The event NWM Athina: Athend it! took place in Athens, the capital of the Hellenic Republic (Greece), between November 29th to December 2nd. Network meeting is an event that has an organizational impact and is focused on sharing best practices, keeping the locals closer to each other, connecting them with the European level and updating them about latest progress and launching initiatives. This NWM is a result of a fruitful collaboration between the Network Commission of AEGEE-Europe and AEGEE-Athina. The aims of NWM Athina: Athend it! were: Connect the locals from the whole Network, increase the connection between European bodies and locals and raise awareness on different topics (such as social inclusion and grants/co-funding projects).
During these days, young AEGEEans from whole Europe got the chance to deepen their knowledge about AEGEE; they shared best practices and experiences from volunteering on local and European level, but as well from works in the teams; experienced how people with disabilities feel in youth associations; discussed and created different projects; got to know how much they can benefit from grants and funded projects, etc. This wouldn’t happen without the whole group of people who make these days amazing and who are: members of AEGEE-Athina (local organizers and helpers), SubCommission’s team of Baldria, Network Commission and the participants who showed a burning desire to attend all sessions and actively participated with sharing their opinions and ideas. Also, without Elitsa Hadzhieva this event wouldn’t be under the project My Europe My Say! and co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union.
Session which was related to My Europe My Say! project was Grants & funded projects: bring your local to the next level and it was held by Daniël Amesz, president of AEGEE-Europe. The aim of this session was to make participants aware of different opportunities to receive grants and be involved in funded projects. The group was challenged to think about all the different sources for and uses of grants. Although the group managed to name quite a few big names, there were still a lot of opportunities they were not aware of and generally details were not known. After a presentation of the different grants that AEGEE-Europe is involved in, for example My Europe, My Say!, the participants were divided into four different groups. Each group was tasked with finding information about a specific type of grant application, such as an Erasmus+ Key Action 1 project. The information that they found had to be presented to the other groups, to make sure that the whole group was aware of multiple different processes. During this presentation, the groups were also asked to shortly present a possible idea for that application. This helped stimulate creative ideas for future application rounds.
Participants found this session useful, especially in terms of learning new things and explanations of the projects. They liked that they could come up with their own projects in order to explain the funding program which was allocated to their teams.
Written by: Marija Valentina Žuvić, Network Commissioner of AEGEE-Europe and Daniël Amesz, President of AEGEE-Europe