Alfredo Sellitti – President
On the second weekend I was in Derry, where AEGEE cooperated with BCA and James Skelly (patron of the Beyond Europe Project) to organise the 3rd International Student Conference on Divided Society, where students from Europe and USA gathered together to discuss and learn about how to deal with conflicts and society. Many AEGEE members took part in it, and AEGEE was facilitating the group discussion sessions (thanks also to Christian Eichenmüller for his contribution).
On the 18th and 19th the European Youth Forum – YFJ organised the Council of Members in Braga, Portugal, preceded on the 17th by an advocacy training. AEGEE was present there through me and Miroslaw Krzanik, our Liaison Officer towards YFJ.
On the next week three meeting closed the series: the Steering Committee of the European Civic Forum in Paris on the 23rd, the Federal Assembly of the European Movement International in Warszawa from the 25th till 26th and the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Poznan from the 28th till the 30th together with Shushan Khachatryan, content manager of the Eastern Partnership Project of AEGEE-Europe.
Alma Mozgovaja – Secretary General
To me it seemed that November will be a month where all tasks, communication and all details of daily work will get much clearer. In fact it is clearer, but it reveals how much we have to do to make any changes and it shows how hard we have to work to manage things we planned to do.
For me November was mainly reflection time – things I want to change in my daily work, to structure cooperation with the new Chair team, how to successfully organize the EBM with the new concept, start the preparations for the Spring Agora in Enschede and find some time for breaks during busy non-stop hours in the office.
It takes time to manage a team and to understand the needs of every single personality. Right now I know how demanding and time-consuming this can be. Every challenge we meet is a step towards growth and I’m looking for the moment when we will slowly come to a common understanding, developed norms and procedures that we all follow and respect for better synergy.
Even if November indicates the first breeze of winter, it was very sunny for me. I had holidays what was planned since spring. I was in Venezuela – with a lot of sun, uninhabited jungles, great Latin hospitality, adventures, and of course summer. It definitely gave me a lot of energy for the next months. It also inspired and prepared me for the hottest project of AEGEE – Summer University; and the SUCT meeting which took place in Athens on the last weekend in November.
Elena Antova – Financial Director
right after the Agora, after which I arrived back to Brussels, where I started the update of the locals’ statuses. Following that, I started working and prepared the financial part of the General Subvention for 2012.
From the 11th till the 13th I took part in the Network Meeting in Gdansk, where I was a representative on behalf of the Comité Directeur and a trainer. We had workshops about the implementation of the Strategic Plan and Action Agenda, private fund raising and the European level in AEGEE. People were always telling me that there is something special in the Network Meeting organised in Poland. Was it in the air, I cannot tell, but there should have been something, otherwise how would it have been possible to gather together more than 150 participants, trainers and organisers, and prepare a really good thematic and social content.
After the Network Meeting, I returned to my regular task, checking Reimbursement forms, making payments, going to the bank and etc. After a long meeting with the Juridical Commission we selected our five Subcommissioners. It was a hard choice, because all the candidates were really good and motivated. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take everyone, but I am really happy with the new team we have now!
At the end of the month, I started a new initiative – the Reimbursement forms Manual. Hopefully, it will be useful in the future!
Marko Grdošić – Vice President and External Relations Director
After three months in Brussels, I managed to spend the beginning of November at home. These couple of days gave me much needed rest and a lot of motivation for the future work in Brussels.
Until the middle of November I was preparing the General Subvention application. It was a hard work and I am very thankful for the mental and work related support that I got from some of my team members. Sleepless nights, coffee, activity plans, budget and the Strategic plan. This was my biggest task so far and it really felt good to send the final version of the application on the 15th. November also brought some happy news. The Executive Agency finally approved the report of the General Subvention 2010 with surprisingly good results. Also, New Media Summer School has been reported and approved.
In the middle of the month I had an opportunity to meet the representative of the World Bank. We had a good discussion and agreed on possible cooperation. This time the focus was not on the financial assistance but more on thematic one. Hopefully we will be able to share knowledge, information and experience in the fields we have in common. The biggest interest representative showed in Beyond Europe and Yvote campaign.
With our partner, Careers International, we agreed to have an official representative at every event they are organising. Last week I attended one of them. It was a very good opportunity to meet different companies that are looking for young graduates and look for place where we can cooperate together.
Jüri Kirpu – Internal Relations Director
In November the Agora in Struga had ended and for our team it brought lots of new perspectives for the future, mainly because we passed our first challenge as the Comité Directeur, which was followed by a huge amount of follow up work. Official communication of deletion was sent to 12 locals for which letters will be sent in December due to technical reasons. The new composition of the Network Commission also required some attention, which was mainly connected to the election of the new Speaker Team. Congratulations to Olga Iatsyna and Koen Berghuis.
November continued with the Comité Directeur Chat. This undertaking proved to be a very good way for direct communication between the board and you, our local members, from which I personally received many suggestions for improvements in my work and much needed constructive feedback.
The month ended for me with an extraordinary happening, namely the Network Meeting in Porto. The event was amazing from many perspectives, because it proved once more, that you don’t need many people to organise an amazing Network Meeting. Lots of inspiration and knowledge was given and received during it, resulting in the creation of close ties between not only locals from Spain, but also Portugal and France. After a long period, English was the main language used in this area, which was a success on its own.
Gizem Karslı - Projects Director
November has started with Network Meeting Leuven. When I look back, I can easily say that Network Meeting Leuven was the most significant happening of November. There, we had long and fruitful discussions about student activism, current stage of AEGEE and how to enhance our thematic world. We realised that in general student associations are perceived as places to spend leisure time and have fun. They are not considered to be strong or efficient enough to tackle ‘’serious’’ issues although they are to function as efficient lobbyists for youth rights. A lot of inspirational ideas arouse there that will definitely remind our Network of the role of us as a student organisation.
During the course of the November I mainly focused on EBM preparations. As we all know, with the new format, EBM functions as a platform where we will discuss various thematic happenings and strengthen our relations and cooperation with other NGOs and with experts of the field we are working on. The reason behind the reform and the new working format is simple: enhance our thematic world and give our members an opportunity to discuss certain topics with the experts of those fields, give them a platform where they can state and defend their opinions and positions. Furthermore, during the EBM we will draft the Action Agenda 2012-2013 together. Namely, it is not going to be only certain people active on European Level to decide what AEGEE should focus in the coming year but whole Network. Therefore apply for EBM İzmir and be a part!
Guillermo García Tabarés - Human Resources Director
During November I was not travelling, which allowed me to completely concentrate on my work and implement new changes accepted during the Agora. The newly ratified Human Resources Committee started to work with new spirit and energy. The four sub-committees had their first online meetings, where they shared ideas they would like to implement in the following months. After that they divided their first tasks and the board was trying to coordinate all of them so that they would not overlap nor forget their aims. Soon some of you will receive requests from them, so get ready for the action.
Besides that I was coordinating the follow up of the Working Groups reform. Together with all of them we created a proper task division for each position, so that all the Working Groups would start to have the same internal structure and with it allow the communication to happen in a more coherent way. Together with this, all the similar positions of the Working Groups were contacted, analyzing each of their tasks in depth. We are now waiting for the last elections to be finished, having officially and for first time the PR and HR positions in their boards. Apart from that I helped them to draft the last version of their Activity Plans following a more detailed version which includes actions, discussion topics, collaborations and improvements.
Last but not least, this month was full of Local Training Courses all over the Network. I was keeping an eye on them, asking them for reports and assisting them with the reimbursement procedure when needed and getting some useful materials.