Dear reader, I’m Alejandra, member of AEGEE since four years ago and, currently, one of the members from the pool of representatives of AEGEE-Europe. Between the 10th and 14 of October, I’ve attended the General Assembly of IFMSA- Spain (International Federation of Medical Students Associations). For me, having the opportunity to be there, participate and give everything I could to this event was a big pleasure. Now, I have this report so you can check how the event went and possible future cooperations. Thank you for this opportunity!
The event was the National Meeting (General Assembly) of IFMSA-Spain. There were parallel agendas about different topics that they have been working on during the whole year, apart from the agenda for presidents and for the exchanges responsible. Plenaries happened in order to vote motions, candidates, etc, and there were also trainings.
During the whole event, I was switching between mostly two agendas, one about human rights and the other about sexual health. The sessions were really interesting and I found many topics in which AEGEE and IFMSA can collaborate contributing with different perspectives on the same topic. I have also attended one session for presidents to know how they organise it. Apart from that, I was attending all the plenaries, and during the first plenary I held a presentation to introduce AEGEE.
Moreover, there were also training: I delivered one about how to include your association in your CV. During the whole event, I was talking with many people explaining about AEGEE and the different projects, apart from asking about the functioning of IFMSA-Spain to get more information about it. I also had the opportunity to meet the president of IFMSA International, a representative from the CEEM (Consejo Estatal de Estudiantes de Medicina) and a representative from AECS (Associació d’Estudiants de Ciències de la Salut).
The programme was a mix between bureaucratic procedures and trainings. There were six different agendas, four of them about their different working groups and with thematic sessions, one other related to their exchanges and the last one for presidents. The representatives of each local committee had to attend the one for presidents and the ones in charge of the exchanges in their local had to attend the one about exchanges. The rest of participants could switch from one to another, even if most of them tried to focus in just one. Everyday after lunch there was the local hour, were each local committee was reunited to discuss everything to vote later in the plenaries. On Wednesday and Thursday there were trainings, three at the same time on Wednesday and two on Thursday. Anyone could choose the one that they liked the most. As feminism was a topic for this GA, there was a session about this, parallel to the trainings. Of course, plenaries were there, in order to vote motions, present candidates, vote them, etc.
As for my impressions about this event, first of all I love the idea of having different agendas. It has a really big potential so anyone can choose in which they would like to participate. This could be also implemented in our Agora, as we have parallel workshops for the visitors and we can implement this procedure and maybe improve the attendance rate of visitors. This kind of structure of course can be implemented in any other events, and we could organise thematic events with this structure, so the funding should be easier, more people with different interests would attend it, and we could have a bigger impact.
Regarding the cooperation, the different local committees can cooperate with our antennae. Right now I just have contacts in Spain, but, from here, I can work to get more from other countries in order to implement the collaboration. Also, with IFMSA International, we can talk and give them some spot in the Agora and some space. We can start with IFMSA Spain, but we can also look further and try to get this cooperation. They are medical students, so a full collaboration is difficult but still, we are fighting for the same ideals and rights, even if we look through them from different perspectives. So, at the end, we can collaborate in this topics that we have in common. I’m starting to test this local collaboration unofficially with the Local committee in Santiago with AEGEE-A Coruña and AEGEE-Vigo, and my idea is to invite two of them to our LTC.
The event opened my mind a lot. I could observe that we can improve a lot how we organise some events to give space to everyone. Everyone here was so attentive, and asking me about how my experience was going, taking the time to explain me something everytime I didn’t understand. It was a totally repeatable experience. To conclude, we should continue with this collaboration, as we can learn a lot from each other. And try to have this collaboration on the European and local level.
Written by Alejandra Piot Pérez-Abadín, Network Commission