Digital living and learning during Tomorrow's Voices

Being young and studying during a pandemic ... Not an obvious thing to do. More than 100 young people from four continents shared their experiences, concerns and tips during the fourth edition of Tomorrow's Voices. Digitally, of course.

Meeting between more than 100 young people from 10 countries

Tomorrow's Voices, the annual meeting day of Collibri Foundation, took place in a digital format for the first time this year. A record number of participants took part via video chat. Based in different time zones and with the help of multilingual interpreters, more than 100 young people from 14 international training projects came together digitally to exchange ideas:

Young people from 10 countries took part on the event via video chat

 

  • Boost (Belgium)
  • Mentor-Escale (Belgium)
  • YOUCA (Belgium)
  • Eclosio (Benin)
  • UCLL (Benin)
  • Trias (Brazil)
  • Adisco (Burundi)
  • Efico (Colombia)
  • CYC (Philippines)
  • Nasscom Foundation (India)
  • Partners in Prosperity (India)
  • YKAI (Indonesia)
  • Rikolto (Nicaragua)
  • JOVEM (Peru)

 

Digital school: quite a challenge

The theme of the day was obvious and could not be more topical: digital living and learning. During workshops, youngsters answered each other's questions about how to deal with distance learning.

 

 

 

WhatsApp, Zoom, Messenger, FaceTime … From digital study groups to apps that help you with school questions, group work or concentration. Digital natives around the world use digital tools and online platforms to stay in touch with their classmates, friends and community during the corona crisis. Nevertheless, young people from all over the world face similar challenges in their education and studies.

 

“Now that the lessons are taught online, I find it more difficult to understand the subject matter because I cannot ask the teacher any questions or get additional explanations,” says Sacré of Mentor-Escale (Belgium). “When I have questions, I contact my classmates in the hope that they've understood better.” Wahib of YKAI (Indonesia) agrees: “Especially for new students it is an obstacle that they've never seen their teachers in real life.”

“It is a strange feeling to have to study for a test during a pandemic,” says Sharon of YOUCA (Belgium). “To motivate myself and stay focused I plan digital study sessions with my friends. And I make sure I can always look forward to something fun to do after studying.”

Good internet connectivity is a luxury

What we sometimes forget in Belgium is that easy access to the internet is not so obvious everywhere in the world. The young people from Benin, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Nicaragua and Peru remind us that many people have to travel from rural areas to the city in order to access the internet.

The Filipino youth of Cordilleran Youth Center reminds us that a stable, affordable internet connection is a luxury.

“COVID-19 has made studying more difficult. But I don't want to give up, I remain hopeful for the future.”

 

“COVID-19 has really changed my life and studies,” says one of the young people from 'A new generation of coffee entrepreneurs' (Efico, Colombia). “It’s hard to learn how to grow coffee online. We keep in touch with the coffee farmer organisation via WhatsApp but we have a bad mobile internet connection. Fortunately, we can cycle to the city 5 km from here, where a better connection is available. It is difficult, but I don't want to give up. With the money I make growing coffee, I want to be able to continue my studies in the city.”

In Benin too, the internet is expensive and difficult to access: “During the day, we have a lot of network problems. Our solution? We mainly work late in the evening on group assignments because that’s when the network is less congested. It’s also easier to concentrate because you're less distracted by noise outside or your brothers and sisters.”

It’s admirable how all young people keep up the courage, continue to believe in their dreams and don't give up!

 

 

The importance of connection

Despite all digital technologies, there’s a great need for connection. This is why it is so important that Collibri Foundation continues to bring young people from all over the world in contact with each other, so that they can share stories, connect with each other and have an eye for the common ground. Tomorrow's Voices is a unique opportunity to be part of a global network of motivated young people and to forge links between the different training projects supported by Collibri Foundation.

Collibri Foundation

Address

Colruyt Group
Edingensesteenweg 196
1500 Halle

Phone

+32 (0)2 363 55 45
during office hours