NWM in Gijón – Inspiring people

designed by SUCT's Publications Responsible Gerardo García Díaz

designed by SUCT’s Publications Responsible Gerardo García Díaz

‘Motivation’ is one of the most heard words when asking people about their experience at the Autumn Network Meeting (NWM) Gijón. Events of this kind, where people can share their knowledge, problems and solutions, are absolutely crucial in order to become a more active member. After these meetings, motivation is up to the top and most of the people are willing to keep working harder to achieve new goals. Chago Déniz from AEGEE-Las Palmas said: “I’ve learned and contributed, as well as my antenna did. I left this NWM really motivated”.

There was a mixture between experienced people and newbies, which turned this NWM into a learning event for many of us. It is also true that, due to knowledge differences and probably also to little interaction, more than a few contributions were missing. Everyone had something to contribute with, but maybe the lack of confidence stopped us a bit. Mental note for all AEGEEans: next time forget your timidity and deeply involve yourself!

As for our region, this NWM has been a progress regarding group feeling as a unit. It was notably increasing and it will surely maintain that direction, so that it will make our region more united and healthier. People had the chance to know more about other antennae, helping us to get closer to the European level. Saara Juusti from AEGEE-Helsinki opined: It was interesting to hear how the antennae work in here and discuss problems, how to solve them, as well as share things that are going fine. You guys have a strong network!”. Katrin Renner from the Comité Directeur (CD) stated: “The NetCom did a big effort in including the French antennae more; work still needs to be done! The new Tripulación was in action for the first time, and I am sure they learned a lot from this event to make the upcoming ones even more successful.”

Coruña challenge in order to recover their mascot – Massage time for organizers

All workshop topics (Fund Raising, Information Technology, Human Resources) were very interesting. They were mainly focused on the real and daily work of the antennae. It is true that everyone would have loved them to be more interactive and participative, so as to really involve people in them. This is something that will be better on our next NWM for sure! Alvaro Espinosa, SubCommie, explained: “We will try to improve the WS for the next one. I would like to encourage the members of AEGEE to be more active in this kind of events; we need your help and feedback!”

The State of the Region helped to create connections between antennae and to understand the others’ problems and solutions. There was also a really nice explanation about European bodies and structure. There were different groups and someone from each group came to explain their bit, group by group. That helped to call the attention of the participants getting the most of each intervention. Bruno Di Lorenzo from AEGEE-Santander said: “I’ve come to understand how this huge association works and how we can participate and contribute locally, regionally, at the European level and even more.” Leonor Babo from AEGEE-Porto: “It was very useful for me because I didn’t know much about AEGEE Europe before”.

The group atmosphere was amazing and that made the ideas exchange much easier. Carla Martinez from AEGEE-Castelló “People knew when to have fun and when to cooperate to find alternatives to continue improving”. So for all those present at this Autumn NWM Gijón proudly and successfully organized by AEGEE-Oviedo, the result was admirable. Léa Charlette from AEGEE-Paris “With the perfect organization and our region amazing atmosphere, everything was great!

Concerning the social programme, it was even better than we can all expect from an AEGEE event. The organisers did a really good job and knew how to show us their homeland, so we fell in love with it. They organized an ‘espicha’ (traditional Asturian food and drink celebration, so we could enjoy their amazing ‘sidrina’ and eat great food). They also prepared a special and different European Night; really good structured and funny, with some questions and challenges about Asturias.

Warming up for the European Night!

There was a moving surprise at the end of the NWM for one significant member of AEGEE-Oviedo and organiser of this NWM as well, Juan Sordo, who was leaving the association. As he said “The NWM was really special for me, not only because I was a local organiser, but also due to the great surprise that my mates gave me. It is difficult to leave me lost of words but they achieved it!” But, we do not let the sadness of this farewell overcome us because, as Alberto Ayora, SubCommie, said:  “Important members left, but new ones with a lot of experience and energy arrived. This has just begun!”.

CD’s representative Kathrin Renner learnt how to pour Sidra, the local drink 

My warmest congratulations and gratitude to everyone: The organisers, helpers, participants, SubCommies, CD’s special envoy, those who couldn’t join but participated from the distance and even people who were just passing by, because they all made this NWM remarkable!

I would like to end with a simple but clear idea: Share your AEGEE love and knowledge!

Written by Carmen María López Banegas, AEGEE-Alicante

Pictures and their titles by Gerardo García Díaz, AEGEE-Oviedo

Juanola was given the Honorific Membership of the Region