Sometimes it is very useful to take the time and distance to look at yourself from a different perspective.

From February 9 to 12 we met in Gdynia (Poland), 37 people from 19 European countries with direct experience of working with refugees in different areas. We had in common working on the same field, but also that we belong to the YMCA.

In other reports I have written long and hard about the content of the seminars, the areas we worked on, the objectives achieved, the organization, etc.

But from a more personal point of view, I want to share MY experience in the congress:

  1. On a day-to-day basis we are not aware of what we are learning, but in the context of the conference I understood that the last years we have accumulated a good amount of experience and know- how. We have best practices to share and we can give advice in several fields.
  2. The potentiality of belonging to an international organization, from which we can learn and share so much. To realize that we have “colleagues” in other countries very well prepared and very generous. People with whom we share values and principles.
  3. It has been great for me as a motivational boost. I feel that this trip has given me the push I needed to continue working hard in this job.
  4. To take the distance and the time to dream, to imagine, to look forward. To dream of new projects, to break barriers, to challenge ourselves, to push our limits and rethink our methods. In the end, as Antonio, from YMCA Setubal, told us, “everything started as a dream”.
  5. Personal relationships and contact are irreplaceable. If we had done the very same seminars online, it would have never been as constructive. Many ideas arose spontaneously while we were having breakfast together at the hotel or taking a short walk.

I want to take the opportunity again to thank everyone for these fruitful days.