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Friday, June 10, 2011
NetOne, an international network of media students and professionals, return from five days at News & You, a seminar on Education which was held from 5 June 2011 at Abrigada near Lisbon, Portugal.

a href=”http://www.focolare.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/20110610-02.jpg”> “Let’s get together again please!” wrote a German girl on her Facebook account, expressing the longing of many of the fifty participants of the Media Education seminar, which was aimed at young people and their coordinators. The course, sponsered by trade associations from six countries and prepared in detail by NetOne and the Charism Community Projects (UK), received financial support from the Youth in Action programme of the European Commission.

The course provided a theoretical part – three lectures held by the Media Education Professor Luciano Mele from the International Telematic University of Rome (UNINETTUNO), who were the external project partners; evenings with professionals in the areas of communication: social networks, journalism and advertising , and four creative workshops for the remaining of the day. The quality of content was much appreciated by the young people as well as the creativity in the experimental groups on multicultural living.

Arco-Iris, the Focolare’s little town at Abrigada proved to be quite the suitable place for hosting the seminar, not only for the environment but also for the great hospitality and attentive service.

At the heart of the work – and to help promote the sense of European citizenship – a day was spent in Lisbon to experience it and then tell about it through photos, interviews, filming, social and touristic advertising, which were presented at an evening of celebration open to the public, also including artistic contributions from the inhabitants of the Mariapolis.

The guided tour of the studies and the museum of RTP, the public broadcaster, which kindly welcomed us despite the great bulk of work they had to finish in preparation for the upcoming general elections which were two days away in Portugal. The same public broadcaster also publicised the seminar . (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8M-LdZ0oR8&t=8m34s)

The images and blogs tell more than the words of the participants, in which they share this experience which was unforgetable for not only the students but also for their tutors. The phrase: “Thank you Europe for allowing us this!” was one of the phrases that rose from the heart of a participant in the round of comments at the close of the seminar.

This seminar was not an isolated initiative, but one of the high moments of a larger project, which will include other local and international projects aimed re-discovering the value of “good communication” and teaching young people how to learn and inform using the media as instruments for peace and development, bridges between cultures and differences, agents of social cohesion.