At the end of September, two pupils, Harvey Witter and Thomas Gray, from the Royal Latin School were invited to take part in the International Youth Forum in Buckingham’s partner town in Germany. The topic of this year’s forum was ‘Living a life you will love!?’ This biennial event welcomes young people from all the twin towns: Mouvaux (France), Ustron (Poland), Neukirchen-Vluyn (Germany) and Buckingham (UK).
Participants met first on Friday evening in Moers to get to know one another. On the Saturday morning the forum was opened by the Mayor, Herr Lenssen, in the town hall in Neukirchen-Vluyn and all participants presented their views and answered questions afterwards in English. A typical ‘Schnitzel’ meal was then served at a local restaurant, followed by a cultural visit to the archaeological park in Xanten.
The weekend was filled with much discussion about study in and post school, job prospects and the ability to move to other areas in the partner/EU countries in order for the young people to fulfil future hopes and dreams. All participants had conducted studies and interviews in their home towns prior to the event and presented their findings to each other, their hosts and members of all four twinning associations. The event was organised locally by Herr Berges and each country took it in turn to host.
The Buckingham Twinning Association supported Thomas’ & Harvey’s attendance to help promote the continued exchanges between partner towns, particularly among the younger generation. Both boys were also lucky enough to be able to stay with their host families from their previous school exchange visit and refresh their spoken German in a home environment. They say, “It was a great experience to be able to discuss first-hand, the outlook and issues facing young people in other countries, along with an inevitable debate about the elephant in the room, namely Brexit!”