Newsletter 1 (Nov 2015)
NEWSLETTER 1 – November 2015
Luciano Di Martino, EEMA President
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 (www.eema.eu.com) 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