EU Ambassador Tom Vens – accompanied by Irish Ambassador Lesley Ní Bhriain, German Ambassador Horst Gruner and French Chargé d’Affaires Romain Vuillaume – brought Europe Week Sierra Leone 2021 to a grand finale on the 10th May, with a special visit from #TheEUandMeRoadShow to two schools in the Western Area: Peninsula Secondary School in Waterloo and Methodist Girls High School.
In 2019, the Peninsula School’s work to educate its pupils about the environment helped them win an EU art competition intended to increase understanding of the effects of climate change, whereas the Methodist Girls High School’s history of promoting access for Sierra Leonean girls to secondary education reflects the EU’s firm belief in gender equality.
The origins of Europe Day
Tom Vens kicked off the engagement with the pupils by talking about the origins and purpose of Europe Week and Europe Day. “Europe Day is recognised every year on May 9th and is a day to celebrate peace and unity in Europe, after the Second World War,” he said. “The date marks the anniversary of the historic Schuman Declaration, where at a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the French foreign minister at the time, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.”
He explained what had been the purpose of the #TheEUandMeRoadShow which took place from 3 to 10 May 2021 across Sierra Leone: to take messages about the EU’s values and development cooperation with Sierra Leone to a wider audience and to allow the EU to capture feedback from those who have really experienced the positive impact of the projects they support.
The role of young people in the EU partnership
At both schools, a discussion followed on ‘the role of young people in the EU partnership’. The diplomatic visitors listened to the pupils talk about their personal and professional ambitions and about the form they believed future cooperation with Sierra Leone should take.
Pupils in particular cited agriculture and health as priority sectors for cooperation with the EU and expressed the wish that Sierra Leone would be a flagship of development in 20 years’ time.
To find out more about everything that happened on #TheEUandMeRoadShow, go to our website or to @EUinSierraLeone on Facebook.
EuropeDay2021 #TheEUandMe #TeamEurope
For more information:
N’Fa Alie Koroma Tel: 232 76741418 Email: N’Fa-Alie.KOROMA@eeas.europa.eu