How the idea developed: The idea of creating a group formed by young people inside IAF came to mind after several events in 2014; the first one being the IAF meeting of 2014, where young people came from every part of the Earth, from the United States to Morocco, and even from places most of us had never heard of). Talking together, it became apparent that there is a kind of invisible wire that connects us all and makes us equal, despite the distance; young people are inspired with a great passion, a will to exploit their energies in a constructive way. They are willing to find their way into a world that is not yet their own, a world that may at times seem to them to be predominantly represented and led by older generations.
The founder, Andrea Villa, joined CIC’s Young Opinion group in 2013 , and noticing the intense exchange of mails, information and experiences, he asked himself: “Why don’t we take them as an example in order to create something similar for young falconers!?” Since there are already several working groups within IAF, including the women’s working group, a group reserved for young people could be useful in order to enlarge IAF support and to include the ideas of young people.
What is the IAF YFG: The IAF Young falconers group was initially envisioned as a working group within IAF and was officially founded during the 2015 IAF council of delegates meeting held in Posadas, Argentina, and comprised of young people between the ages of 16 and 29. It is open to anyone without any kind of barrier or restriction. YFG membership expires as soon as a member turns 30. In 2019 the YFG was incorporated as a subgroup into the newly formed Education Working Group which collates all previously existing IAF educational initiatives and harmonizes them through the framework of the IAF Falconry Education Program. The YFG is now one of six subsections within the IAF Falconry Education Program guided by the general IAF education policy set by the education working group while enjoying a large degree of autonomy.
All activities of the YFG are designed to support youths practicing falconry and to
strengthen their connections to other falconers and amongst themselves. We believe
that this is vital to support our intangible cultural heritage and in order to pass on our art from
one generation to the next.