workshop schedule. We all liked discovering this student city.

Pic 4: Selfie sightseeing

Surelle Stevens: “Cluj was amazing”. (c) SS/Engage London

Summing up
Engage London learnt many things on this trip. Huge thanks to Engage/Inspire Romania for this opportunity. Savvas from the Pilion Trust: “Our visit to Cluj was lovely. Cristina and colleagues picked us up and looked after us so well. We had good interaction with the team.”

There were four teams at Romania, here are the other two films.

 

Meet the team: Charlie Tshibangu

Meet our Engage London team in Brussels. Here’s Charlie Tshibangu. Interview by Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie and Rahmin Amin

Charlie Tshibangu (c) Hugh Gary Photography

Charlie, 23, was looking for employment when this interview was done but has already found a warehouse job.

Q: Where do you live?
I’m from the Congo. I came to London when I was eight. It was weird because I was put into foster care with a Jamaican family. We (Charlie and his siblings) weren’t allowed to speak French. It was difficult.

Q: How come you’re involved in the Pilion Trust?
My friend was here,  Melvin, he brought me here in 2016. I got along with Savvas so I get invited. And he helps me with food if I have no food in the house.

Q: What are your interests?
Football. From 16-18 and a half I used to play reserves for Boreham Wood. I was a centre back so I played in defence. I got realistic, I didn’t think I’d make it.  It’s like the lottery, not everyone makes it.

Q: It’s the World Cup how will you concentrate?
I will do my work but whenever there’s a break then I will want to watch it. I just love football – I like all the teams. I don’t think Brussels will win. Maybe England!

Q: Do you like live football?
I used to work at Arsenal on match days. Every time I watched I couldn’t stop smiling.

Q: What are you expecting from Brussels’ summer school?
Not sure yet.

  • Engage Europe is running a summer school from 24-28 June. 

Meet the team: Favour Ekengwu

Engage London is about putting writing skills into action. Here Favour Ekengwu reports from the Pilion Trust and Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation Clothing give away (5 June 2018). Favour is also joining the Engage London team for the Brussels workshops.

Favour Ekengwu (c) Hugh Gary Photography

The Pilion Trust’s first clothing give away day for the local Islington Community was hosted at our Ringcross Community Centre. Here we provide help for people within the community who are struggling with multiple complex needs from housing problems and homelessness to family issues; as well as drug and alcohol dependences; mental ill health problems; different levels of learning problems or struggling with many kinds of poverty.

The event was a collaboration; between The Pilion Trust and Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) who put out the call to the community for the clothing donations.

The Pilion Trust is a multiple complex needs registered charity so we are always focused on what we can do to reach out to all people within our community/neighbourhood. That way we can create a caring neighbourhood, which is why our charity helps people within the local and wider communities.

We run community activities for all age groups within the community. We also run a registered food bank between 12 – 4pm Monday – Friday where all within the community are welcome. We have found that many people within the community are quietly struggling and can’t afford to feed their families also many are street homeless.

The main purpose of the clothing give away was to help people within our community that are not able to help themselves and are overlooked by the government. Unfortunately I don’t think that the councillors are doing enough to help the least privileged within the community. Most of the clients are people who have lost hope that the council are unwilling to help them feel safe within the neighbourhood. This is where we come in. We become the pillar that they can lean on; you can say that we are their representative in a lot of cases.

We believe that everybody within the community deserves an equal chance to live a better life.

We received donations from families that lived within the borough of Islington, and from companies who were aware of the issues that homeless people have and wanted to support our cause. Most of the donated clothes came from Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF). Like us they are a charity and they work with young teenagers who live in poverty they work to ensure that no child is left without a passion for life due to their circumstances

It was the first time that I have ever been involved in a clothing give away day. I came into work very early on that Tuesday morning and found our hall full of clothes. I was amazed when I saw our hall full of clothing; it showed that people within the community want to help each other. We received a lot of help from the Volunteers that came to help us within the community.

They helped us set the clothes in place so that people could easily locate the things that they needed without any difficulties. I thought it would be impossible due to the amount of clothes we had to set in order.

Fortunately my opinion was wrong; we worked together like a family; even though we hardly knew each other. We complimented, helped and laughed together which made the place feel like home. I then realised that’s what it means to be a community.

The outcome was good, a lot of people showed up, we were also able to meet the needs of most of the clients, with the massive support that we got from the donors our clients left with smiles on their faces. From my point of view there were lots of clothes that they could pick from I picked a few myself. I was intrigued on how much awareness we raised within the community, it was so effective that after that day everyone wanted to get more involved with what we are trying to achieve; which moves us a step is closer to achieving our purpose.

We received a lot of things, different sized clothes for men, women, kids and babies. Bedding, shoes etc., things that people would need and can use in their everyday lives.

Despite the fact that it was a long tiring day; everyone looked happy, especially our volunteers.

They were amazing.

I believe that that day was more than a clothing give away, I think that it was a day we got together as a community that wanted to know each other, and offer help to their neighbours. That day brought people of different cultures, races and ethnicities together. I think that people developed a new mind-set of what a clothing give away was about.

It’s about unity, caring and helping those around you that need it. That way no one is left out.

  • Ringcross Community Centre is open all week. Find it at 60 Lough Road, N7 8FE. The food bank is for all. It’s open from 12 noon – 4pm daily and a place to get fresh fruit and veg as well as bread.
  • https://www.awtf.org
  • http://www.piliontrust.info

Brussels summer school NEED TO KNOW

Engage London includes more than 20 people on the #hearmespeak team. A lucky eight are going to Brussels for a summer school. Below are the final workshop choices and our code of conduct.

Brussels summer school preparation: Standing: Savas Panas, CEO Pilion Trust, Nicola Baird, journalist. Sitting: Rahim Amin, Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie. (c) Engage London

We all picked workshops in advance and are looking forward to learning all sorts. Here are the workshop choices (three not four):

1 Brussels CODE OF CONDUCT created by Rahim, Favour and Naomi (but for everyone!)

  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Professional behaviourthis is a workshop so think of it as work. It’s not a holiday. Be respectful in the workshops & be sure to get up in enough time to arrive at the workshops on time. If you are late for the start it interrupts everyone else. Don’t be that late person.
  • Professional behaviour for 24 hours a day, not just in the workshops. So in the hostel keep quiet at night so people can sleep.
  • You are ambassadors for Engage London.
  • #HearMeSpeak also means #ListenToOtherPeople
  • Any problems just speak to someone, especially Nicola and Savvas. The co-ordinators at IHECS are Laura and Esther.

 

2 TIPS to keep you safe and on time

  • Take the hostel address card when we check in. It’s easy to forget the address and location of a hotel!
  • Take a map of where the hostel is and keep it on you. If you get lost use this map to get ‘home’. Ideally stay with others from Engage Europe. But if you need to pop out on your own, tell someone.
  • You’re in a different country so there are different customs for food, language, swearing, smoking and drink. Pay attention to these differences.
  • Use caution with alcohol (Belgian beer is strong!)
  • Make friends with the Engage Europe teams from Germany, Romania, Belgium and Spain. Hopefully you’ll see them again in London (Oct) – or even Barcelona (Nov) or Brussels (Dec).

3 BRUSSELS WORKSHOPS CHALLENGE for Engage London

>Every day take a photo that tells a story and share on our WhatsApp.

We’ll use the best for a photo show back in London with the others. Please do not clog up the Engage London WhatsApp with selfies – we want photos that show what you are up to, not just your face!

 

WRITING: Processions a walking art show

100 years ago, women were given the right to vote and stand for office. Processions 2018 a beautiful walking art exhibition celebrated just that. Many women, girls, those who identified as women or non-binary (I even spotted a few male supporters) came together to walk from Green Park station to Parliament to support, record and exhibit their banners. Report by NAOMI GAHIE for Engage London

A sea of marchers at Processions where everyone wore Green, White or Violet banners (the Suffragettes code for Give Women Votes). (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

Exiting Green Park station my eyes were instantly drawn to colour green, purple and white everywhere I turned; the colour for the Suffragettes. The sight of hundreds of women, banners, chanting, battle crying, dancing and most importantly smiling in celebration of an event that changed the life for women in the UK was incredible.

Waiting to start Processions a walking art show across London (Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh). (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

The aura emitted from the participants was infectious, you could feel the love, the injustice of more that was to be resolved, the celebration of the accomplishments to date, it was impossible to not smile, join in the chants and at times have a little boogie to the music around.

Still Not Good Enough – the fab banner Naomi Gahie (R) and friends at Pilion Trust created to join the Processions March across London on 10 June to celebrate 100 years of (some) women having the vote. (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

Our banner for the march zoned in or 4 points our group had decided they wanted to draw attention to:

  • Modern Slavery – A worldwide epidemic that is so close to home. The U.K. one of top 10 countries affected by modern-day slavery, with a record-breaking number of reports made related to modern day slavery and trafficking made just last year.
  • Forced Marriage – A saddening and putrid practise affecting many in today’s modern society across the world. Illegal in the U.K. since June 16th, 2014; it should be illegal worldwide.
  • Domestic Violence – A vulgar offence I believe affects us all one way or the other, if it’s not close family, it may be a friend or a friend of a friend. Sadly, a lot of people are still under the impression this only affects women, men are also affected by domestic violence and a lot more unlikely to come forward and report it.
  • Gender Pay Gap – I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, don’t you?

Our chosen slogan at the front of our banner “STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH”, was chosen to get the message across that although we have come far as a society there is still much inequality that must come to an end hence the “TO BE CONTINUED…” at the back of the banner.

The brilliant 2-sided banner from Pilion Trust. (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

I was bamboozled and humbled to see our banner had sparked conversation by passers-by such as the recent vote to legalise abortion in the Republic of Ireland. I hate to toot my own horn but we were stopped every 5 minutes just so pictures could be taken off our amazingly executed, thought-provoking, eye-catching banner. Too much? Sue me!

There were many groups that really peaked my interest such as a woman dressed in attire from 1918 with a humongous parliament model on top of her head or the colourful “Power to the future” banner an array of colours and three-dimensional flowers and geometric-somethings popping out to bring it to life.

There is nothing I would change about the march, it was such an honour to be part of the event which will remain close to my heart till the day I depart the earth.

Happy after the Women’s Procession celebration of (some) women getting the vote in 1918. Engage London members Naomi Gahie (2nd from left in green sash) and Fadz Ali (far right in violet sash). (c) Pilion Trust

As a first timer to a march of any sorts, I must admit I was nervous for what I would be expecting, however, that disappeared instantly as soon as I could what I could only describe as love. I can assure you I will be involved in the next Processions march, will you be joining me?

  • Read the Q&A with Naomi Gahie here.
  • Processions was organised by Artichoke