Every person has special days in the year which they do not want to miss, days they eagerly await. For the ESN-ers, it is the three days of our National Assembly. The difficulties we have been experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic, just like the rest of the world, also left its mark on ESN and the entire Erasmus+ programme. But positive thoughts also lead to positive things. Therefore, once the Assembly and date were officially confirmed, preparations began. And where better to organise the Assembly than in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik. The theme of the Assembly was the series Game of Thrones, for which Dubrovnik is widely known around the world as the seat of House Lannister, King's Landing. But this is not the only reason which makes people come to this city, but it is also for its beauty inside and outside the city walls which abound in various sights, as well as the ever-present friendliness of the locals with which we were greeted by our wonderful hosts.
Official landing in King’s Landing
After checking in the rooms of the newly built Dubrovnik student dormitory, we officially opened the 17th National Assembly of ESN Croatia. Our Chairing Team, composed of Renato (ESN Split), Petra (ESN Split) and Dominik (ESN Zagreb) introduced us to the so-called “Rules of the game”. And the emphasis was on compliance with all epidemiological measures. Reports from the National Board and the Board Support followed. Of course, we did not forget about our members who could not physically be present, so they were given the opportunity to follow the Assembly online. After we discussed the financial report, and when the auditor gave his opinion, what followed were the updates from our sections and they got us up to speed as to what they have done from our last Assembly. And the cherry on top of this day was a wonderful Gala Dinner where we talked about the future in a relaxed atmosphere.
Jon Snow knows nothing, and we know everything!
The second day began with reports on the topics of international and educational events and plans. Then our workshop holders presented their workshops, and we were divided into groups depending on the workshop we had previously chosen. Of course, to maximise our productivity, we also had coffee breaks. Choosing a workshop is always difficult because you can learn something new at each one, especially when you are surrounded by motivated and approachable people. The first workshop was held by Zrinka, who is ESN Croatia’s Alumni and ESN AISBL Secretariat employee. Her workshop, Tailoring the perfect environment, gave the opportunity for volunteers following online to also join in. Our dear National VP Helena, also known as the motivated one, led a workshop called Motivational Leadership where she explained what motivation and leadership was by letting the workshop participants draw their own conclusions about what they saw. The workshop also included an improvised theatre part, in which participants learned something about relationships with others, but also about themselves and the spirit of collaboration. To make it easier to organise the event, Marin and Renato (ESN Split members) presented the benefits of Google tools in their workshop. Let’s not to forget our Alumni members who have given so much for the development of our network. As a way of saying thanks, a special workshop was organised for them. After lunch, we used our free time to get to know Dubrovnik and to get some great photos. After the break, a couple more reports followed, and finally, Open Space in which we discussed the future of ESN events and the Network. After a hard but productive day, we went to dinner and headed to the city with full stomachs, where we all had fun in a relaxed atmosphere.
Winter is coming… but motivation stays!
The third day began with the workshop held by our National Education Officer Sanda, Understanding local advocacy, where we had the opportunity to learn about the good practices of other sections and exchange advice. The workshop was followed by an indispensable group picture. As network growth is always our number one priority, we have adopted some new amendments. Unfortunately, for her own private reasons, our National President had to resign, which we unanimously accepted. The whole Network thanks her for her contribution and we know she will always be here if we need anything. Once an ESN-er, always an ESN-er. This was followed by the Croatian Communication Committee report and the announcement of the “legal” 18th National Assembly in Osijek.
In the end, once again a big thank you goes to ESN Dubrovnik, the OC and volunteers who really did their best to make this experience as best as possible. We’d also like to say thank you to our CT for the excellent management of the Assembly and to all participants.
Happiness is something that multiplies when shared - let’s keep sharing it and see you on the next Assembly even more motivated!
Written by: Valentino Mandarić (active member of ESN Split)
Translated and adapted by: Željka Gligora (Vice-Chair of the Croatian Communication Committee)