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Student Leader Spotlight - BWB Club in Germany

Throughout the Forum collaboration and competition process, we identify potential leaders and offer them opportunities to lead BWB Clubs in their schools and conduct local action projects. More than 20 student leaders have been identified this school year, and we would like to shine a light on their experiences in a series of interviews in the coming weeks.

Marlene Walter (BWB Club President, 2023-2024, Goetheschule Essen, Germany) in action with her local action project (MUN), club meet-ups (with TJSS in Cyprus and Villers in Ireland) and her forum wins (Women and the Economy).

(excerpt below)

After finishing the forum, I gained new confidence in the power of young generations

to influence the world. Despite all the challenges we currently face, I learned that there

are countless young people all over the world who can make a difference by working

together to solve these problems. This is the message that I want to spread in my club - our first club project was to host a Model United Nations conference that emphasizes the confidence of our club members in being capable of discussing solutions to global issues.

The ability to co-exist in today´s world is more significant than ever. Due to

globalization, migration and conflicts that are causing countless people to move to

other countries, continents and cultures, the question of how to live together arises

more than ever. In my opinion, coexistence is more than just a state. It is a way of life

and the future-oriented solution to current and future migration processes that are

likely to occur due to climate change, political conflicts, etc.

In order to co-exist successfully, it is crucial to actively engage with each other, to form

a neutral opinion about people from other cultures. Especially nowadays, many

people base their opinions based on generalizing biases and prejudices instead of

viewing each person as an individual. Furthermore, coexistence means accepting

both differences and similarities. Differences do not mean something negative but

should be seen as an enrichment for a society. We can all learn from each other, and

the common idea that differences are an obstacle leads to problems.

Another issue that is highly significant and often results in conflicts is the

misunderstanding of the term “integration”. Integration does not mean giving up

one's culture but describes the process of bringing together different components so

that they can work together. However, integration requires tolerance and respect in a

society, which are the keys to a functioning coexistence.

On the other hand, coexistence and integration also require political action. The

promotion of social cohesion by breaking down language barriers and prejudices and

confronting young people with people of other ethnic origins or other cultures must be

addressed by politicians.

Young people who want to make the world a better place are not alone. Consider joining forces with like-minded young people and garner collective and immense power. Start locally in your school, district or city. Think about what problems are happening around you, how they could be solved, and network with like-minded people. Every little difference makes a difference, and if everyone does something to contribute to a more sustainable environment, the impact is huge. It is important to start taking action and using the power of your own voice.

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