IFMSA at the European Youth Forum

IMG_4449Between the 18th and the 23rd of November, I was present in the European Youth Forum’s General Assembly in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the European Youth Capital for 2015 together with Kornelija Maceviciute, our Liaison Officer for Students Organizations.

IFMSA is a full member of the European Youth Forum, accessing to a platform that aggregates around 100 youth organizations, in which we discuss and learn about youth rights, non-formal education and many other important topics.

This federation holds a General Assembly every two years. In this GA, we’ve discussed the Work Plan of the European Youth Forum, agreed on Policy Resolutions and elected the board for the next term.

Kornelija and I gave input in several discussions, namely the inclusion of Universal Health Coverage in the European Youth Forum’s Work Plan; while drafting a Policy Resolution about the TTIP we raised awareness about the potential negative impact of this agreement on health-related issues, such as access to Medicines and Surgical Procedures; we actively participated in the elections’ discussions and outreached with many Youth Councils from Europe that will definitely help and work with our European National Members Organizations.

Plus, on the first day, we presented IFMSA in a Youth Fair for more than 300 guests, event during which the European Youth Capital for 2016 – Varna, Bulgaria – was publicly announced.

Surely we will put a lot of effort to continue following-up the European Youth Forum’s work and we will try to put health on the european youth agenda, so we can continue increasing the quality of our advocacy at the regional and global level.

Entry written by Alberto Abreu Da Silva, IFMSA Regional Coordinator for Europe 2014/15

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The Inauguration of the World Health Students’ Alliance

Student collaboration touches each and everyone of us, from daily sharing of notes in university to projects and advocacy. We seek to join forces with our colleagues to be bigger, stronger and refresh our ideas. That is why almost every general assembly we approve memorandums of understanding, where we clearly define how are we going to work with our fellow organisations. Yet sometimes, we tend to forget that this is not the end of the road that we have decided to walk together.

World Health Students’ Alliance (WHSA) idea was born in Prague, during the World Health Students’ Symposium (WHSS) in 2011. Medicine, Pharmaceutical and Dental students international decided to create a platform where they can join forces in order to advocate for health as a whole and not only on their own perspectives. Sadly, shortly after signing the agreement we all got concentrated more of our internal issues, reforms, structures.

Now came the time to revise something that we have forgotten. We initiated a meeting of International Dental Students’ Association (IADS), International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) and IFMSA, in order to revise the agreement that we have, talk about the structures and ways to move forward with the original ideas of the Alliance, to work on advocating our common goals.

On November 17th, during the International Students’ Day, the three organisations met in Prague’s Charles University, where we opened the event in which the Alliance idea was born in 2011, to sign the declaration of Wolrd Health Students’ Alliance, where we unite our efforts to fight common challenges together, to advocate for the best outcomes for the community, to improve interprofessional relations and to support each other in achieving our visions.

November 17th was not chosen accidentally, since historically it has 75 years ago, on October 28th 1939, during one of the biggest demonstrations against the occupation of Czechoslovakia, a student of Charles University, Jan Opletal was shot, dying few days later on November 11th. His funeral on November 15th , originated the last big demonstration, led by students of city of Prague, against the occupation by the Nazi army. In November 17th 1939, the Nazi army retaliated and stormed all the student dormitories, sending more than 1000 students to concentration camps and executing 8 leaders of national and international student unions and 1 professor. Since 1941, this date is recognized as the International Students’ Day.

We have commemorated the International Students’ Day by once again joining forces and as also honoring effort of students, being the key to change in the past and present. We are working on establishing some technicalities. We will keep you al posted about the work of the Alliance!

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You can find the declaration here:
http://www.ifmsa.org/Media/Files/World-Health-Students-Alliance-Prague-Declaration

Press Release: http://www.ifmsa.org/Media-center/Press-Room/The-International-Students-Day-Marks-the-Inauguration-of-the-World-Health-Students-Alliance-WHSA#.VHB5kPmG-So

Entry written by Kornelija Macevičiūtė, IFMSA Liaison for Students’ Organizations 2014/15

IFISO Spring Meeting in Utrecht

Between May 29th and June 1st, IFMSA was present at IFISO Spring Meeting in Utrecht: The Informal Forum for International Student Organizations joint around 20 different student organizations to share best practices, network, explore collaborations, and discuss strategies for youth engagement and empowerment at a global level.
IFMSA was represented by the Pedro Correia de Miranda, Liaison Officer to Student Organizations, Petar Velikov, Standing Committee on Public Health Director, and Zavira Heinze, Publications Support Division Regional Assistant for Europe.
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During three days, there was the opportunity to meet with organizations with which IFMSA is already partner, and follow-up on the collaborations that exist. These include EMSA – European Medical Students Association, IPSF – International Pharmaceutical Students Federation, IVSA – International Veterinary Students Associations, EFPSA – European Federation of Psychology Students Associations, and get to know so many others. Sessions lead delegates through discussion on many different issue. From grants and corporate fundraising to IT infrastructure; from advocacy and and training systems to crisis situation and external communication; all members had the opportunity to share both the problems they encounter on their associations, and brainstorm around solutions, and the success stories on each of these subjects!
It was indeed an amazing opportunity to get to know what best is done around the world, and show IFMSA to others, in a joint collaboration to explore youth engagement to its highest potential.
Pedro Correia de Miranda, Liaison Officer to Student Organizations