The Council of Members (COMEM) of the European Youth Forum took place in Turin, on 13-14 November 2009. The event, which gathered more than 150 delegates from the 99 Member Organisations of the European Youth Forum was co-organised by the European Youth Forum and the Italian National Youth Council in cooperation with the City of Torino, European Youth Capital of 2010, and Regione Piemonte.
As observer members to the European Youth Forum, Don Bosco Youth Net was particularly keen to have a presence at the most recent Comem as it was to be hosted in the spiritual home of all things Don Bosco. The Comem is an opportunity for members to draft and vote on policy papers on subjects ranging from a commitment to peace and non-violence to a youth perspective on e-society; to network with like-minded groups (with the prospect of a faith-based grouping on the horizon including groups as diverse as the European Union of Jewish Students to the International Movement of Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth); and “to work to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives” (so at twenty-nine I was one of the oldest participants). We also took the opportunity to showcase a video explaining something of the history of the Salesian family and its links with Turin. The film was well received but more important for me was the number of people who came up to me later and said that they had previously studied at a Salesian school or volunteered at a Don Bosco project.
I would love to say that I got to explore Turin but unfortunately the meetings started early in the morning and went on to late at night…though I can thoroughly recommend the local Holiday Inn. The sightseeing will have to wait until next time.