With the summer months amongst us, it is perhaps a time to rest and rejuvenate for some, but for others it can be a time for new ideas and new learning. Following the success of our recent Women with Bleeding Disorders Conference – we, and indeed our community, experienced first-hand how important all groups in our inclusive community are and also how successful and motivated the entire community a small group with a big idea can be!
It is in this spirit that this week our EHC Now! focuses on the importance of our youth members across Europe. We want to bring you an update on our first Youth Fellowship Project work that is being done by three of our Youth Leadership Alumni from Ireland, Hungary and Serbia. Donal, Karola and Nikola will focus on encouraging youth in their respective NMOs to step up and become actively involved in their NMOs and to get them thinking about how to become effective advocates. The first NMO visit takes place in August in Hungary and the team will host a series of workshops with groups of youth. Following their visit they will report back to the community so watch this space! The EHC has, and will continue to, invest in patient advocacy and strive to develop and train effective, educated and skilled leaders for our community for the future. With our Leadership Conference taking place this weekend, it is also timely to highlight the importance of our community working together with our leaders, our youth, our volunteers and our staff.
Tomorrow’s leaders are today’s youth and it is for this reason we have built a comprehensive youth leadership strategy, which actively encourages and includes the training and participation of young members of our community throughout EHC programmes and events. The latest and most ambitious part of this youth leadership strategy is the Youth Fellowship Programme, which embraces and encourages our youth to get working together in cross-border collaboration while serving the interests of our community.
We have already had some ambitious applications, and we are truly encouraged and excited for the type of projects along with the motivation and enthusiasm our youth have to be active members of our European community. We would also like to encourage our National Member Organisations to consider applying for this worthwhile programme to offer our young leaders real hands-on experience while at the same time contributing in the right way to the European community.
We are all aware of how much important work remains to be done for our NMOs. It is hoped that the Youth Fellowship Programme can help our NMOs and youth work collectively towards achieving some of this work, while also benefitting more than one country. Importantly, the projects will not over-lap but compliment existing work being done by the NMO in the European patient community.
We look forward to working with our future community leaders on these projects!