Jun 25, 2011

Bike of Honour back in action

So what exactly does the Bike of Honour do? Our little friend tries to meet up with high profile people who support the idea behind our 4000 km bicycle trip. Our goal is to tear down all barriers which still exist for student mobility. So the plan was/is to purposefully meet up with experts in the field of higher education or politicians who support the idea of one united Europe with equall rights for everyone. Every once in a while our white foldable Speedy Gonzales will also be ridden by role models from the field of sports. E.g. once we made it up all the way to Lithuania, our supporter Mindaugas Kuzminskas, will take a ride on it and meet with everyone who will be with us at that stage.

After the tour is finished, the Bike of Honour with all its fame and collected signatures will be auctioned. The raised amount of money will naturally go back to the main sponsors of the tour, the European University Foundation - Campus Europae, which in return will use this sum to finance students going abroad for a second year with the programme and are in financial need due to a lack of national grants.

Our next signatory and Rider of Honour is an expert on higher education. Prof. Germain Dondelinger holds the position of 'Premier Conseiller de Gouvernement” in Luxembourg. Not only is he the coordinator for higher education in the Luxembourg Ministry of culture, higher education and research but he is also the vice-chair of the Bologna Follow-up Group. Thus, he was the right person to answer our line of questions which all Riders of Honour will be faced with.

Check it out:

Jun 20, 2011

a message from ESN Spain

... speaking of showing support: the good people of ESN Spain had a little get-together in Vigo recently. They recorded a message on behalf of Ride for your Rights! - homemade, a bit grainy and just what we needed to lift our spirits!

Let us not forget: Ride for your Rights! is about making a change for the better, creating the conditions for a more effective and rewarding system of student mobility in Europe. It's not just about riding a bike, it's about taking a stand for the rights of European students and, in the long run, to make Europe a place of mutual understanding, happiness and prosperity.

Making a change is within our reach. Every single one of us has a voice, and that voice must be heard by our representatives. We brought you a Manifesto for student mobility, we'd like you to read it, sign it and show it to others so they may do the same. This is how we want to show our representatives that student mobility is a concern of many, and an instrument of development that cannot be overlooked.

You can visit our website and find several translations of this Manifesto. If it's not translated in your native language, why not give it a try? "Small" projects like Ride for your Rights!, just as "Big" projects like European integration, demand the participation of all people concerned.

There are a lot of ways you can help and contribute. Don't just "like" it. Do it. For you and for all of us.

two weeks notice

So, the day approaches.

After months of mindless brainstorming (my favorite paradox), endless days and sleepless nights, we come to the last couple of weeks before we hit the road for the trip of a lifetime. May it be the first of many (since this is the paradox paragraph of this short message).

We have upset the daily routines of well over a hundred people. We have shared thoughts and frustrations to fellow youngsters whom we've never even met. We got lost in translation and found in the "spam mailbox". After all this time preparing our journey, calling people, writing e-mails, getting lost under all the loose information we gather, being asked questions we don't really know the answer to, after all of this... we're about ready to start.

We plan on upsetting the routines of many more, and all in a positive way. We want to make heads turn, we want to make brows rise, we want to touch the hearts and minds of everyone we can reach.

We want to Ride for your Rights!

For all the good people out there who have showed their support for this project, their willingness to participate and to contribute, we want to tell you we're looking forward to meeting all of you, facing this challenge, getting to know your stories, your problems, your dreams and aspirations and your ability to ride a bike across a continent.

Over these next few days, all of you can expect a lot of details to emerge. We'll tell you where we're going, when we're stopping, what we're doing and when we're leaving. We'll tell you about our workshops, our meetings, our city tours, about every hand we shake and every pint we empty.

Don't forget to keep up with the news, spread the word and support our project in any way you can!

See you all soon!

Jun 5, 2011

Bike of Honour meets President

Needless to say that the nomination for the most prestigious youth prize in Europe, the Charlegmane Youth Prize, was a success by itself. But receiving official support from Dr. Jerzy Buzek himself, tops nearly everything so far. So our little rolling white star can adorn itself with signature #3 - coming from the President of the European Parliament.

While telling Dr. Buzek about the concept of our Bike of Honour, the President was also interested in the content of our Manifesto. So with a little bit of optimism, our proposals laid out in the Manifesto will find listeners in circles we originally only wanted to address after the tour with concrete results. This is certainly a huge step forward for everyone.

Meanwhile it is up to you and your friends to back our initiative by signing the Manifesto online. The European Commission is about to publish their draft on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014 - 2020 and everyone is hoping for a major budgetary shift towards education and mobility. Fraternite 2020 asks for 20 billion Euros yearly for exchange programmes and will launch a European Citizen's Initiative in 2012. Until then it is up to the Ride for your Rights! movement to put some pressure on decision makers from the base of reality. So do something for your own educational rights by signing the Manifesto and by telling your friends about the movement.

This is what the President had to say about our work:

"Ride for your Rights! is a movement representative of a generation of young Europeans who understand their responsibility in the development of our continent and society. These youngsters are an excellent example of active citizenship. I wish all participants the best of luck."

If we take the President by his word, we also count on your signatures!