This years International Meeting can be described as a meeting oif mixed feelings. On the one hand, Operation Friendship Netherlands sadly had to announce that they will have to pause the exchange program during the upcoming years, due to a lack of interested participants. On the other hand, everyone happily welcomed delegates from Operation Friendship France, who took part in the IM for the first time ever. The same warm welcome was given to Operation Friendship Scotland who are back to activity after an extended break from exchange involement.
Main topics of the International Meeting 2018 were the working-over of the Code-of-Practice, the reports from last years exchange activities and the election of the International Board. The election saw all office-holders confirmed in office for an additional 2 years. Further heavily discussed topics were the Young Adults program and the online-presences of OFI and the individual member countries. Operation Friendship Hungary anounced, that they will be welcoming everybody in their homecountry for the International Meeting 2019.
Already on Thursday, the participants used the time to catch up and discover the beauty of the Upper Palatinate. Together with their Bavarian hosts, the 30 delegates from USA, Sweden, Holland, Hungary, Wales, Ukraine, Crimea, Scotland and France visited the historic basilica and library in Waldsassen and the Memorial Site Flossenbürg. In the evening, they had a cozy get-together in a Zoiglstube in Windischeschenbach (Zoigl).
Over the course of five days, Operation Friendship again delivered, what many politicians these days around the world fail to achieve:
Peaceful and productive communication, between people from multiple nations without bias and prejudices.
So thank you to each and everyone of you for making this great meeting happening!
The participants of the International Meeting 2018