By Gudrun Dometeit
You seldom get so many hugs and kisses, make so many appointments, arrangements on one day. The third World Young Leader Forum in Buenos Aires has ended and a lot of us said goodbye already. Some are heading for another country-tour, some for flying back home, others will just relax a little bit here in town from three days of very, very intensive discussions, socializing and communicating.
Being a participant of all three world meetings of the BMW-Foundation, I might compare: Every meeting had really its own specifics. On Hawaii in 2005 the focus was more on fun and teamworking , in Mumbai 2009 we concentrated vey much on the country itself which was exciting and exotic to most of us. Here in Buenos Aires I felt maybe for the first time a real intensification and deepening of relations, because I met so many people I got to know years ago. And it was also hard and concentrated work.
Although – a lot of topics we just touched and they might be even a bit disappointment among some of the presenters of social initiatives. On saturday for example I joined the workshop of “Gaia”, an organization, situated in Bogota, which helps indigenious people in the amazonas-region to administer and preserve their land. In order to preserve more parts of the rainforest “Gaia” would like to scale-up the protected area from 20 to 100 million hectares. What they need is: more funds, communication/PR and a real project management. We tried our best to give some ideas concerning a firm internal structure, a marketing-strategy and fund-raising but it could be just a beginning within the short time available.
What I really appreciated was to see a lot of Young leaders among the 200 participants coming from smaller countries like Slovenia or from the Middle East like Egypt and Libanon or Arab countries like Kuwait. To include open-minded young people especially from the Middle East in our network makes ever more sense looking at the tense situation in the region, especially in Egypt now. One of those Young Leaders is Amani Eltunsi, founder of a “Girls-Only-Radio-Station” in Kairo. During the forum she received frightening phone-calls from Egypt informing her about the new massive demonstrations in the capital. She took part in the demonstrations on the Tharir-Place from the beginning and wrote a book about it. She told me that she already as a young girl refused to wear a veil, and that she had been isolated for this.
Thanks a lot to Markus Hipp and his team to give us the chance to have all these different experiences!! And of course I am especially grateful that they helped me to realize my most secret dreams – to become a rockstar … yesterday evening in the Puesto Viejo Polo-Club …
By Gudrun Dometeit