As you maybe understand I'm the new board member of Active, and I would like to present myself in this short text. Since 9 years now, I am a truthfull member of one of the swedish sobriety organisations, and since 2012 I have been an active member in different Active events and activities, so I guess many of you have met me there.
To all members across Europe,
Last week I participated in behalf of ACTIVE at a seminar organized by the Cyprus Youth Council (CYC) together with European Youth Forum (YFJ) – “Structured Dialogue on the Move”.
First of all, Structured Dialogue (SD) is a tool to make sure that the young people’s opinions and voices are taken into account, when defining youth-related policies of the EU. In order to achieve this, SD brings together young people and policy-makers across the EU to jointly discuss and feed into youth policy both at national end European level. There is two general aims of this process 1) To create equal opportunities for young people on education and on the labor market 2) To promote active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity among young people. Last but not least, the SD is divided into different cycles and throughout the years covered following themes: youth employment, youth participation in democratic life in Europe and social inclusion.
The seminar conference itself was very fruitful together with the other actively involved participants with a mixture of experiences in the SD work and in the end we also managed to achieve the aims of the week: To record recommendations to the European Commission, the National Working Group and the European Youth Forum in order to help continue the constructive dialogue and avoid omissions and deficiencies observed in the first three rounds of the process of the structured dialogue.
A final thanks to the CYC, YFJ and facilitators as well the representatives from different NYCs and INGYOs,
Preparation for Active board meeting can be both stressful and exciting. For me it usually starts with travel plan and lists of things to do.
Passport – check; Plan of action – check, last email updates – check, so I am ready to meet Active - Sobriety, Friendship and Peace board in Macedonia, from 4 - 8th February. Last time we saw each other in Stockholm, Sweden at the end of September and it was very intensive days of cooperation and friendship. How it will be at our second board meeting?
Staying in Macedonia sounds great because Maja, the Active Secretary General offered to host all the board at her family house in a rural village named Tajmiste. Doubtless, our meeting was well planned, but when I arrived (I was the first from board), Maja stated that half of Macedonia is in snow and other half in rain and there is no electricity in village so we need to decide where to stay.
This was not the only change in our plans. The President informed that she cannot come; someone’s plane was cancelled so we were on plan changing mood all the time, but it was our team building spirit that managed to overcome all the challenges. The first night we stayed at Maja`s apartment in Skopje, only the four of us. The next day the eight of us together, went to Ohrid, a beautiful city and stayed there for two days. Finally, after setting up we received good news – we are invited to go to Tajmiste mountain village, as it was planned at the very start.
In four nights we tried three places to sleep and work together. Although the whole board meeting did not go as planned, every day turned in amazing Balkan style – people there are never in a hurry, always kind, helpful and ready to fight for their dreams. Just like all of us. During our stay we caught a rich glimpse of Macedonian culture - Skopje, Matka Canyon, the city of Ohrid and Tajmiste village were only few places we visited during our meeting.
Recipe of Pinjur (from traditional Macedonian cuisine), ideas for Active 25th anniversary and new Macedonian dance steps are only few things we each brought home from board meeting. Every day was lots of work and breathtaking adventures. We managed to shape the next steps for the Active Plan of Action and took some rather emotional and personal decisions, but this is how it goes when you are in the Active board. You need to be open, patient, creative and ready for everything.
Of course, we tried lots of traditional Macedonian food. In the very last evening we enjoyed long cookedmushrooms with wild boar meat and beanstew and Aivar, prepared by Maja`s relatives. Everyone admitted that so far it was best local food, even better than in restaurants.
This was such an emotional meeting because as you know, our President has decided to quit her position, and therefore we needed to build a plan. We had only few hours to take in the shock and with the help of some good food, to calm our heads and hearts and to find the best way to go forward under the leadership of our new President Mimi Barushi.
Next time we meet in Poland with the purpose of visiting the place for our Congress 2016. Meeting in springtime may bring new fuel and sparkle for our team and new impressions will overcome old ones, but deep in my heart I will always remember this cosy and calm though unpredictable board meeting in the Balkans.
Svetlana Amberga, board member.
Dear members, dear friends and supporters,
I am writing this blog in order to share some difficult news with you.
Active is an amazing that has opened my eyes to volunteering work at the European level and made me realize that the things we do really matter: recruiting members and organizations in Europe, doing projects, talking to stakeholders, visiting EU bodies and NGO:s, building bridges to other sober organizations. This is the way to create a better and more sober Europe. I´m proud over that and over every single volunteer that has contributed to this organization growing and doing amazing things.
Unfortunately, I cannot continue being the president of our wonderful network any longer. I hit the wall, I didn’t notice until it was too late. I love doing voluntary work but this time the puzzle of my life didn´t fit. I´m deeply sorry that I can´t be the president anymore, but I really hope and wish that I will be around for camps or projects in the future. I love Active and the rest of the sobriety movement and I always will. There is no better place to grow and to do voluntary work in.
I´m proud over the board of Active 2014-2016, there is built out of really great people that want to keep Active moving forward. I´m also very proud over the office and to having had the chance to work with them! They are really working for Active with their heart and soul every single day.
Thank you for this time, for our meetings, trips, all the laughs and all the love.
Kujtime (Mimi) Barushi, the Vice President, will from now take over as the President of the board. I wish you all the luck!
I hope you take care of each other and that you respect your time and make the most out of your life.
Lots of love,
I hope 2014 was a good year for you and that you are ready for 2015!
This year Active will continue working for our vision: a democratic, diverse and peaceful world, where any individual can live up to their full potential, free from alcohol and other drugs. We will continue to talk to politicians and stakeholders about alcohol marketing and how to make more alcohol free zones for young people. We will continue empowering young people around Europe to voice their opinions and to develop their pure interests. We will continue to grow within our organization and we will be the best umbrella organization on what we do!
This year we have a lot of great, meaningful and inspiring things in front of us, and I hope that you will be a part of some of these events:
- 25 anniversary of Active
We´re turning 25 and we are going to celebrate loud and together with the people that have made this organization amazing throughout the history!
- Board meeting 4-8 February in Macedonia
- European seminar Human Rights Generation Freedom in Berlin 22 – 29 of March
Active will work throughout the whole year on developing the concept that was started in 2011 on the Human Rights Generation
(you can read more about the initial project here: http://www.humanrightsgeneration.eu/). This year, we are starting with a seminar in Berlin, Germany to develop more in depth knowledge and empower our members throughout the whole year to work with these issues!
- Democracy is Dialogue 1-6 of June
Once again we are taking the amazing experience of talking to politicians in Brussels, load and clear about what we think. Young people from 6 countries are taking over politics in their hands in June again.
- Zoom in Media
Iceland, Sweden, Poland and Romania are using a mobile app to check how much alcohol marketing is there around them in real life actually! They will work with mobilizing 1000 young people per country to educate on the topic and to find out the answers to show the world how much alcohol marketing actually targets us!
- Local Youth Initiative
Ukraine, Poland, United Kingdom, Iceland and Romania are taking over the Fake Free approach and spreading the truth about the placebo effect of alcohol to their local communities. Fun belongs to us, not to the expectation the social norms put on us. Each month a public event will take place in each of these countries on this topic.
- Summer camp in Romania 2-8 of August
Our member organization Dunare EDU. Romania is hosting the summer camp this year. It´s going to be workshops, a lot of activities and experiencing Romania together with people from all over Europe – hope you see you their!
These are just a few things of our plan in 2015, so stay tuned for more, and prepare your luggage and your hearts for a year full of Active spirit!
/Jessica Stridh President of Active
Parallel to the IOGT International world congress there is a youth camp for children and youth with the purpose to exchange experience, ideas and also to develop together. The goal is to have a bigger organization in Asia like we have in Europe, which is amazing! There are 70 participants and they are from Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.
The IOGT International Congress is not only a time for decision-making and setting the path for the upcoming years, but it provides a platform for all its member organisations to share knowledge, participate in discussion and create mutual understanding. We, as participants of the 68th IOGT Congress in Thailand, have the one time possibility to hear several keynote speakers on different issues in the fields of Narcotics, Alcohol, Junior Platforms and Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), as well as taking part in active discussion within workshops in those fields.