THE inaugural International Youth Day at the 2005 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod will enable visiting secondary schools to develop direct links with competing schools from all over the world.
One World Connects on July 7 will be building on the tremendous success of the now well established International Children's Day, which sees more than 4,000 primary school pupils filling the Royal International Pavilion on Tuesday of the Festival week.
'Following the enormous success of International Children's Day for Primary ages over the last three years, the International Eisteddfod wishes to engage with young people as they progress through school towards college and university,' said International Eisteddfod chief executive Gwyn L Williams.
'With the secondary school curriculum now emphasising global citizenship and encouraging school links with other countries, we felt the International Eisteddfod was the obvious place to see direct contact made and encouraged with the peoples of the world.'
The International Eisteddfod field will be split into three separate zones. A World Music Zone featuring Celtic band Mabon, anarchic dance from Central Africa with Nzi Dada along with hip-hop, samba and Japanese taiko drumming.
The World Dance Stage will give students the opportunity to learn Capioera, a martial art developed by African slaves in Brazil, as well as Samba Reggae, Street Dance and Break Dancing.
'The Spoken Word zone will give an opportunity to experience Malaysian poetry, Indian storytelling, Welsh and Jamaican rap as well as workshops in lyric writing,' said Mr Williams.
'The whole emphasis will be on exposing our adults of tomorrow to the diverse and fascinating global cultures of today and at the same time giving them the opportunity to forge lasting and beneficial contacts with the world.'
There will be more than 120 different overseas groups competing at this year's festival containing more than 4,500 individual competitors from 51 different countries worldwide.
On International Youth Day there will be 15 different countries represented, including Trinidad and Tobago, Hong Kong, Kurdistan and Bahrain.
The direct connection of schools with the International Eisteddfod's competing groups will be co-ordinated by David Phoenix, chairman of the Wales Regional Training Network for International Awareness in Education based at Denbighshire County Council.
The committee, which is responsible for developing global links particularly through secondary school education and the youth sector, links all education authorities throughout Wales with the voluntary sector, the British Council and departments for international development.
'The world is getting smaller all the time with the advent of the internet, e-mail and the introduction of much quicker means of international travel,' said Mr Phoenix.
'As an individual, becoming a part of the Global Community is more important now than ever in ensuring tolerance, understanding and a true grasp on international issues as they affect us.
'This doesn't come about by studying geography books but by building constructive relationships with ordinary people overseas.
'There is no better place than the International Musical Eisteddfod to do this and I look forward to actively working with both visiting and competing secondary schools come July.'
International Youth Day (One World Connects) will be open from 9.30am until 3.30pm.
Tickets are priced from £4 per student with one supervising adult free with every 12 students. They can be purchased by calling 01978 862001 or booking on-line at www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk.