The 2018 is almost finished, and we are looking forward for the 2019 to come! And how else could it be, as it is a very important year for us. Not only are we celebrating our 30th birthday, but we are also organizing our 9th Freedom Drive, which – that is our ambition – will be the strongest and the biggest ever!
In this month’s article, we would like to explain the work that is being done by the national coordinators, who are essential for mobilising people to join the Freedom Drive and coordinating participants from their country. Of course, these suggestions can be useful for individuals as well, in countries where we do not have designated coordinators. In the second part of the article, you will find also the initial list of national coordinators.
5+1 steps every Freedom Drive coordinator should follow
Step 1: Find the people that will participate. You can either contact directly the people that you think that would be interested in joining the Freedom Drive, or you can launch a call online and see who will apply, or you can do both (which might be more effective). There is no specific size for a delegation. In the past, we had big groups of 20+ people, and we also had smaller ones of only 2-3 people. Of course, we would love to celebrate our 30th birthday with as many people as possible, but we know it is not easy. So try your best and we will be happy to welcome you, no matter if you are 25 or 5 in the delegation!
Step 2: Identify the needs of your group. Once you create a group, it is important to see what their needs are in order for everyone to be able to participate and to enjoy it as much as possible. What are their access needs? Do they need to bring personal assistant(s)? What do they need in terms of transport, accommodation etc? Is there anything else you should know? The better you know the group, the easier it will be for the trip to be organized and the smoother things will run.
Step 3: Start to look for funding. Once you have the group and you know everyone’s needs, then you can start to look for ways to fundraise for your trip. In case you missed it, ENIL prepared a comprehensive fundraising guide with various ideas that might be helpful! You can find it here.
Step 4: Arrange everything. When you have the funds, the participants and you know everyone’s needs and requirements, you can move to the next step, which is to organize and prepare everything. You can buy the plane/train/bus tickets and book the hotel rooms. Accessible rooms are available in Brussels, but it is best to book them as soon as possible, because they sell out very quickly during the FD and prices may increase as we get closer to the event. If there is an option of free cancellation, it is a good idea to pre-book accommodation even before having the funds, to make sure you get the hotel you like. When the registration opens, you can register the whole group or encourage everyone to register on time. If you need accessible transport, like adapted taxis, you can do your research about the existing options and book them when the time comes. In one of the next Newsletter issues, we will publish information about transport options, accessible restaurants and other places you may want to visit while in Brussels.
Step 5: Come to the Freedom Drive, participate as much as possible, talk to people from all over Europe, learn, exchange knowledge and experiences, enjoy it and make some noise!
Bonus step: Keep in touch with ENIL (and more specifically with Kamil Goungor, our Development Officer and contact point for all the Freedom Drive coordinators at: email@example.com). Keep in touch with us, update us regularly on how everything is going and don’t hesitate to contact us whenever needed. At ENIL, we are here to support you with planning your participation in the Freedom Drive.
And don’t forget: The sooner you start doing the above, the better!
First list with the Freedom Drive national coordinators and the reminder for the call
Last but not least, we would like to remind you about our call for national coordinators – a voluntary, but highly important role for each Freedom Drive. If you are interested in this role, or you want to learn more about it, check our past article (where you will also find the first schedule of the event) or contact Kamil Goungor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We already have some people that expressed their interest in doing the national/local/organizational coordination (thank you everyone!). Here you can find the first list (which will be updated once more people come forward), so if you are interested in participating in the Freedom Drive, feel free to contact them! But, we are still missing some countries and we want the whole Europe to come and join us, so don’t hesitate to take on the role, and we will support you as much as possible!
Even if you do not want to be a coordinator, do not hesitate to spread this article among your networks, especially if you know someone that you believe would be interested. You can also send his/her contact details to Kamil and he will approach them directly.
To stay updated about the 2019 Freedom Drive, please make sure to check our website, the Freedom Drive Facebook page, as well as our Newsletters.