Christmas is gone as well as year 2009. It is now time to look back to plans we were able to realize and those that remained on our to-do list.
Let me start with ‘those we accomplished’ in 2009. IHEYO tried very much to bring together qualities that are not often seen in many international organizations. It should be remembered that IHEYO as an organization is not only for youth, but also run by the youths. The responsibility for the network and its activities rests completely within the young people themselves which created a maximum learning experience for the youth on an international level, and even intercontinental level. This continues to make IHEYO one of the most unique youth international humanist organizations. We contacted many people from diverse backgrounds who stayed in touch with each other in an open space where they shared experiences and opinions on different topical issues. We still think that this is a very good quality and method of working with young people.
The successful hosting of our 8th International youth conference in Nepal peaked our 2009 activities. The Asian Working Group, which is strengthening South Asia through personal contacts and an active networking between humanist organizations and people interested in related issues, was mainly responsible for the conference. We have already reported about the outcome of that important event, but we are again happy and thankful that this could be realized. New Communications among the African Working Group have been made and a whole new board has been put in place to take the group to the next level. We hope, that these good signs from 2009 will lead into an active communication and good opportunities to strengthen our African friends again within our network. As we have three new members in the EC, who are originally from Africa, we believe strongly into that.
Unfortunately, IHEYO was unable to maintain a staffed office to coordinate the work of IHEYO on a daily basis. However, measures were taken to make it possible for IHEYO to keep a close contact with her members and making professional operations in the process of carrying out her targeted actions. At the moment, IHEYO tries to coordinate all administration work on volunteer basis and to realize all arising matters inside the EC or volunteer support from the outside. Much has been achieved with this strategy and we think soon we shall have the staffed office once again in place. We hope this will happen with the beginning of 2010. For that, the Executive Committee has made plans to become a more efficient structural organ and continued to be the central operations system of IHEYO. We have been able to have one face-to-face EC-meeting in Nepal in October with nearly all EC members present. This was supplemented with IHEYO’s EC-monthly meetings online on Skype to make IHEYO more efficient in delivering her services. The meetings held have made the EC more focused through several discussions on different crucial matters.
Furthermore, enormous hours and energy has been spent in finding possibilities of a closer relationship between IHEYO and IHEU. It has been a priority of IHEYO to strengthen our relation with IHEU; and we have continued to be present at the meetings of their Executive Committee in the second half of 2009. This has made the working relationship between the two organizations better and more firm. Both organizations are working towards a stronger relation between them. 2010 will lead us into the first tries of closer working methods. We hope for the best.
In totality therefore, 2009 had several challenges but all-in-all IHEYO was able to score above the average performance. Much was achieved and a firm foundation has been laid for 2010. We are greatly indebted in appreciation to our member organizations, funders, advisers, partners and current and previous members of the Executive Committee that have extended a worthwhile voluntary service to IHEYO. We deeply appreciate that. IHEYO knows that for such a unique international organization, challenges are bound to be part of our daily encounter and we know that this is more than a simple task but we treasure the experience that comes along with it and we think that the status of IHEYO is and will continue to be better than before! IHEYO will continue to develop and promote humanism among our member organizations on regional, continental and international level. We will still maintain our grip on the impoverished part of the world.
These in mind, we wish you all a wondeful start into the new year 2010 with lots of energy to overcome challenges and obstacles; lots of motivation to go again a step forward; lots of good advices and supports within your family, friends and IHEYO surrounding; and last, but not the least, lots of love and affection to people, who are close to you, who need your help and who are giving you the strength to face whatever comes your way. I hope IHEYO can be part of that. Maybe we cannot help you with our personal presence, maybe we cannot support you financially, but we shall try to be there for you mentally and with open eyes and ears to see and hear the important things, to react when reaction is needed, to stand by you when you need us, more or most!
Happy New Year.