International Youth Festival
EACT intends to initiate the 2011 US-China International Youth Festival (IYF) which will be held in Beijing, China from July 12th to August 8th, 2011. EACT primarily means to be responding to the U.S.-China Joint Statement on November 17, 2009, which featured that two countries attached great importance to people-to-people and cultural exchanges, particularly to the “100,000 Strong” initiative announced by President Barack Obama. Therefore, EACT specifically plans to select and sponsor 100 outstanding youth from US to attend the IYF at the capital city of China in order to provide a valuable opportunity for them to have direct dialogues and cultural exchanges with youth from all over the world, especially for them to personally experience the development, openness, progress and freedom of modern China.
As for the IYF idea, EACT got the original inspirations from UN’s International Year of Youth (IYY) which lasts from August 12, 2010 to August 11, 2011. Furthermore, EACT intended to integrate such a youth festival into the whole series of activities of the IYY. As early as the plan was newly formed, the IYF gained plenty supports from related governmental agencies as well as a good number of organizations and individuals from both US and China.
Learning more about the draft agenda of the 2011 IYF:
The IYF has two phases, with the first one as Global Development Youth Summit and the second one as Youth Volunteer Action, Mandarin Certification Learning, and Cultural Performance and Natural Scenic Tour. Phase One will last for four whole days during which a variety of panels and workshops will be held all focusing on heated topics which youth all over the world may currently be highly concerned with, such as educational cultivation, employment, business-establishment, UN’s Millennium Development Goals as well as environment and climate issues. Not only could youth join the forum as a participant, who may selectively join different panels and workshops, but also as a speaker of a team to cooperatively make a presentation on the picked topic. Meanwhile, experts and scholars from governments, NGOs, universities, or other organizations will also deliver speeches and give comments on panels and workshops. For the nights all through the forum, there will be various cultural and arts performances to celebrate the get-together of youth from different countries.
Rather than a mere extension but as a practical hands-on opportunity separately, Phase Two was delicately designed to satisfy diverse needs. Take the Youth Volunteer Action as an example, it can provide youth with chance to help Chinese students at rural and impoverished areas enlarge their horizon through learning English. Mandarin Certification Learning will promote youth’s understanding and appreciating of the extensive and profound Chinese history and culture in more depth. Similarly, Cultural Performance and Natural Scenic Tour are also aiming to encourage cultural exchanges in bi-direction.