ESM Sommaroy (Norway) 2010

Thanks to the beginning of our collaboration with the European Federation of Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis Associations we were invited to the 13th International Meeting for Young People with IBD. It was mainly thanks to Jurek Demańczuk, who attended the meeting of EFCCA in Helsinki in the spring.

This year the meeting of young people was held in northern Norway in a beautiful town Sommaroy.  Although the place is 3300 kilometres away from my hometown – Cracow, good plane connections allowed me to reach the destination in about 7 hours. In accordance with the rules each country was represented by two delegates. Unfortunately, this year I had to represent our Association alone because the costs of the flight were high and we paid for it on our own. In spite of that, the atmosphere during the stay was very nice. The possibility of getting to know many people from different countries who are coping with the same problems confirmed the uniqueness of that event.
The meeting was held from Thursday to Sunday and the agenda was divided into two parts. The “scientific” part consisted of thematic presentations and training workshops related to IBD.
We have learned how to concentrate on the positive aspects of our lives and how to eliminate negative emotions caused by the illness. We became acquainted with the idea and plan of the organization of Summer Camps for Children with IBD. Moreover, we had an opportunity to create a project aimed at helping ill people.

The second part included integration and learning about the culture and the amazing nature of Norway. We had an opportunity to reach the peak of Sommaroy island that is 500 meters above sea level. We were also fishing at sea. It was a great attraction and adventure. Eventually, there was a ceremonial dinner during which diplomas were given to the participants. Obviously, there was also some free time for fulfilling our own ideas and for outdoor games. A phenomenon called “white nights” during which the difference between day and night disappears additionally surprised every participant of the meeting.

The best news is that the 14th European Meeting for Young People with IBD will be held in Poland nearby Cracow. In my opinion, it is a wonderful opportunity to promote our Association in Europe and it will help us reach a good position in EFCCA, which hopefully will bring benefits in future. And I was there among the guests, and there drank wine and mead and invited the participants to Cracow 🙂

Marek Lichota
Translation: Katarzyna Imielska