Spring NWM Alicante 2014: Let’s do it, do it, do it!

I must confess, I kind of love Network Meetings (NWM). From my very first one in Gijón (which really motivated me to become the AEGEE freak I am today) to the last one hosted by AEGEE-Alicante, my beloved antenna (which nearly killed me of exhaustion but also of satisfaction).

This one has been even more special to me as I was part of the local organising team and I was also part of the NetCom team for our region, “La Tripulación”. The preparation was pretty long and tiring for all of us, but I think each little achievement, all the happy faces and every single smile were worth it!

Some words from our happy participants. Javier Aguerri (AEGEE-Zaragoza): “AEGEE-Alicante and NetCom showed again what they are capable of. Flawless organisation and a seductive program. What a great event!” Javier Uceda (AEGEE-Madrid): “A NWM like a blow of fresh air, which caress everyone’s skin and makes them feel that they could actually change anything.” Consu Ródenas (AEGEE-Valencia): “It has been a very inspiring event for some new members, who have realized how big this is, and now have become more active.”

Not only the participants were happy with the results of the NWM, but Sora Chung (AEGEE-Alicante, main organiser) too. She said: “Together with Carmen María, organising a NWM was something we wanted since we joined AEGEE’s active life. This NWM was a challenge for all of us, not only because of the number of participants, but also because half of the team were newbies. I’m happy to be in such a hardworking team. I was never able to attend any of our NWMs before and organising this one made me realise even more how wonderful our region and people are. For sure, you can expect to see me in next NWMs.”

The local organisers did their best trying to fill the participants with wonder by taking care of every detail they could. There was even a nice opening ceremony due to the support of the Local Council of Moraira, who was quite helpful from the very beginning. We all suited up for the occasion. Three participants celebrated their birthdays during the Animal Party, having a proper birthday song with cake and candles, some little presents and, last but not least, a special present, choosing the task for AEGEE-Lyon members to earn their precious flag back (this picture says it all).

But well, shall I stop making people jealous with so many good details and speak about the contents of this NWM?

The workshops contents were really wide and varied. Volunteering, Erasmus, participation in democracy, quality events, YVote2014 (with two representatives: Léa Charlet and Aleksandra Kluczka), Action Agenda and Strategic Plan, conflict resolution, IT tools and much more… But in general, the workshop that people enjoyed the most, was the Bar Camp session where loads of ideas came out (ways to improve NWMs and make them more fruitful for everyone). Long and productive discussions were held and everyone had the chance to ask questions to three present candidates for next Agora Patra. Cool, right?

Also our Network Commissioner expressed her good impression: Pauline Létard (NetCom) was “really happy to hear what people had to say: opinions on what works in AEGEE and what does not, ideas on how to improve our organization and work. Now I’m convinced that we have to give people more space to talk and invent tools to make them feel comfortable to do so. The results will be published soon, the most important comes after we have implemented all ideas and tools from this event!” Patricia Anthony (NetCom) said: “NWM Alicante was fantastic!

It is striking to see the cooperation between these antennae. It was even greater to see participants were engagingly talking about actual topics, and my highlight: the open sessions where participants chose what they wanted to talk about. It was inspiring to see the eagerness to learn, grow and work together; talking about removing the gap between the European and the Local Level and increasing the feedback to the active members of for example the Comité Directeur and the Network Commission, pointing out the importance of speaking up and being heard to help AEGEE move in the right direction.”

The event could have not finished in a better way than by eating paellas and the local cake, cocas, cooked by local housewives in front of the sea while drinking mistela. Everyone enjoyed the local gastronomy and hospitality before having to say good bye.

Let’s keep increasing our participation in debates, decisions, interaction with the European level and so on because we ALL have something to say and to contribute with. The limit is only defined by you!


Written by Carmen María López Banegas, AEGEE-Alicante