My first 50 days at the European Scout Office in Brussels
At the end of this week it will be fifty days that I started my work in the Brussels Office of the European Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). This is because my National Scout Organisation - Junák – svaz skautů a skautek (Association of Scouts and Guides of the Czech Republic is partner of a project of the European Scout Region supported by the Youth in Action Programme of the European Union. Junák had been selected to be a part of this project and I was given the opportunity to work as an ‘Assistant of External Relations and Funding’ in Brussels Office for six months.
The project requires me to be a support of the Office but also a resource for activities of Junák.
I arrived in Brussels on 10 February and started my work on that very day (you can read my previous story to find out how I arrived and settled down on scout.org. My three new colleagues gave me a warm welcome and we had a nice lunch together.
The first week in Brussels was quite busy: it started with me attending the four-day long Network Meeting for Guide and Scout Representatives in National Youth Councils in Brussels; a great opportunity for me to learn a lot about external relations at the national and European levels of Scouting. I met some forty new enthusiastic people from nearly twenty European countries including representatives and volunteers of WOSM and WAGGGS. We discussed various topics related to external relations and it brought me a big deal of inspiration.
Week two saw me travel to Geneva, not only the home of the Geneva Office of the European Scout Region but also of the World Scout Bureau’s Central Office. We had a staff meeting of the European Region Office. I met the rest of my new colleagues and after two days I was able to understand a little bit more the role and tasks of the European Scout Region within World Scouting.
In February, my colleagues gave me a lot of information on various projects run in the European Scout Region dealing with Diversity & Inclusion, Youth Empowerment or Funding & External Relations. My task was to help with developing grant applications for two of these projects. At the same time I helped with administrative work for this year’s Agora and Unguvu, the Euro-Africa Project. And of course, I did not forget Junák, my NSO, and tried to be beneficial for the association, too, either with creating design for promotional banners and writing an article about funding opportunities for Czech Scouts.
At the end of March, I had a great opportunity to attend a speech President Barack Obama gave here in Brussels in the presence of some 2000 young people and Their Majesties, the King and Queen of the Belgians.
One quarter of my stay in Brussels is already behind me. Time is running fast. Besides my work I have managed to visit many nice places in the city and its surroundings, have taken hundreds of photos, have visited some interesting museums, have tasted local specialities and have had to repair punctures in my bike’s tyres four times already!
I am looking forward to what the next weeks will bring to me.
(c) Text and image: Eva M. Haunerová