Both of August’s Locals of the Month encourage us to put our fear away, but always responsibly

As we all know, all Summer Universities were cancelled this year due to the pandemic, and although it was very sad for everyone, we always have to put our health and social responsibility first. Luckily, the situation improved in some countries and two of them did the first events of the summer -respecting safety measures, of course. This is why we congratulate AEGEE-Zagreb and AEGEE-Brescia, who have been elected Locals of the Month, August 2020! Let’s know more about these hardworking antennae!

Congratulations on being chosen as the Member of the Month, August 2020! To start off, tell us a bit more about your local.

A-Zagreb: Hey everyone! First of all, we would like to thank you all for the election as the local of the month. It means a lot to us and we are so happy and proud of this title. AEGEE-Zagreb as a local was founded back in 1993 and ever since it keeps spreading its network. We are currently the only local in Croatia. Throughout the years we have successfully organized events on both European and local level: language courses, summer universities, conferences, celebrations and cultural exchanges. We have hosted hundreds of young Europeans, some of whom stayed for a couple of days, and some for weeks. We taught them how to tie the tie, dance “drmeš” or bargain on “Hrelić”. Apart from the active promotion of Croatian culture, especially Zagreb student life, we have organized many encounters with domestic students with topics of higher education, European integration etc. We take care of our members and their growth is of great value for us. We accept new members throughout the whole year and we give them an opportunity to choose their area of interest. Our members were and still are members of many projects and working groups of AEGEE-Europe as well as some Committees.

A-Brescia: We are an amazing and energised group, our mascot is a lioness called Pota which is a word in our dialect that means basically everything and nothing at the same time. 

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

A-Zagreb: This year has been special for AEGEE-Zagreb. We have organized two European events, NWM Zagreb: A Million Hearts, A Million New Ideas back in March and Sailing the Croatian Dream vol.3 in August. The NWM was successfully organized just at the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic and we were so glad that it actually happened, especially considering the new circumstances happening in the whole world. As for the Sailing event, the organization was a real challenge. At some point, we were thinking about cancelling it, but as the situation in Croatia got better, and participants really wanted for it to happen, we decided to proceed with the organization, and now we are thrilled we did. It was pretty amazing to actually feel the AEGEE spirit again, after quarantine and all the things happening in the last few months. So the highlight of this year was, in our opinion, the Sailing event. It was incredible to see all the happy faces of our participants on the first day of the event. They were all so excited because they knew that they were finally being able to do something fun, adventurous and amazing. At the end of the day, that was the reason why we organized it. And no pandemic could stop us.  

A-Brescia: Our most memorable moment has been without any doubt, our last event BriXtreme, the participants were amazing and even if the virus was something we had to worry about it didn’t stop us from having the best time of our life.

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

A-Zagreb: The key to our success is definitely our motivated members. We are really happy that, even after the pandemic and the earthquake, we are still going strong. Or maybe stronger than ever. And that motivates us even more. We are a family that no situation can break, and that makes us really proud. So we would like to thank all of our amazing members, organizers and helpers for everything that they did this year, and in the previous years. Because without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today. AEGEE-Zagreb has had its ups and downs, but we are currently struggling to find new motivated and active members to continue the amazing work of previous members and board. We are hoping to recruit new potentials to continue the good practices and bring new ideas for future projects. 

A-Brescia: Our key to success has been of course our motivated members and their energy. We had to find something they were interested in taking an active role in and as expected they did an amazing job. We put most of the effort this year in HR and we are trying to create a bigger group of active members and friends.

Some words of wisdom to other locals?

A-Zagreb: Don’t be afraid to organize new activities. It can be a challenge, especially in times like this, but it’s worth it. AEGEE is all about developing a better future for all of us. Enjoy it, do the things that you like to do and cherish this experience! AEGEE is one big family that stays together and that makes us strong. Virtual kisses and hugs from Zagreb. Stay safe! 

A-Brescia: Don’t be afraid to try, trust in yourselves and the people near you, and you will be capable of doing great things.