The European YWCAs Representatives Meeting (ERM) took place last week 2-4 November 2012, hosted by the YWCA of Czech Republic in Celakovice. Prior to the ERM a one day European YWCA Young Women’s Summit was held in Celakovice.
By Lydia Temgoua, YWCA of Italy
I am writing as I sit waiting in the airport to board my flight home to Italy. Reflecting on this week I have been touched by the various young women and women I have met during the European Young Women’s Summit and European Representatives Meeting (ERM), held in Celakovice, Czech Republic.
We discussed problems and challenges facing both young women and women across Europe. In my opinion education is key, not only in Europe but globally. Women were created by God to be leaders because we have the future of the world in our hands and for that we have to work towards eliminating the discrimination faced by all females. Together we have a collective responsibility without any prejudice of colour, race, power or role in society. During the summit in Celakovice I had the feeling of belonging to a family, one family together to fight against any type of inequality. This was so emotional for me and a very interesting experience.
In the summit we also talked about violence against women and girls and young women’s leadership. After the summit I came to the conclusion that the problems that women face around the world are the same! Therefore I think as many women and young women as possible should be able to participate at this kind of summit.
I also think that the strategic plan adopted at the summit for 2012 till 2014 is a good one and in my opinion should be extended to the world and I hope that we will work to implement this. The unique thing that I would like to change about the summit is its duration or length (more days) lol!
All of this gave me more courage; strength and the energy to find ways I can strengthen and increase membership in our association. Furthermore, to have the voices of young women raised and to help find solutions to their/our problems! Finally this experience has made me want to be more active in my YWCA, in order to help all the women I can here in Italy but also in the world!!
To conclude I would like to say that God has blessed some of us with parents, friends and people to help us grow up well and get an education and all of the best things that one person might need! But unfortunately some people are not blessed in this way and I believe this is where we should be actively working to help others. I think that in Europe YWCA and World YWCA we can do this.
European Young Women’s Summit and ERM 2012 from a Romanian point of view
By Ela Iliesi, YWCA of Romania
There are not many chances to get together with leading women from different countries of Europe in order to learn from each other, so taking part in the meetings that took place in Celakovice, Czech Republic, was definitely something special.
The European Young Women’s Summit was not only a fun practical way to brainstorm on how to solve the issues that most European women are facing, or learn about different types of leadership but also an occasion to network and find out what successful programmes other European YWCA’s are running, how they manage financially and how they involve more young women in their associations. And that I did.
The European Representatives Meeting (ERM) was a good opportunity to voice our hopes for the future and vote on the people and plans that will guide us in the next couple of years. I am also very glad to gave been elected in the newly created European Nomination Committee as well as part of the taskforce that will help implement the plans we’ve made during the meetings.
Before ending I would like to thank YWCA of the Czech Republic for offering a more than pleasant stay, Jacqueline, Marcia from the World YWCA and Iryna from the YWCA of Ukraine for the “transformative” workshops on leadership, Anna Magnusson President of the European YWCAs and Michelle Higelin, World YWCA Deputy General Secretary for making the Business Meetings feel more like sculpting the future and less like work and to everybody else for being so nice and open to fruitful discussions.
It was not a long road from Romania to Czech Republic but I feel like I’ve learned many new things which got me thinking that maybe when it comes to widening your world it’s not how far you go but how much you get to grow.