Tbilisi 2017: Ukrainian Reflections

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Ukrainian delegation at the 86th International Session of European Youth Parliament, Georgia, Tbilisi

 

November 2017 was marked by a new international session of European Youth Parliament that took place in Tbilisi, Georgia, which became the 86th IS in EYP’s history. Apart from the magnificent location, the session was highlighted by awesome atmosphere and truly important topics. Fortunately, Ukrainian delegation largely contributed to the session and proved efficient. Great to know that this time EYP Ukraine was presented by 9 delegates, 3 organizers and 2 chairs. For almost all Ukrainian delegates it was the first international session in their lives. We were very excited to interview some of them, see the session with their eyes and now we want to share their inspiring stories with you.

 

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For many delegates this session was really impressive, as the first experience of such big international event.

However, having so many compatriots doesn’t mean reducing all the communication problems. Given the number of participants, it was easy to lose contact, especially while working on sophisticated resolutions with international committee. As Liza Kucherenko noticed:

“When you meet people from other countries, however, it looks more like jumping into a lake and you never know what you might come across — and I don’t mean it in a bad way at all, it’s just that sometimes you can’t predict the ways in which a certain group of people will express themselves in terms of various aspects, even communicative styles as an example, since their culture is new to you — so what I personally try to work on is being open with people of all backgrounds.”

Every session raises controversial topics, like political conflicts or socially important issues. Debating on them becomes especially ambiguous in multicultural surrounding. Therefore our delegates usually come to some valuable ideas. One of them is shared by Liza:

“The more effort I put into comprehending others, the easier it is to make peace with my own mind sometimes, as it turned out.”

 

 

Having endured a sort of a school of survivor our delegates are experienced enough to give future participants a piece of advice. Most of them suppose that communication skills are the most necessary, because without them you will not get any proper result. Patience and tolerance seemed to be useful too, as this could help with building stable contacts and reducing misunderstandings.

We are sure that our two guys really know what they are talking about:

“Do not be afraid of new experiences, be curious and always seek to get new knowledge” — Maksym Lesyk

“Just be yourself” — Daniel Tkie

Despite some little misses, all members highly appreciated the general organization. Meeting with the president of Georgia in his residence, Georgian night, Euroconcert — and this is only the tip of the iceberg of deep impressions.

Concerning chairpersons, they were more experienced than our delegates but it didn’t stop them from getting a sea of new emotions. As Mariam Kunchuliya said:

“I think it was perhaps the friendliest and coziest atmosphere I had a chance to experience during my 3 years of EYP. The officials team was extremely open to delegates and that’s what made Tbilisi so great, we felt very united and strong together.”

Apart from having fun, chairpersons worked around the clock during the session, usually feeling exhausted and sleepy. But nevertheless Mariam enjoyed the session to the fullest.

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Staying positive is key to a successful session

The work of organizers was no less exciting and fruitful. Tetiana Lavrychenko underlined the special session spirit and emphasized how appreciated all the efforts of organizers were. Her words may be an inspiration for future EYPers and those, who one day want to become organizers of an international session:

“ First of all, never give up. I managed to get into the organizers team from the second time as I was rejected firstly. And my decision to reapply to the session changed a lot in my life. Secondly, never underestimate yourself. And finally, enjoy every moment. Being an organizer at the international session is difficult and challenging but it is worth it 100%. It changes your vision on organizing in general, it brings more 300 people in your life and it proves one more time you are on the right way!”

 
Happy organizer Tania

Being part of an international session is hard. Yes, you may feel deprived of sleep, personal space or you may experience some acute cultural differences. But the main purpose of an international session lies in your capacity to overcome challenges and push yourself to discover new verges of your personality and return home as a completely new, stronger and more mature person.

A lot of EYPers, especially newbies, often underestimate themselves and believe that international sessions are reserved for chosen ones and thus put the application for the session on a waiting list. But stories of our Ukrainian delegation prove that an international session is indeed a chance to discover yourself through discovering others — regardless nationalities and cultural differences.

This 10 day journey is priceless and all you need to join it is a bit of courage to apply. Believe in yourself and you won’t regret such an experience. And surely, see you somewhere in Europe!

by Anastasiya Forova and Iryna Stasiukevych