Future Face of Europe Project: inspiring young change makers

Justice and Peace Netherlands gave a presentation to students from PENTA College (Jacob van Liesveldt) and two other secondary schools from Norway and Spain on Thursday, 25 January about the Shelter City initiative, with special guest speaker, Midhat , a human rights defender from Sudan.

Sixteen high school students from three different countries gathered together in The Hague during a week-long immersive programme, in which they learn about global challenges and how they can be change makers in their own communities. The project, Future Face of Europe, is a three year programme that involves secondary schools from Spain, Norway and The Netherlands.

Kevin Schuck, Head Teacher and Curriculum Coordinator from PENTA College (Jacob van Liesveldt) commented that the goal of the programme is “to give these students the access to know more and become more involved, and to higher understand their own responsibilities as citizens in their own countries, Europe and in the world. We give them the space to participate in events and activities that can help them to have the control of their own future and its impact on others.”

Human rights defender, Midhat, shared his experiences of defending human rights in Sudan and discussed the political history of the country. Over the last eleven years, Midhat has worked with many different civil society organisations to progress rights and freedoms in Sudan. In 2016, Midhat was arrested and detained with fellow colleagues on unjust charges simply because they were exercising their rights. Regarding the arrest, Midhat said, “When I was arrested and after spending one year in the prison, I got the feeling that I am on the right track and this motivates me to keep fighting for justice.

During the lecture, Justice and Peace asked the students “How can we make a change?”. The students responded with answers, “raise our voices”, “support local organisations”, and to “raise awareness” about human rights.

The students will travel to Spain in March as part of the programme, and to Norway in November.

Leroy, Shelter City Programme Officer, presenting to students of Future Face of Europe Project











Human rights defender from Sudan, Midhat