Although this is no account of stewardship, yet looking back to IHEYO’s last year activities, most especially the international conference, which was part of the IHEU-AHA congress in Washington, I am confident that we have been more open to our members at a level we have never been before. With the theme “The future of Youth humanism”, IHEYO Washington conference re-examined and questioned our actual status and state, as a group, and that was not really successful. We had lots of problems executing our funded projects due to dearth of volunteers or people who could help us out. Furthermore we were stucked in our administrative duties next to different tasks initiated just to keep an international organisation like IHEYO alive.
Fortunately, we got a lot of helping hands, encouragements and, through election, a new team inside the IHEYO EC as we entered 2009. It looked like a new good start but after almost one year of working now in the EC as President and working with a new board, I still see a lot of challenges, most especially our closed communication office. The new yet energised EC is still working on a better inside structure, which we hope will promote better communication and connection with our members.
One of our members, Society for Humanism, Nepal (SOCH), is responsible for our next international conference coming up in Nepal. SOCH, like IHEYO, is a youth-led organisation with a lot of potentials. Believing in a good change through education and presence in the political and social area of Nepal, SOCH is trying its best to publicise secular and humanist values in its surrounding. Changes take time; this is no news to those working for change in the world. Nepal is now a secular state, but that doesn´t mean that people are thinking everyday in a secular way. That is the reason that made IHEYO chose Nepal as its next conference host country and secularism as its theme of the new conference. Our thought is that it is time to show our possibilities, to give Nepal and SOCH some support and to raise more interests and discourses around secularism and human rights in Nepal and all over the world.
My hope for Nepal conference is not only that of a fruitful deliberations, but also an expectation of good resolutions and experiences we can be proud to take home to better our national organisations and working fields. Sometimes we just listen to already familiar knowledge, sometimes we learn so much new things, but it is never a waste of time as repetitions make it possible to reflect and re-evaluate our work again and again; while new issues bring new ideas, reconstructions and projects. It is too late to be pessimistic. It is time to take action; why not join us in Nepal?
Silvana Uhlrich, President IHEYO