Europe on Track is a project run by young volunteers who aim to raise awareness, to create a space for discussion and to capture the opinions of youth in Europe on important social issues. Thanks to Interrail, the ambassadors in teams of 3 (one videographer, one photographer and one interviewer per team) will travel by train across 20 countries in one month to deliver workshops, interview young people and organise events in cooperation with 200 volunteers from 30 cities in Europe. Let’s take a closer look at this amazing project!
The AEGEEan: What is your definition of Europe on Track?
Erifyli and Ola: For many people Europe on Track is the most exciting AEGEE project, also quite often called the “dream” one. The idea is that selected ambassadors travel by train across Europe for one month to deliver workshops, interview young people and organise local events in cooperation with AEGEE antennae about the main topic of each edition. But the aim of Europe on Track is not only to travel and have fun but above all to raise awareness, to create a space for discussion and to capture the opinions of youth in Europe on important social issues while having an amazing time and connecting different parts of our continent (or even further!). This is an unbelievable journey for everyone involved in the project – ambassadors, project team and local organisers. One month full of adventures, events with great content and visible outcomes.
Tell us more about the project’s past achievements.
Erifyli and Ola: We are working now on the fifth edition of Europe on Track which means the project is already known by some AEGEEans (but not all of them and we want to change it!) and has many things
to be proud of! Each edition of the project tackled a different civic topic, relevant for European youth. The first edition of the project, launched in 2013, won the European Charlemagne Youth Prize which is awarded annually to a project that fosters a shared sense of European identity and integration among young people.
Last edition, Europe on Track 4, was the winner of the Franck Biancheri Award and organised an amazing kick-off conference in cooperation with AEGEE-Budapest and the Civic Education Working Group. During their journey, the ambassadors were able to reach 1000 young Europeans in 26 different cities. After last edition’s success, many people became interested in the project and decided to continue the journey with Europe on Track 5!
How is the team being formed?
Erifyli and Ola: Our Project Team, consisting of 16 people, was already selected in June and has been working on the project for six months! In August, three assistants joined our team to help us in specific areas – Fundraising and IT. Since the beginning we can count also on our CD appointed member Maria, who was the Content Manager of EoT 3 and 4, so she’s a really great help for us! In October we found 34 awesome AEGEE locals which will prepare Europe on Track stops in their cities. The local organisers are a crucial part of our project because thanks to them we can engage different people and be present at universities, have meetings with local authorities, NGOs etc. Now we are looking for the last important part of the team – our ambassadors! This edition, we don’t need six, but nine travellers who will join Europe on Track. To have a bigger impact, we decided to create three teams, one more than in previous editions, and we are currently looking for the perfect candidates! If you know someone who’s inspiring, wants to have a life-changing experience traveling all around Europe while discussing and giving workshops about Sustainability and Climate Change, share our Open Call with her/him.
How and why did you choose the topic for the new edition?
Erifyli and Ola: Firstly we collected ideas from the network. Then we split inside the project team into smaller groups and researched each of the 32 submitted topics: possible activities, grants, cooperation, funds, etc. It took us more than one month to select the final one! The topic of ‘Sustainability and Climate Change’ under the motto “Can you hear the ECO?” is extremely important these days! We are dealing with an environmental crisis caused by irresponsible human behavior but we don’t want to only talk about it, we want to take action. That’s why we will make our project CO2 neutral, we will plant trees (also in your name if you donate to our crowdfunding campaign) and we will gather opinions of young people and inform them about how to act and how to have an impact on the Earth.
What plans do you have in store?
Erifyli and Ola: We said in the beginning that we will take Europe on Track to the next level and so far we think we are doing it! Three routes, nine ambassadors, 34 hosting locals and our crowdfunding campaign are just the beginning of big surprises. We are focusing now on the Open Call for ambassadors and the crowdfunding campaign. Then we will work closely with locals to prepare high level and contentful events and to make them use the opportunity to be a part of big European project. We are also planning our kick-off conference in Thessaloniki and the Environmental Action Week. We are constantly working on Fundraising and External Relations. We hope to reveal some more big surprises very soon!
Who can become an ambassador of Europe on Track 5?
Erifyli and Ola: First of all, we are looking for people for specific positions: photographer, videographer and blogger. Also, we don’t mind if you can do two or all things, in the end you always have to choose one role!
We want to find people who are inspiring, have experience in travelling and delivering workshops as well as knowledge about Sustainability and Climate Change. You need to be open-minded, responsible and, what’s very important, resistant to stress and physical fatigue. Travelling for one month, sleeping in trains, changing place every two or three days can be tiresome and we need to be sure that our potential ambassadors are prepared for it. And in the end, we are looking for candidates with initiative who will make this trip an unforgettable
experience both for themselves and everyone involved in the project.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Erifyli and Ola: We think that what makes this edition special is that we have so many extremely motivated people working on the project and we are really aiming big! Our project manager, Jorge, was an ambassador of EoT4 and has a lot of experience so he always pushes us to do more, think out of the box and do things that have never been done before like having three teams or the crowdfunding campaign. We had a live meeting in Brussels in October and the atmosphere inside the project team is just great! Although the most important thing is that we really want to bring Sustainability and Climate Change closer to AEGEE and young people.
Our initiative is needed and we, as Europe on Track, want to act and help the planet as much as we can. And with our motivation and your help we believe we can do a lot!
Are you curious to find out what young people really think about Sustainability and Climate Change? Are you passionate about travelling? Do you like giving presentations and workshops? Do you want to spend one month doing all of these around Europe?
Then join Europe on Track 5!
✔️ Become an #ambassador! We are looking for photographers, videomakers and bloggers/interviewers who wish to travel for one month and bring the topic of sustainability and climate change closer to European youth. You can find Open Call for ambassadors here:bit.ly/ambassadorEOT5
✔️ Support our #crowdfunding campaign! Together with Youth 4 Public Transport we will measure our carbon footprint and plant enough trees to make our project CO2 neutral. We need your help for that! Check out our perks and more about our project from the 10th of November.
✔️ Organise and participate in local events! You can get involved in organising activities connected with Europe on Track during our Environmental Action Week, or during the route of our ambassadors. You’ll see the list of events on our website soon.
✔️ Follow our journey in Social Media!
Written by Aliona Sytnyk, AEGEE-Berlin