The PEP meeting is a unique and diverse event. 

The 2021 edition took place as a hybrid event! 260 participants met in 28 countries closely following Covid safety measures. 25 teams came together in their country. 3 delegations joined fully online.

The opening plenary started off with hearing testimonies from people with lived experience. 

Famara flagged the difficulty of accessing housing for migrants and refugees, a difficulty he faced for many years in Spain: “When I turned 18 years old, I was left on the street. I had to decide whether I should continue working in low-skilled jobs or study to improve my education, but without having any income”.

Dorota then shared her story and the difficulty she faced while being homeless in Poland. “How can you get up on your own when it’s -20 degrees and there’s no blanket to warm you up?”

Astrid shared her struggle to find an affordable house for her and her children due to the housing contracts and requirements in Austria. “Due to the Corona crisis, many single parents with children are in danger of becoming homeless.” 

After listening to the stories, the facilitator invited participants to note down on post-its some things that touched them by asking: “What is a drop of inspiration that I take away from hearing these stories?”

Three rounds of nine parallel workshops on the four topics occurred using the World Café method to enable

  •  everyone to contribute thoughts
  •  speak their mind & heart; 
  • time to think and reflect; 
  • listening together for patterns, insights and deeper connections; 
  • having fun! 

Participants deliberated on the following questions:

  • Round 1: What is your personal experience with this issue?
  • Round 2: From your experience, what else is important to take into consideration in regard to this topic?
  • Round 3: What message would you like to take with you from these discussions and present to politicians and policy makers tomorrow? 
  • Preparing workshop key messages photos (selection)

The heavy day ended on a lighter note. Some still managed to go out taking their messages to the streets!

Day 2 started with an internal session to make sure those presenting key messages were at ease. Delegations also drew how they experienced day 1.

The final plenary session aimed at enabling and empowering people experiencing poverty to present their key demands to policy makers and enter into dialogue with them.