The Face2Hearts initiative promoted by the EU is selecting four young people and sends them off for half a year to visit European projects all over the world and post their experiences in a blog

Imagine what it would be like to travel around the world for five months with the sole mission of blogging about everything you see, feel, and do. That is, broadly speaking, the mission of the participants in the Faces2Hearts project, a social initiative supported by the European Union that is selecting four young people who, in the first half of 2018, will travel to three continents to visit some of the international cooperation projects in which the European Union is involved and post their experiences and stories in a blog.

“They will discover projects, supported by the EU, that change people’s lives for the better. And they will reveal the often unreported stories of the fascinating people they meet – stories of positive change and hope”, says the Faces2Hearts website, a project offered by EuropeAid, the EU’s International Cooperation and Development department, sitting within the European Commission, whose mission is to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development worldwide by working closely with EU member states, UN agencies, and global and local civil society. Because the main goal of this initiative is for the four bloggers to go beyond faces or stereotypes to “reveal compelling stories to the world, stories of positive change, often unreported, stories inspired by projects funded by the European Union: the largest development donor in the world”.

Thousands of young people from all over the world have submitted their applications to participate in the project. From among the 20 candidates who have been shortlisted, a jury composed of communication professionals and people from the world of blogging will select the four lucky winners (one from Africa, another from the Asia-Pacific region, one more from Europe and another from Latin America), whose names will be announced on 21 November.

Then, the adventure of their lives will begin. The four future ‘world travellers’ will begin their journey in December in Brussels, where they will receive the training and tools to perform their tasks (training in video and photography, storytelling, audiovisual language…). In January 2018, their journeys will begin and they will travel to seven or eight countries in their regions – except for the European blogger, who will visit projects located in Africa to provide his views on this continent – together with various professionals in international cooperation and development from the European agency.

The endpoint will be the European Development Days

Along the way they will discover projects – and the people involved in them – that will cover a large part of all the areas in which the European Union works around the world, from the micro-funding of environmental projects to sustainable agriculture, the presence of women in politics, support for legal systems, universal sustainable energy, or the improvement of educational systems. The four bloggers will record, photograph, and document their experiences, feelings, and their interactions with the people they meet on their way in regular blog postings through a variety of social media channels. In addition, they will be set regular challenges and they will be able to interact with their followers.

The project will end at the European Development Days, which will be held in Brussels in June 2018, where the four participants in the Faces2Hearts project will share their stories and their points of view with development professionals at one of the leading EU forums on development, which, in previous editions has brought together 42,000 participants from 154 countries, including 100 world leaders.