My name is Andreia Rodrigues, I was born in Portugal and lived there are all my life. I am originally from a small town but I moved to Lisbon and lived there for 4 years in order to take my Law degree. When I finished that period of my life and I had to look for new goals. That’s how I came across the EVS program and I found the opportunity to work with Active. I am really excited about this opportunity because the principles that Active follows are very much my own. Actually I never thought that I would be able to find a project so close to my ideals of living, my lifestyle, but gladly I did!
As we sit in the office and pack our bags containing voting cards, secret ballot papers and motion papers, all needed for this year’s Congress, I get to reflect on the last (but definitely not least) core Active value – democracy.
We hear ‘democracy’ every day … On the news, in the papers, in conversations and in culture. Many actions have been started and battles have been won in the name of democracy. This time, we will not go back to ancient Greece to reflect on democracy, but we will reflect on how we react to and think of democracy through the course of our work.
I don’t know have you ever gotten that e-mail that somehow in just a few words: “Congratulations, we are pleased to inform…”, managed to keep you smiling, planning, preparing, and enjoying for more than a month. So it was just a matter of time when will it be shared with you, dear ReaderThere it was – invitation for European youth forum Academy – “…you have been selected as one of 50 young people from Europe…”, there it was, not as a goal, but as a chance to learn, take, show, promote, and that’s what we did.
So, Active was represented on this year’s Academy by us: Ioana from Romania, Natalia from Latvia, Igor from Serbia, and for us it was a great honor to represent Active on this large scale event.
Three young people, from different countries, different backgrounds, different expectations, areas of interests, different culture, but with so many things shared together: involvement in local community, changing everyday life of young people, sharing good ideas and values, but especially believing in three core ones – sobriety, friendship and peace.
Here comes another value that Active strongly stands for and which is one of the most important aspects for the European Union. Equality is a relatively new social norm still unclear in its practical meaning. Even though described with many emphatic words, social equality is still not present in many parts of the world and treated with a lack of trust and understanding in Europe.
During these 10 years in Active I have totally changed. Active and all of my friends, seminars and experiences have shaped my thinking and I guess I have shaped them too. This changing and shaping of each other is exactly how I personally have experienced those values that our member organisations stand for.
When I first became a member in 2005, my world totally broadened. I have never before met so many different people with so many different backgrounds. I have never before been in an environment where everyone feels like your best friend, because everyone really trusts each other, and deeply understands and cares for one another. It was very ego-less state to be in.
Although this is the main slogan for the TEDx conferences there is no better combination of words to use after spending four days in Aachen for the Charlemagne Youth Prize. It was already a great honour to find out that our HRG – Freedom in the 21st century project was a national winner in Sweden. The HRG has been part of Active already since 2011 and it was a privilege to continue the work that many people had put in before us and to build something new upon it. Even though we did not win in the finals, the feeling was great nonetheless to be one of the representatives between 28 countries. Four days might seem as not that much, but it was a remarkable experience with many great impressions and new contacts.
What is freedom to you?
So many of us live in a fear, fear of failing, fear of trying. It’s the biggest thing that walks beside us and controls us. And how many of us really manage to become free, and live in unending freedom.? Because we all have freedom! But freedom from what? Freedom to do or be what?
This year 2016 is 20 Years celebration for EVS Erasmus+
Hello My name is Greta and I want to share this with you!
After I have finished college I started to work at various different places. I was searching for the perfect place to work and fulfil my self, but it was not that easy. I would just get tired after a wail and coming to work would become not joyful or meaningful for me. I knew I have to do something. I couldn’t stay like this I wanted something more in my life, I wanted to find myself, find things I’m good at.
Are you interested in alcohol policy in the EU?
The Swedish IOGT-NTO and UNF has an office in Brussels, political center of the European Union.
The office works full time with alcohol policy and tries to affect the politicians to think more about it.
This year we will be working a lot with alcohol advertisement and how to protect minors from being exposed to it. Very much like Active!'s Zoom in Media project! And the best part, this year I have gotten the chance to work in the office! Super exciting!
Some of you may have seen or met me in last year's Human Rights Generation-project. But no matter if we've met or not, you are very welcome to follow the office's page @Brysselkontoret and send a friend request to my profile that you can find there. This way you will get small updates right from the center of alcohol policy in Europe, directly to your everyday facebook feed. On my profile I will do summaries in English so that all of you international non-swedish members also have the chance to get an insight into what's going on in the office.
You are also all very welcome to contact me if you have any questions about the office, alcohol policy or the European Union!
Talk to you soon!