Welcome to EEMA Conference 2017 in Poland - the center of Europe
Poland – a country of regained freedom, charismatic leaders, dynamic development and creativity, and finally Chopin’s homeland.
Our national characteristics include heritage and tradition, hospitality that breaks down barriers, and a passion for music. This music, which soothes the savage breast, enriches internally, and develops sensitivity, will accompany us as a unique background to our meetings and traveling around Poland. We are happy to welcome you to Warsaw – the heart of Europe.
The main watchwords of this year’s conference are:
The main watchwords of this year's conference are:
Responsible leadership in promoting the idea of peace.
Many of our charges are young leaders in possession of leadership talent. With the greatest attention we observe and support their development towards responsible leadership, the main task of which is to promote the idea of peace.
Leaders prepared to serve others and to act for the common good, and management across boundaries with respect for all religions, countries, cultures, ideologies, political beliefs, languages, skin colors, and ethnic groups – this is global leadership at the highest level, one that is responsible and consciously striving to spread peace attitudes and solutions of global importance.
It is important that young citizens of the world of all cultures should grow up seeking in themselves and in their peers the shared values of a world living in peace. Promoting this idea from an early age makes it become a top priority in looking at adult, responsible life and in preparing for it. This attitude bears fruit and is multiplied. Young Rotarians bring it to their homes and engage in its growth.
Peace begins in the individual, from inner harmony, self-awareness, empathy, and a sense of responsibility for one’s life. Peaceful action in contact with the environment in which we live begins with respect, tolerance, and openness. The attitude of preventing conflict is already evident among young people who are able to put ordinary life situations in the family, school, or community into perspective. Growing up towards the idea of peace is an overriding value that we support in the whole period of Rotary’s activity, and at all levels. During youth exchanges, inspiring the need to spread the idea of peace is the most important priority, the highest value that we hand down to young people. Owing to the opportunity to commune with different cultures, ideologies, or mentality, a young human being becomes able to look at various issues from a broad perspective, and takes into account many more aspects than his or her contemporaries, who did not have a chance to grow up in an international environment with such noble principles.
To continue with, staying on exchanges, young leaders not only reinforce their need for friendship and brotherhood/sisterhood, but also acquire the skills of mediation which, together with the development of self-esteem, inner strength and confidence, become an invaluable tool in adulthood. The obligation to spread the most important idea of humanity, i.e. world peace, is for young Rotarians the most important thing, the reference point for all actions and decisions in adolescence and adulthood.
Rotary Youth Exchange enables a synergy of cultures, which is important for global development. We wish to emphasize how important in this process it is to learn responsibility and a broader perspective on global issues. The individual that approaches life in all its aspects responsibly educates and motivates to similar attitudes, and becomes an active carrier of ideas. At the level of the individual, responsibility begins with the ability to think independently, analyze and draw conclusions, and with being proactive towards ordinary life situations. It is resourcefulness that can be learnt if we have the right models, it is also understanding oneself in relation to a bigger whole, and the awareness that every individual may influence what is happening in the world. Such attitudes are reinforced and developed during Rotary youth exchanges.
We support and motivate young people to be responsible participants in society so that they feel that their contribution towards promoting ideas relevant to the world is important, and they themselves are valuable and needed. It is essential to show that even a young person has the agency and inner strength to act and cause changes; such awareness strengthens the character and motivates for self-development.
We need leaders who will have the inner strength and ability to spread good ideas. Developing strong personalities, hidden talents, exploring the potential of young people by allowing them to open to the world and experience other cultures is the best investment we can make. Youth exchanges will radically change attitudes: they promote self-confidence, responsibility, and global perception of both problems and opportunities.
Youth exchanges make it possible to grow into the leadership role under the guidance of those who are successful themselves and are constantly improving in their professions.
The ability to manage oneself over time, in various circumstances and conditions, self-discipline, and building inner strength and resilience are the necessary aspects of forming the personality of a leader. Such a personality manifests itself at the level of personal leadership, when a young human being realizes the importance of individual development. When the characteristics of a leader are beginning to manifest themselves in social interaction with peers, it is vital not to miss this important moment and draw attention to the value of discovering uncommon qualities and talents in others. A true leader acts on the principle of positive interdependence, the synergy emerging from the work of a motivated team. Noticing the positive and valuable aspects of serving provides a chance to do something for others that gives a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.