Our ED, Yvonne Heselmans, is taking up new opportunities after 9 years work for IDEA. We are very grateful for her efforts to support the network of IDEA and to make many debate education programs a possibility in cooperation with members, partners, volunteers, trainers, knowledge centers and donors and not in the last place the young people themselves. We want to thank her for her commitment to IDEA and the progress she has achieved in the last 9 years. .
Yvonne: "It were 9 fantastic years in IDEA. The vitality that debate brought to young people have guided me during the years. I have seen and experienced that debate education is the best kept secret to educate youth to speak up, to listen to others critically, and to be heard. Coming from the Child Rights sector, I am happy that I hopefully contributed with our debate education programs to this important article of the Convention for the Rights of the Child, art 12, the right to be heard by authorities. Thousands of eager young people have been educated to debate and I would like to honor all the judges and trainers who have invested their free time in the young generation. They had explored this secret of debate education as the key to engagement of young people. We even made it happen that young people in disadvantaged neighborhoods are heard by authorities and police. I am very proud to have worked so intensive with the members of IDEA, the board, our great staff and bunch of volunteers and youth. Above all, I have enjoyed so much the friendship, synergy and progress that we all created, with the young people and their future in the heart of this movement. It is also for this reason that we have started the campaign ' Debate changes your life' Debate changes your society'. Therefore I hope that debate education will be integrated across curricula and youth work all over the work. I wish IDEA a great future and thanks to my current research about ' the effects of debate education on young people in disadvantaged neighborhoods' I will stay in touch for sure. And good news, IDEA will bring its Dutch and DIN programs under in the new foundation OPEN UP Let youth be heard, which will be a member of IDEA. I will be in the board of Open UP! Let youth be heard, so I will be engaged with the association again. I wish you all lots of joy and good luck!
Yvonne will work in Wilde Ganzen (Wild Gooses) a developing cooperation supporting small scale projects that make big differences in communities (see www.wildeganzen.nl). IDEA wishes her all the luck in her private and professional life. And history proves that it is very difficult to say goodbye to IDEA!