Who are we? SAME stands for “Solidarity Action Day Movement in Europe”. This movement includes several European organisations that carry out an annual Action Day. During this day, pupils get the chance to engage in a job of their choice instead of going to school. Their salaries are used to support youth-related projects throughout the whole world. SAME consists of seven member organizations from six different countries: Operasjon Dagsverk (Norway), Operation Dagsværk (Denmark), Schüler Helfen Leben (Germany), Zuiddag (Belgium), Progetto Zattera blu and Operation Daywork (Italy) and Unija Srednjoškolaca Srbije (Serbia). The organisations of Bosnia Erzegovina and Montenegro are organising their first action day.
Vision and mission: SAME organizations act on the grounds of human rights. The network stimulates young people worldwide to work together for a sustainable and fair world. SAME enables young people from different backgrounds to learn from each other with the aim of strengthening their sense of social, ecological and economical responsibility as well as their competencies, so as to become active citizens in their societies. SAME organizations spread their message through a variety of channels to reach a broad spectrum of people. The network believes in the power of young people and wants to make their voices heard, so it can influence public opinion and policy making.
Our structure: SAME has 3 active working groups (WG), where volunteers from our member organizations work together on projects concerning a certain topic.
Publicity is in charge of spreading the word about SAME. They developed our house style and keep our website and social media up to date.
Strategy on the other hand, make proposals for ideological documents like the vision and aims. They are also investigating how we should structure ourselves in order to be both transparent and flexible enough to allow for changes due to new members joining our network.
Quality & New Action Day initiatives developed the Quality Guidelines and want to encourage their use, both within the current member organizations and as a tool for new Action Day initiatives that want to join the network. The Coordination board is SAME’s informal board. It consists of one main member from each member organization.
Summer camp: Every summer, the SAME network organises a Summer Camp (SC) where our volunteers come together to exchange information, have fun and get to know each other. It gives about 50 young people from the member organizations the chance to meet like-minded volunteers from other Solidarity Action Day organizations and new initiatives.
News! For the first time in the history of SAME, a general assembly took place. 70 dedicated youngsters from 9 organisations in 8 countries came together to decide on the future of SAME. By approving mandates and statutes, the general assembly took a giant leap towards formalizing structures within SAME. This is the start of a new era, one in which SAME will become more professional. SAME now has a framework on which we can build a better solidarity Action Day Movement. In the coming year we will use the foundation we laid today to build a better and stronger network.
Same will have a complex structure: that means that there will be also general assemblies, the council, the secretariat and the summer camp’s group!
The challenge is large! But we are ambitious! Do you want to take part?
Contact us: email@example.com
(This article is based on: www.same-network.org)
SUMMER CAMP 2015, Norway
For the first time in my life I felt European
Every summer SAME organizes a Summer Camp (SC) in a different European country where at least one of its associations is located. During these Summer Camps volunteers come together to get to know each other, have fun and exchange best practices. In 2015 the Summer Camp was held in Norway, mainly in Oslo and Brandbu, where our delegation was asked to participate.
Personally speaking, I was one of a couple of volunteers chosen to represent Operation Daywork (OD) Italy at the SC. More precisely I was chosen to represent the new OD Italy local group in Trentino which is still a very small meeting point for those living in our region, but has the prerequisites to become more and more appreciated among youngsters.
The SC was an amazing experience for me and if I were asked to describe it in four adjectives, I would certainly pick the following ones :
– Challenging, because SAME took advantage of this meeting to also organize the general assembly (GA), during which many documents, such as the mandates for the four working groups and the statutes of SAME were modified and approved by us. For this reason, I would say that the SC was mentally tiring, especially because there were 50 of us with 50 different opinions about hundreds of different topics. This – obviously – led to many discussions, but, luckily, also to many productive creative solutions. In addition, I managed to choose and join one of the four working groups, the Quality one. I’m really looking forward to starting to give my contribution in order to improve the quality part of SAME.
– Amusing, because I managed to meet a lot of amazing people, with whom I had a really great time: There are a lot of funny moments that still make me laugh, but the following two are actually the best ones: when we were in Brandbu we decided to go swimming in a freezing cold lake near our place and there we had the pleasure of testing the real gelid Norwegian water. In addition, every single morning after breakfast, we had to try out a (so stupid!) dance of each delegation all together, in order to wake up mentally and be ready to work hard. It was simply hilarious!
– Personally edifying, because for the first time in my life I felt European – and not just Italian: the diversity of people there was so evident that I managed to appreciate every single particular of each culture, language and way of communicating of the others , and at the same time I also tried to communicate the peculiarities of my country, in the best way possible to the others.
– Satisfying, because the SC confirmed all my expectations: I expected to have fun, to test my English, to express what I really am but also to work hard and give my all to improve SAME and its structure. Indeed, when I was returning home by plane, I couldn’t sleep, even if it was (too) early, as I couldn’t stop thinking about how proud I was of myself and of the others: we had managed to do something productive for SAME and even my little contribution was fundamental.
To conclude, I would also like to add that the SC was a mixture of positive emotions, experiences and feelings that I will keep in my mind forever. Furthermore, thanks to my participation at the SC, I managed to join the first common Quality and the new action day initiatives physical meeting in Copenhagen in October 2015, where we put into practice everything we had planned during the SC.
So guys, if you find all these experiences interesting, the only thing you should do is be active and join our OD group in Trentino, South Tyrol or Cesena, because Europe is waiting for you!
Sara Volani, OD volunteer