Just as JCI UK has its annual kick off event “Inspiration Day” at the start of the year, the European level of the organisation also runs an event to prepare national presidents and their deputies for what is to come in the year ahead.
This is why I found myself travelling to a place called Novi Sad in Serbia in February. Not a place I had ever heard of before or expected to go to, but this is not an unusual occurrence in JCI. And as with most international JCI events, the hospitality of the hosting nation was second to none. We received lots of very helpful information in advance and could feel the enthusiasm the members had for welcoming us to their city as soon as we were greeted at the airport and throughout our stay.
A room packed full of delegates listening to an information session
The event involved a wide mixture of sessions and events:
- World President Ismail Haznedar talked us through his plan of action and the initiatives being implemented thereunder.
- We got a sneak preview of the latest skills development course: effective leadership.
- An active citizenship framework session allowed different countries in Europe to identify and discuss similar issues they shared, including youth unemployment, lack of community spirit or care for the elderly.
- Open forums facilitated by the European Vice Presidents to discuss issues faced by national organisations & encourage sharing of best practice.
- A networking event hosted by local government officials.
- A fascinating free speech forum.
- A “taste of Serbia” night, where we got to experience local food and drink.
- A gala dinner with traditional Serbian entertainment.
National President Drew Charman and I representing JCI UK at General Assembly
There really was a lot packed into three days, with us sometimes starting at 8am and still being in meetings at midnight! My personal highlights were getting to meet the other deputy national presidents of JCI Europe and being involved in my first international General Assembly (the decision making forum in JCI). I feel proud that JCI UK was involved in voicing opinions and became part of a subcommittee to put forward recommendations regarding an international programme.
At EPM I’ve experienced a new country, met new friends from all over Europe and seen the leadership of JCI working at a new level. I can’t wait to continue my journey as JCI UK Deputy National President.
JCI Europe Deputy National Presidents after our Deputies Training session
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Drew Charman