The month of January brought us a new Local of the Month: AEGEE-Berlin showed a movie about AEGEE members’ life and is organising not only an event for the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, but also a SU in cooperation with AEGEE-Lviv. The board talks about an exchange with AEGEE-Kyiv. Get more information about this active antenna.
The AEGEEan: After being nominated LoM, present us your local.
AEGEE-Berlin board: For thirty years now, AEGEE-Berlin has stood as an example of our values, most visibly in the broad spectrum of nationalities and cultures present within the members and on our board. We have been through difficult times before, when the antenna struggled, but now this is one of the best times! We are not only a group of students, but also a group of friends.
What can you tell us about the Pulse of Europe event? What are you organising for the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome?
As you might know, #PulseofEurope is an event organised every Sunday until the 12th of March. It is a gathering of pro-Europeans who want to stand up and be active in the fight for united Europe. As young Europeans, we consider it our responsibility to support this movement. That is why not only we have attended but also have taken to the stage to present our point of view. And not for the last time!
Considering the 60th anniversary, we have come together with five other Berlin-based NGOs (not only youth ones), in order to organise a March for Europe in Berlin for those who are not able to travel to Rome.
Which is the feedback for your SUPS, which took place in your city in January?
The SUPS was a very inspiring event with inspiring people. We were lucky to have high quality trainers and also amazing participants. This combination made it very productive and educational. We can not do differently than just to thank them all again for having been here with us.
Did you get successful in showing the movie “The Art of the Possible”? How can people watch it if they missed it?
We did air it, so I would say yes, we were successful and very pleased to have the creator of the movie, Luca Giazzi, personally there to take part in the discussions. For everyone it was a very cosy evening. The second part of the question is more for Luca than us, as he has a plan of publishing the movie.
Are you satisfied with the exchange “If I were in your shoes” with AEGEE-Kyiv? Which was the best moment of the exchange?
More than satisfied. Twenty-six youngsters from Germany and Ukraine got together to discuss the issues that modern Europe has to face and shared their knowledge and experience. The whole event was supported by the EVZ foundation and various other partners. It was a big challenge for us to organise it as it is always risky when you work with grants. Also it was very important for us becasue it showed that we, as antenna, are capable of this kind of performance. We are very grateful to all the organisers and helpers who made it possible and nailed it.
The general topic of our exchange project “If I were in your shoes” with AEGEE-Kyiv was to educate and provide experience of participatory democracy and voluntarism. Thus, on the second day in Berlin we decided to try out something new by sending all our participants in small groups to local volunteer initiatives, where they would not only be informed, but also engaged. One group went to a homeless shelter, where they helped cooking the meals, another one- to a refugee dormitory, where they built up beds. Two other groups visited different places as well.
We have been skeptical at first, but our participants were overwhelmingly moved by the experience, which was a novelty for many. They unanimously agreed on this having been the most transformative and intriguing part of the exchange in Berlin and some have voiced their will to continue such volunteering activities in their home cities. We hope the memories of this event will guide them in the future.
Have you elected a new board? Who are the board members? Can you tell us something about them?
The election of the new board took place at the beginning of January. Now we have five board members from which two are from the last year. They are all very motivated, promising and ready to make our antenna shine. And what is a better start than getting elected for the Local of the Month?
Are there any members who are also active besides your internal events?
We are very proud of the fact that there are. We have two SUCT members, one JC subcommisioner, a CD assistant for communication and a member of the Eastern Partnership project. This year we hope to get even more members interested in the work on the European level.
What are the future plans of your Local?
Besides usual exchanges and local activities, we are all already excited about the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of our local, which will be epic! Of course we are organising a SU in cooperation with AEGEE-Lviv. So save the dates: from the 18th to the 30th of August and just Hakuna Matata. We would also like to repeat the success with the conference and make another one, of course on a different topic. And the most important plan we have is to continue spreading our awesomeness.
Written by Matteo Lai, AEGEE-Cagliari