During the Network Status Update at Autumn Agora Chisinau, Network Director Tekla Hajdu, gave everyone during the plenary some good news: a new city joined the AEGEE-Network: Málaga. Situated on the Costa del Sol in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia in Spain, it is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded as Malaka by the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC. We asked some questions to two of the founders, Natalia Torres and Rafael Adrián Garcia Martin, after their participation at NWM Barcelona.
The AEGEEan: What’s the story behind the contact in Málaga?
Natalia: We were just two young people interesting in travelling cheap and meeting other people from all over Europe. So we went to the Summer University (SU) in Bulgaria. There, we realized that AEGEE was much more, and we loved it. So we decided that we wanted a local in our lovely city. In fact, three weeks later I went to the event of University for Youth Development in Mollina (Málaga), which was tremendously inspiring, and this just reaffirmed that our decision of creating a local in Málaga was great.
How did you discover AEGEE?
Adrián: A friend of mine from the university told me in class what AEGEE was and all the possibilities that this organisation offered to students. Then I told Natalia and it seemed to us a really interesting way of discovering Europe cheaply. Our priority was just that, and we kept in mind the idea of taking part in a Summer University. But once we discovered what AEGEE actually was, it impacted us and we decided to create a local in Málaga.
Adrián: We are somehow shocked and surprised of the quick growth of our contact of AEGEE-Europe in Málaga. Since we received the university support, we started to give informative sessions, which have been a success, having more than 20 applicants on the intranet and almost 40 people interested in joining the association. At the moment, we are finishing the statutes in order to accomplish all the requirement for being upgraded to contact-antenna, keeping in mind our objective for being an antenna in a mid-term period.
What makes you, as a contact, unique from any of the other student organisations in Málaga?
Adrián: Even thought there are nearly 100 young organisations in the university, only a few of them have an international scope. We feel unique in the sense that not being an official association yet, we have received the university support really quick, letting us to communicate with the student community and offering us all the help that we need. Besides, the contact of AEGEE-Europe in Málaga is in partnership with the Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs of the University of Málaga. We cooperate to organise events and communicating them to all the students. We are different from the rest of the associations, because we can offer all kinds of events, giving all the students the possibility of travelling abroad and enhancing competences in our courses.
What are your future plans?
Natalia: We are already planning a Local Training Course (LTC) in December, so new members can know each other and we are looking forward to organise an event about gender equality in collaboration with our university. In our planning report, we have also emphasised the possibility of organising and exchange with another local. But our real objective is achieving the status of antenna as soon as possible.
Describe your local in three words.
Natalia: Potential, enthusiastic, energetic
Describe your city. What is the most special thing about it?
Adrián: Málaga is just wonderful: 300 sunny days per year, calm beaches, and a lively nightlife (and of course fresh barbecue sardines, our typical dish). The most special thing about Málaga in our opinion is its people. Los Boquerones, [The Anchovies, ed.] is how they nicknamed us. We are kind, charming, lovely and likable people. You are all invited to Málaga, you have to visit it [He smiles, ed].
Written By Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona