ESM Cracow 2011
The 14th European Youth Meeting was held in Cracow from June 30 to July 3, 2011. It was organized by J-elita in collaboration with the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations and belonging to it the EFCCA Youth Group. The first participants of the meeting arrived in Cracow on the sunny morning of June 29, thanks to which they had an opportunity to take a walk through the Market Square.
Other representatives of the National Associations arrived on June the 30th. It was also the time for ice cream and coffee in the walls of the Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec. A formal meeting began with a glass of champagne and a birthday cake for the Secretary of EFCCA – Chayim. A welcoming dinner took place on the sixth floor of Kossak Hotel with a view of Wawel in the evening. A professional film crew that collaborates with EFCCA joined us that day. Under the leadership of a director from Switzerland they followed almost every our step.
The workshops and meetings organized by the representatives of the Youth Group Governing Body were held on the morning of July 1. There were presented projects that were carried out last year and plans for further years. Ben Wilson (EFCCA Treasurer) delivered a speech concerning interesting websites about IBD (the presentation is available at www.j-elita.org). After we ate dinner we went to the Market Square in order to find some elements of the Philosopher’s Stone (we were divided into four groups). It had a form of a city game. The participants were perfoming tasks and gathered precious things in every specific place (Museum Under the Surface of the Market Square, the Sandomierska Tower, the Small Market Square, the Dragon’s Den, the Collegium Maius). Eventually they prepared a mysterious explosive mixture in Alchemia (a club in Kazimierz in Cracow). In the evening when we returned to the hotel there was an integration meeting during which Marco Greco (the Chairman of EFCCA) joined us.
The election to the Youth Group Governing Body was held on the morning of July 2. The member of J-elita and the chairman of the organizational committee of the meeting – Marek Lichota – joined the board. Then there was an annual poster competition. Each poster had to present actions of individual countries for Children and Youth. When the winner was found it turned out that Poland will be in possession of a challenge cup – Loekie Cup (Loekie Lion is a mascot of the Youth Group). Here I would like to thank Tomasz Walęcki who is the author of our poster. During the presentation of the Associations we once again made sure that J-elita in no way falls behind other Associations in Europe. In the afternoon we were in the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which made a huge impression on the Europeans.
The farewell dinner took place in Amadeus Restaurant and then we went to Prominent club where 20 members of J-elita joined us. Dancing, playing pool billards (unfortunately, our guests won 2-0, however, it is common knowledge that the English are cut out for snooker) and skittles we were having fun almost till dawn.
On Sunday the majority of the European Associations’ representatives returned to home and those who left later in the evening went to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.
25 people took part in the meeting among whom were the representatives of Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, England, Belgium (the part where people are speaking French), the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Slovakia and, of course, Poland.
To sum up, I think that the described event was a successful introduction to our further cooperation with EFCCA. I encourage the young members of J-elita to act on behalf of our Association during the next meeting that will take place in Copenhagen in 2012. I also wish Piotr “Zenobius” Baranowski and Anna Małolepsza, who are going camping in September (organized by the Youth Group in the Netherlands), unforgettable events. For the moment we are looking forward to seeing the effects of the work made by the mentioned formerly film crew. They should be ready in two months. The film will undoubtedly perfectly promote J-elita.
All the money necessary for the meeting were taken from means given by the sponsors and from payments made by the members.
Translation: Katarzyna Imielska