When Unesco preach something and do the opposite and my special thanks to all the interns who have been working in this Unesco Youth Forum.
My post for today it was supposed to be about unemployment as yesterday I had this really interesting interview with Gianni Rosas, the coordinator of the employment program at Ilo (International Labour Organization). And always yesterday I collected some interview concerning job and young people, just asking: “do you have a job?”. And, trust me, what I got is more than interesting and more than what we could expect about it. So, at first today I was supposed just to edit all the interviews and put it on youtube (and I’ll do it really soon), but what I discovered doing my small reportage maybe deserve to be discussed in a proper post and to be done before the end of the forum, before than everybody just go home.
Basicly, yesterday afternoon I started taking interviews and all, I mean, all, were really similar, starting more or less like this:
Me: Name, age, where do you come from.. bla bla bla. Do you have a job?
They: blab la bla. Oh no, I don’t have a job but I’m doing an amazing internship in Unesco, and it is so incredibly interesting. Seriously, I love it.
Me: Oh cool. And is the internship paid?
They: No, actually no. But sorry for what do you need it? Oh no no, is better not to speak about it. And if you want, you can ask to other interns, there are a lot of us working for the organization of the forum. Did you know it?
Me: Oh. No, actually I wasn’t even thinking about it.
In these four days, I have been working as a youth blogger and journalist for the Youth Forum, selected with other nine amazing young journalists from all over the world. We had to cover the event from 8 to 20 that always it has been transformed is something like from 9 to the end of everything, like 22 or 23. The youth bloggers had the chance to not only follow the event showing their different prospective, but also to sit in the organization office and to watch from inside what is happening there. And this is transparency, I think, with all the consequences of the case, the good and the bad ones. And what I discover in that offices, staying there for hours is that there is a staff of people who has been working for days and hours, with no stop and no pauses, just working. They were there at 7 o’clock and still there at 11 o’clock when I had to leave, they were doing whatever it was necessary, from the most small and stupid organizational problem, to the biggest and more difficult one. And, what I discovered also is that to do all this big big job was of course the staff official of Unesco and plus, of course the interns. And for what? Nothing. The interns of Unesco who has been working everyday organizing whatever and with whoever, they weren’t earning any money. Just a reimburse of 40 euros each day.
I am not discovering nothing new, and I mean, all the young people in the world are facing this problem, but I do believe that in this case the situation is even worst, if it is possible. Unesco is organizing a big event like a Youth Forum and it is just asking to experts and delegates to come and speak about unemployment and it is stimulating young people to raise their voice, to ask for what they need. So if you are doing al these things than you are supposed to have a really clean conduct which nobody can attack in any case. And this is not the case: if you are asking us to react, to do something and to pretend to be respected how can you accept one system in which interns are working so much without being payed at all?
And I am really sorry because I really enjoyed these days and I was so surprised to find a great staff of people so motivated and enthusiastic. It was really inspiring for me, just because for a while I thought that there were still places in the world which are different from what we are used to. And for all these reasons now, I am so sorry to go back home with this feeling of betrayal: Unesco made me believe they are different and then they are the same as the others. And this is sad.
I would like to end my terribly long post just saying thanks. Thanks to all the interns, the volunteer and the organization staff who have been working for days and hours with that passion that everybody experienced. Sharing the office with you, it was an honour and one of the best experiences in these days, because I saw something that I would never have expect: passion for your job. And now that I know that a lot of you were not payed at all, I admire you twice. So thanks non payed interns of Unesco, who created all this. And just another thing (the hardest part of the game): we will have non payed internship just until the day in which there will be young and passionate people accepting them.
We, participants and delegates, going back home we will try to raise our voice, please try to do the same: you won’t be alone in this fight.