When we were taking office last August, we knew, all the 11 of us that we were assigned to handle a ship against all odds. The Action Agenda Coordination Committee was facing a wave of suspicion and doubt among the Network, due to the lack of connectivity people felt with it or maybe due to the very nature of our work, which is defining, analysing and decoding the Strategic Plan and the Action Agenda of the organisation.
Let’s pick it from the start though. The Action Agenda almost monopolises our work, since we have to make sure as well as strive during our term that the Focus Areas of the AA are actually respected, promoted and developed throughout the Network and its activities. For us, it could be either sticking to the basics and managing things behind our computers’ screens, or getting out there and try to infuse the Action Agenda into people’s minds, helping the locals understand it is not about “filling in an activity report” but more of a “promoting ideas that define AEGEE and feeling proud of it”, and that is what we decided to do. A group of people, of whom the majority did not know each other and most of them were rookies in the Committee. We sat down and decided to turn things around by devoting ourselves to the Action Agenda and the promotion of it, utterly aiming at establishing an honest relationship with the locals that could help fostering the dialogue with them.
The Network Meetings posed a great chance for us and we really took advantage of them during both seasons. Autumn Network Meetings we filled with those “ACT workshops”, which in the beginning no one knew so much about and did not know what to expect. After many hours of workshops, games, interactions and many laughs, each ACT trainer left his/her respective Network Meeting with a taste of reward and accomplishment, shown by the appreciation of the locals. We tried to show up at most places possible. Overall, both Autumn and Spring NWMs taken into account, we have managed to hold workshops in Zielona Gora, Moskva, Leiden, Aachen, Nijmegen, Bamberg, Beograd, Novi Sad, Barcelona, Bilbao, Torino, literally spreaded out as ACTies all around the map of Europe. After all, Network Meetings are the definition of active communication and contact with the locals, thare is where the bonds between AEGEEans are formed and strengthened and, if not anything, it was our honor to have served that goal.
Not to mention the EPM in Zagreb in February which was a total crash-test for our body. Our ACTies gave everything they had during the stressful, endless days of the EPM, drafting the newest Action Agenda. Managing to get together so many people in rooms to start the interactive discussions which eventually formed the newest Action Agenda is regarded as an accomplishment, especially after getting the positive Network feedback regarding the new Focus Areas.
Our field of work was not however strictly limited to those actions. While out in the battlefield, we still had to do a lot -and I mean a LOT- behind the scenes so as to really achieve our goals. We established collaborations with fellow European Bodies and a regular and fruitful cooperation with the Network Commission and the CD of course, out of which Tekla Hajdu’s work must be highlighted. A dialogue with the Working Groups which made both parties really get the meaning of our interests came also along the way. Moreover, AEGEEans may have also noticed that the Action Agenda is now available in numerous languages, and that was something we wanted to do all the way from the beginning of our term. Having translated our “code of honor” in your mother tongue gives you the opportunity to get the ultra-essence of what you should be dealing with. The list can go on forever, though I cannot help but mention the “ACTive Local of the Month” awards our dear Elena has been handing out to every local contributing the maximum to the Action Agenda each month. These awards formed an urge to contribute to the Focus Areas spread among the Network and helped our work as well as the general aim foster.
Our terms’ epilogue will be ACT’s presence in AEGEE’s most successful project ever, the Summer Universities. You might be wondering, can a body like ACT be integrated into crazy summer parties and amazing vacation time? The answer is yes and be prepared to experience it during Beograd’s (SUrbian Spirit: Tales of Wilderness) and Niš’s (Letters from Niš) Summer Courses which are about to happen this August. I personally express my gratitude for those two locals that believed in ACT because together we are turning this project into reality, but most importantly I promise to all of you who are attending these two events will be an unbelievable experience which will only make us wiser.
Finally, I would like to highlight every ACTie’s personal commitment and promise to all the Network that ACT will continue its being with passion, devotion and hard work, aiming at developing the already amazing relationship we have established with the Network’s locals even further during the next term. Thank you for your trust.
Written by Constantine Bakiris, Action Agenda Coordination Committee