Newsletter 1 (Nov 2015)

NEWSLETTER 1 – November 2015
Luciano Di Martino, EEMA President

Dear Friends,

this is a newsletter which, as you know, is a written news release periodically disseminated via email. It’s easy to receive, you can use different tools, such as personal computers, tablets, smartphones and the like. It’s the best way to provide information to all the people you want to share it with, whether they are near or very far away.

The information I would like to convey in this first newsletter concerns the 2015 EEMA Conference, which took place in Antalya, Turkey from 4 to 7 September 2015. All the details can be easily found at the following web address:

However, I would like to summarize the event and stress its importance, not only for the Rotary world. The EEMA Conference takes place in a different country every year, and it is an opportunity to take stock of the situation with reference to the activities carried out in the last 12 months, new aspects that emerged, the progress made by the organization, discuss past and future initiatives and the possible mistakes identified in this experience. It is also essential to take some time to assess the interest (or lack thereof) raised among young people, their families, clubs, circles close to Rotary and those who were not familiar with the merits of our great humanitarian organization until they discovered the transnational youth exchange system.

As in the previous conferences, delegates from all over the world were able to exchange ideas, talk about new personal experiences, think, suggest, understand, learn, contribute to the improvement of programs or streamline procedures, propose further ways to favor young people’s participation, make contacts and the organization more effective from a bureaucratic and practical standpoint. Furthermore, it was an important moment for seeing old friends again and make new friends , consolidate relations between people and meet people who share the same trust in the international activities in favor of new generations.

Over and above official conversations and spontaneous statements that took place in the assembly room, everything occurred thanks to and most of all through the post-conference tours, which provided an opportunity to socialize and played a major role within the context of the EEMA Conference and are among the main reasons for the successful outcome of this international meeting.

This successful outcome also emerges from the statistics: over 260 participants representing 29 countries from the 5 continents, an active participation to the proceedings of all the attendees; all the work sessions were interactive, following a practice which started in Rome and continued in Oslo. Work was organized as follows: a coordinator, a presenter for the topics to be discussed in each session, interaction with the participants and, by way of conclusion, the opinions of four pundits on the work carried out. Data (which were collected by a secretary) were presented during the plenary session and then published on the website shortly thereafter.

This year, too, there was a Consensus Conference (like in Rome and Oslo), to prepare EEMA’s official Guidelines on certain aspects of the youth exchange program. In Rome, it was Training, in Oslo, Selection and Organizational Management in Antalya. The Consensus Conference envisaged four interactive workshops, and the data collected by the session’s secretary were transmitted to the EEMA International Guidelines Committee, which will process them and draw up the final draft of the guidelines in the next few months. They will be presented at the forthcoming EEMA Conference which will take place in Helsinki, the Finnish capital, in August 2016.

Five interesting open forums were organized alongside the Conference. They can be found in the website. The one on the improvement of relations with the Evanston Youth Exchange Staff (represented by Jessica Borrego on this occasion) was particularly informative.

In the meantime, the website ( has been updated. The conference proceedings, guidelines on selection, new honorary members, and everything that emerged during the Antalya conference can be found on the website, which will be enriched with the newsletter and some interesting articles written by Rotarians (from the EEMA area and elsewhere in the world) who are experts in the youth exchange program.

After the fruitful general meeting in mid-October in Turkey (together with EEMA Vice President Sedar), I paid a visit to the Organizing Committee for the forthcoming Conference, which will take place in Helsinki, Finland, with a segment in Tallinn, Estonia. This was a fruitful meeting, too, because the Conference and post-Conference tour programs were drafted.

Finally, I would like to stress the great importance of always keeping and taking care of relations with all the other youth exchange networks. I  have planned to take part in the various conferences of the youth exchange delegates throughout the world in the near future. I went to ABIJ, Brazil in October, and I will be in NAYEN, North America next February. I will be attending the Seoul preconvention in Seoul, and then all the other appointments for 2016


Newsletter 2 (Jun 2016)

NEWSLETTER no. 2 – January 2016
Luciano  Di Martino, EEMA President 2014-2016

Dear Friends,

Especially  in  this  transition  from  the  old  year  to  the  new  one,  I  feel  that  my  wish  to  you  for  2016  should  be  world  peace:  peace  on  earth, peace  among  peoples  and  between  individuals,  just  like  billions  of  men  and  women  would  like,  just  like  Rotarians  wish  and  work   for   in   every  club on the planet.
Will   the   scary   fires   of   the   wars   raging   through   Syria,   the   Lebanon,   Yemen,   Congo,   Burundi,   South   Sudan,   Colombia   and   Ukraine   be  extinguished?   Will   the   absurd   race   towards   armed   violence   that   stirs   the   fanatic   warriors   of   the   so-called   ISIS   in   the   name   of   a   false   religious  motivation   stop?   Will   the   massacres   and   attacks   that   claim   an   increasingly   high   death   toll   in   terms   of   innocent   and   harmless   victims   -   who   only  seek   harmony,   peacefulness   and   perhaps   legitimate   diversion   -   cease?   Will   the   inexplicable   hatred   of   fanatics   against   those   who   are   just  expressing   their   faith   be   stifled?   Will   the   atrocities   of   migration,   child   soldiers,   victims   of   trafficking,   people   who   don’t   have   a   job,   water,   food  or   shelter   disappear   at   last?   Will   the   huge   suffering   of   the   persecuted,   the   hungry   and   the   destitute   who   are   forced   to   leave   their   homeland   to  seek   comfort   in   far-away,   unknown   countries   end?   And   will   the   more   fortunate   populations   be   able   to   find   a   way   to   welcome,   comfort   and  help the persecuted, the poor and the destitute?

These   worldwide   issues   are   there   for   all   of   us   to   see   and   in   our   consciences.   Even   Pope   Francis   spoke   about   them   with   heartfelt   references   in  his   “Urbi   et   Orbi”   (i.e.:   addressed   to   everybody)   message   on   the   occasion   of   the   Christian   festivity   of   Christmas,   touching   the   hearts   of   those  who   trust   in   God   and   also   the   hearts   of   those   who   do   not   believe   in   the   afterlife.   The   Pontiff   knows   that   religious   people   and   atheists   alike   first  of all believe in man and human mercy.

Hope   is   the   last   thing   that   should   be   lost;   this   is   undeniably   the   sense   that   guides   every   Rotarian   action.   Indeed,   Rotary’s   greatness   lies   within  the   future,   never   within   the   present.   Every   thought,   tension,   major   work   or   minor   action   is   meant   for   the   days   to   come,   for   the   improvement  of   life   with   reference   to   the   generation   that   comes   after   our   own.   Every   one   of   us   thinks   about   the   future   world   and   the   moral   obligation   we  have to make it more livable for our children and those we do not know.

Based   on   these   assumptions,   and   with   these   intentions,   EEMA   works   in   a   proactive   and   relentless   way   within   the   international   context   of   a  wide-ranging   activity:   Rotary   International’s   Youth   Exchange   Program.   Yes   indeed:   the   young   people   whom   we   send   from   one   nation   to  another   by   the   thousands   are   the   true   messengers   of   friendship;   hence,   messengers   of   peace.   Each   of   them   leaves   with   a   suitcase   full   of  curiosity   and   hope,   and   comes   home   full   of   happy   experiences:   friendly   international   relations   built   on   study,   conversation,   knowledge,   mutual  fondness   are   unexpectedly   discovered   in   young   people   their   age   and   their   families,   even   though   they   speak   different   languages   and   have  different   traditions   and   habits.   In   the   beginning,   everything   seems   different;   however,   a   short   time   is   enough   to   realize   that   everybody   is   the  same on the inside: heart, mind, hope, affection, and good will. We all love peace and serenity, and we all believe in it.

EEMA’s   organization,   work,   endeavors   and   aspirations   are   based   on   this,   and   experience   leads   me   to   say   that   we   are   moving   forward   -   all  together – rapidly and satisfactorily. I must thank you and highlight the wish for better times to come.

Unfortunately,   I   am   deeply   sad   to   inform   you   that   a   heart   attack   took   away   the   life   of   Guillermo   Lopez   Portillo.   He   was   one   of   us:   a   Mexican  who   was   enviably   good-natured,   sincere,   accommodating   and   fair.   He   was   a   generous   and   always   kind   friend   of   young   people,   an   extremely  active   leader   of   our   vast   organization   and   President   of   Rotary   International’s   Youth   Exchange   Committee.   It’s   moving   for   me   to   remember   our  recent   meetings   in   Turkey,   Brazil,   and   wherever   there   was   something   to   organize   or   collaborate   on.   His   optimism   gave   us   confidence.   We  believe he will continue to encourage us, knowing he will always be with us. Farewell, dear MEMO. The   proceedings   for   the   drafting   of   the   program   and   logistic   organization   of   the   forthcoming   EEMA   Conference   in   Finland   in   the   month   of  August   are   at   an   advanced   stage.   A   new   meeting   between   myself,   Vice   President   Serdar,   the   Conference   Chair   Liisa   has   been   scheduled   for  February 5-6, 2016 in Helsinki.

The   institutional   goal   of   the   EEMA   Conference   is   to   identify   develop   and   present   the   best   available   resources   to   make   the   Rotary   Youth  Exchange Program increasingly easy and effective.

That’s   why   this   year,   too,   the      work   sessions   will   be   interactive.   This   is   to   enable   and   encourage   the   involvement   of   all   participants   in   the  conference work.

The   choice   of   the   topics   to   put   in   the   program   was   made   especially   based   on   the   assessment   of   the   proposals   made   by   the   participants   in   the  Antalya Conference.

Furthermore,   as   many   of   you   know,   starting   in   2012   a   Consensus   Conference   strategy   has   been   set   up,   so   that   each   EEMA   Conference   could  be   an   opportunity   to   develop   Guidelines   for   specific   practices   for   YEOs.   In   particular,   at   the   2013   Rome   Conference   an   interactive   consensus  model   was   chosen   focusing   on   identification   issues   and   best   practices   to   consider   for   the   “Training”   of   the   RIYE   Program.   At   the   2014   Oslo  Conference,   the   theme   of   “Selection”   was   addressed,   and   last   August   in   Antalya   the   theme   of   “Organizational   Management”   was   tackled.   The  theme of the Helsinki Consensus Conference will be “Financial Management in RYEP”.

The   international   EEMA   Working   Group   -   which   I   coordinate   -   is   engaged   in   drawing   up   the   final   draft   of   the   EEMA   Guidelines.   It   has   been  examining   the   data   collected   at   the   Antalya   Consensus   Conference   work   sessions.   In   line   with   tradition,   I   will   officially   present   the   results  during the forthcoming Conference in Helsinki.  The next meeting is scheduled to take place in February at the Cincinnati NAYEN.

The   work   done   so   far   will   not   be   enough   for   us,   and   we   will   continue   to   endeavor   to   make   the   forthcoming   Helsinki   Conference   an   interesting,  enthralling   and   formative   event,   as   well   as   a   pleasant   and   fruitful   meeting   of   old   and   new   friends.   Therefore,   I   invite   you   all   to   participate   in  this event we are organizing. For further details, please log on to our website  WWW.EEMA2016.FI .

I   would   like   to   recall   that   the   EEMA   Newsletters   can   be   found   on   our   website   WWW.EEMA.EU.COM ,   where   you   will   also   find   the   proceedings   of  the   Antalya   Conference,   the   EEMA   guidelines   on   Training   and   Selection,   as   well   other   interesting   news.   Lastly,   starting   this   year,   some  interesting articles written by internationally renowned YEOs of the EEMA region and other parts of the world will be published periodically.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you and your families a happy, peaceful, productive, healthy and love-filled 2016.

With fraternal friendship and esteem

Program EEMA 2016

The EEMA Conference 2016  (Preliminary Program)

Friday, August 26th

08.30 - 17.30 Reception at the Airport
12.00 - 18.00 Registration at the Hotel (Scandic Hotel Grand Marina)
18.00 - 19.00 Briefing Sessions for Coordinators, Topic Presenters, Secretaries, Discussants and Speakers for:
18.00 Round Table and Open Forums
18.30 Consensus Conference
19.00 - 20.00 Welcome Ceremony
20.00 Welcome Dinner Buffet

Saturday, August 27th


08.30 - 09.15 OPENING CEREMONY
Conference Chair
RI and local Authorities
Address by Guest Speaker
EEMA President
09.20 -10.20

Round Table
The importance of understanding diversity

10.20 - 10.40 Coffee Break/Networking
10.40 - 13.00 PLENARY SESSION I
10.40 - 11.10 News from Evanston
11.10 - 11.30

Presentation of EEMA Guidelines on Organizational Management in Rotary YEP

I - CONSENSUS CONFERENCE on Financial Management in Rotary YEP
11.35 - 12.00 Keynote Lecture
12.00 - 13.00

Parallel workshops 1 - 2

Financial Management in Rotary YEP: What, Why, Who, How and When for
W 1. Students and Host families
W 2. Club YEOs and Counselors and District YEOs

12.00 - 13.00

Parallel workshops 3 - 4

W 3 - The safety net of students is it working?
W 4 - School and a new language




14.15 – 17.15 PLENARY SESSION II 
14.15 – 16.15

Open forum 1 
Student Survey: problems and proposals

15.15 – 16.15 Open forum 2
Optimising the interest and participation in STEP
16.15 – 17.15 Open forum 3
Rotaract and Rotex involvement in RYEP
10.40 - 11.10 News from Evanston
17.15 –17.30

Coffee Break

I - CONSENSUS CONFERENCE on Financial Management in Rotary YEP
11.35 - 12.00 Meet the RYEP around the World (exibition space)
16.15  – 17.15

Leaders meeting

17.30 – 19.30

Briefing section for NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES (one from each EEMA Country)


Gala Dinner 

Sunday, August 28th


08.00 – 08.30 Meditation 
08.30 – 11.00


08.30 – 09.00 Report from Workshops
09.00 – 10.00 Open Forum 5 Promoting RYEP 
10.00 – 10.15  Coffee Break/Networking
11.15– 13.15 


10.15 – 11.00 lections EEMA President and Vice President 2016-18  and country to host EEMA Conference 2019
11.35 - 12.00 Meet the RYEP around the World (exibition space)
11.00 – 11.30

Report of the Final Accounts of  OSLO (1914) and ANTALYA (1915) EEMA Conferences 

11.45 – 12.15

Presentation of forthcoming Conferences 

12.15 – 13.15

Nomination of Honorary Members and Certificates of Merits Moment of Memory Remarks from
the EEMA President Closing remarks from the Conference Chairman 

13.15 – 14.15




14.15 – 15.00 Free time  
15.00 – 17.00

Sightseeing in Helsinki 

18.00 Departure to Suomenlinna Fortress 
18.30 – 20.00  Brazilian Caipirinha Evening 
20.30  Dinner  Post Conference Tour A + B