EDERED as an organization was founded in 1985. The first Children’s Encounter however took place in 1982; the first Youth Encounter was held in 1987. The idea grow out of an initiative put forward by the Council of Europe in a seminar hosted by Sweden in Eskilstuna in 1979 under the title, “Children and Culture in Contemporary Europe”.
Membership of the organisation is open to those who have been responsible for the running of an Encounter in their own countries and to those who plan to organise one in the near future.
The Encounters usually last for two weeks and consist of an intensive inter-cultural workshop programme and planned social activities. Participants do not bring prepared theatre performances to the Encounters.
The Encounters culminate in a final showing/presentation.
The organization consists of an executive board and a general assembly.
The Encounter exists for the benefit of the participants and therefore all activities of the organisation must always have that focus. To that end these Six Principles of EDERED have been developed and they form the philosophical basis for all Encounters.
• The Encounter should be open-minded and welcome diverse ways of working in drama/theatre and facilitate diverse approaches in methodology.
• The Encounter should provide opportunities for sharing these diverse approaches.
• The environment of an Encounter is non-competitive.
• The Encounter is a process of listening and inter-cultural co-operation and provides opportunities for children/young people/leaders to share their ideas and experiences in a safe environment.
• Each Encounter must recognise the unique opportunity provided for the social interaction of children/young people from diverse cultures.
• It should be fun