Local of the month, March 2020: AEGEE Moskva!

They successfully hosted the training of Europe on Track and the HerMainY Project, receiving a lot of positive feedback for their work and organisation. We are happy to introduce AEGEE Moskva as the Local of the Month, March 2020! 

Congratulations on being awarded the Local of the Month! We’re to hear more about you!

Thank you so much!  We cannot wait for our members to hear the news. They’re working a lot and this appreciation is really meaningful. This year is very special for us. We were chosen to host 2 remarkable events. This is a new level for the  antenna even for the year without the pandemic… but it is also a great dose of motivation and a way to show that all the limits are only in our hands. Currently, we are working on launching a series of brand new online activities. The pilot one that we are launching this week for our members is going to be the first  debate on the topic of gender equality. It is getting more popular and discussed now in Russia and thanks to AEGEE-Europe’s projects we have trained people now in our local who can provide a safe space to take an active part in it. 

Many of our members are, of course, involved in the preparation for organizing Autumn Agora Moscow 2020. Although we are experiencing some difficulties with FR and getting some support on a local level, the team is quite professional and adapting very smoothly.  There is a full remote-mode, which includes not only regular meetings but also informal and team building activities. Thanks to the HR Department of the Agora the team is now more than 60 people and it’s growing day by day. After several rounds of open-calls, there were 21 Working Group Coordinators chosen, and in total, we received more than 40 applications, 90% of them from newbies who are joining the organization.  

What are some of the most memorable moments you’ve had in your local?

At the beginning of March we hosted the EoT Training and HerMainY Training For Trainers. We welcomed ambassadors, trainers and participants in Moscow and did our best not only to provide the organizational part but also to let them enjoy our culture and the city to the fullest! We were happy to receive very positive feedback and the team keeps it close to their hearts.

Moreover, as a part of this event, we organized the conference “Include yourself”  devoted to the topics of inclusivity and mental health. We managed to invite a lot of speakers and experts to share their experience, discuss the actual developments, problems and struggles connected with these questions in Europe and in Russia. It was the first thematic conference of this kind for our local and definitely a big challenge which turned out to be a really nice and meaningful experience. And we will do our best to follow this direction in future and motivate our members to take such initiatives!  

What has been the key to your success? In which areas have you needed more help and development?

We believe that our key to success is the unwavering motivation and commitment of our members. We always go big: take the initiative and new challenges, suggest new ideas, and don’t wait to put them into practice.  We have our own quality standards which help us to sustain a certain level for our antenna, but we also always aim to break new grounds. We never give up if something goes wrong, but try again and again. It honestly gives us a lot of work, of course. Sometimes when we tell our friends how much time and efforts we put in some aspect of organizing the event, they won’t believe it. So, yes, we realise ourselves this sounds mental, but no wonder that our motto says “You’ll sleep only when you quit”, right? :)

Hosting the next Agora helped us go beyond everything: we are recruiting new amazing people who are eager to contribute their best, we are finding new partners and building new cooperations. Our Board and the Core Team of the Agora are working hand in hand and are trying to make the best out of this experience, take the advantage of hosting this big event as a growing point for developing the antenna as a whole. We feel we are quite good at organizing different kinds of events, but we don’t have much experience in working with content and institutional fundraising. These areas are the ones we are trying to develop. But we are good learners, we have people to teach us, so don’t doubt that any difficulties will make us only stronger and hard times will turn out to be the most productive.

Some words of wisdom to other locals?

Some people come to AEGEE to develop their skills or work on the inspiring topics, others to make friends or get to know new cultures, but whatever you were looking for, most of you stayed because of the people you met here and the unique AEGEE-Spirit! So let’s not forget that whatever happens, we are here to support and empower each other, to feel safe, enjoy each other’s company and take care of each other! It is especially important nowadays. Don’t let the circumstances break you, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it and never stop DREAMing big and go for your dreams!