The 23-24 June saw volunteers and Executive Directors from 34 Member Associations across the region join together for the Regional Council and Regional Management Meeting. This was the first time in many years that the two groups had come together to inspire, connect with and support each other. Hosted by the Danish Family Planning Associated in Copenhagen, the meeting gave space to discuss some of the most pressing issues, including SRHR of migrants and refugees in our region (following a Regional Council recommendation the previous year) and activism in the 21st century and the role of NGOs in that. Delegates were also joined by Chloe Cooney (PPFA), Grainne Healy (co chair of “Yes Equality campaign” in Ireland) and Natasha Al-Hariri (activist in migrant and minority rights) who inspired the audience with stories of their successes.
Participants were treated to a preview screening of the film ‘The Art of Being a Sinner - A Conversation with my Gay Friend’, a project Sex og Politikk (our Norwegian MA) was heavily involved with. Both the main star and the producer were present to introduce the film and answer questions.
New Regional Executive Committee Elected
This year’s Regional Council also saw elections for the Regional Executive Committee (REC). Gabriel Bianchi from Slovakia with elected Regional President with Reinis Upenieks from Latvia as Regional Treasurer and Petra Bayr from Austria as Regional Vice President completing the Honorary Officers. The other REC members are Alice Ackermann (France), Esther Albarran (Spain), Daniela Draghici (Romania), Niki Georgiou (Cyprus), Maria Jakobsen (Denmark) and Johannes Rindal (Norway).
The newly-formed REC came together briefly the day after the meeting and will have their first full meeting at the beginning of November which will include an induction to their work and the region.
EN Shines Strong at Governing Council Awards
Lene Stavngaard and Galina Chirkina were recently honoured at Governing Council Awards. A ceremony which takes places each three years to celebrate outstanding individuals in the IPPF community, selected by a committee of Governing Council members from the nominations they receive from across the federation.
Regional President, Lene Stavngaard, was awarded the IPPF Award for Individual Volunteer Contribution to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the Governing Council Awards Dinner in May. The Awards Committee praised her dedication as a volunteer at all levels of the federation and honoured her pioneering work to ensure that young people play an active and meaningful part in IPPF decision-making.
Galina Chirkina’s work as the Executive Director of the Reproductive Health Alliance of Kyrgyzstan was also recognised with the award for individual Member Association staff contribution to SRHR. Her bravery in face of a powerful opposition was underlined. As she was unable to attend the ceremony, she was presented with the award at the Regional Council/ Regional Management Meeting in Copenhagen in June.
By Lucy Cady Vernon, Executive Assistant to the Regional Director, IPPF European Network