Autumn Agora 1997 saw the dawn of AEGEE-Valletta. The city of Ankara gave birth to our antenna. The founding President Roger Bugeja had come across AEGEE by co-incidence while attending an ESIB seminar. 6 months of preparation and ground work led him to sign the Convension D’Adehsion (in Ankara). From that moment onwards, AEGEE-Valletta has steered the lives of many. The following is a short chronological description of the major events.
The first European event is always the hardest, it serves to break the ice and set a trend. And this is what precisely the Summer University of 1998 did. Moreover in Autumn Agora Hamburg 1998 AEGEE-Valletta was also officially recognised as an Antenna. The group of the founding fathers apart from the initial and all important ground work of setting up an organisation, organised very successful conferences which contributed not only to enrol more new members but also to build an image to our antenna. In 2000 AEGEE-Valletta was already awarded ‘Gharfien Nazzjonali Zghazagh fis-Socjeta Award’ (The National Recognition for Youth Work in Society Award) by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Youth and Sport in the Ministry of Education.
However, AEGEE-Valletta was to go a step further in September 2001. In fact, the first Autumn Action Europe Planning Meeting took place in Malta. It was the biggest event our antenna had organised which further galvanized the international reputation of AEGEE-Valletta.
Time paled out the main actors but not the spirit. The more time passed the higher the level of professionalism of our events grew. Indeed our Summer Universities have been greatly sought and year after year they are voted as one of the best around Europe. 2002 saw also the birth of the Winter Event to celebrate the antenna’s 5th Anniversary. The event was of great success and was re-organised also in 2003. The organisation of ‘UniDebate’ also gave AEGEE-Valletta the best event award in Europe related to the year plan project.
In March 2005 AEGEE-Valletta reached another milestone when we organised the first ever European Boards’ Meeting in AEGEE History. Needless to say, the event went down in AEGEE-Europe’s history since, in Agora Izmir, it was voted Best Event 2005 and took the AEGEE XX Award. This award was rightly celebrated with the successful organisation of the 3rd Winter Event.
In the next 2 years AEGEE-Valletta has grown drastically. The number of local members is always on the increase and events multiplied. AEGEE-Valletta also took a leading role as the host organisation for Erasmus & International students, studying at the University of Malta. Fortnight parties, cultural tours, monthly debates and sports tournaments are only a few events of the numerous events that are organised. Such hard work paid off since AEGEE-Valletta was judged as the 2nd best organisation on University of Malta Campus and during the AGORA in Enschede, it was nominated as the 2nd Best European Antenna, out of 260 AEGEE Antennas. Indeed, in the space of 6 months AEGEE-Valletta was rewarded with 3 prestigious rankings and awards.
All these successes resulted in one logical outcome; ONE objective, that of organising AEGEE’s Spring AGORA – Valletta 2007 A Vision for our future. In this statutory AEGEE event, which also coincided with the antenna’s 10th Anniversary; AEGEE-Valletta hosted 600 European members to discuss the future of the association. A cultural post event followed. It is remarkable to note that AGORA Valletta was voted in the following AGORA in Eskisehir Turkey as AEGEE Event of the year 2007.
Following the AGORA, AEGEE-Valletta also celebrated its 10th anniversary by organising a commemorative tree planting activity and a special reception for its ex-board members, alumni, helpers and partners. The celebrations ended in style with the organisation of the fourth Winter Event entitled ‘ReStarring Malta 2007’.
In AGORA Aachen 2008, AEGEE-Valletta was also one of the first antennas to sign a twinning agreement with AEGEE-Kyiv, Ukraine and was hosted and then organised a twinning exchange in the respective countries. In 2008 AEGEE-Valletta also organised a conference entitled ‘Destination Europe’ tackling the issue of immigration.
‘Network Meeting – Valletta 2009: Meet me where the rainbow ends’ hosted in 2009, once again brought to Malta many board members from all over the continent. It was also the first ever Network Meeting to be supported by the Youth in Action programme of the European Commission.
After 14 successful years AEGEE-Valletta has to look forward to keep up its status locally and amongst AEGEE’s European Network. Hence during this year the Maltese antenna will be organising a Summer Event and a Winter Event which we are sure that with the dedication and commitment of the members and the indispensable support of various partners will once again enhance Malta’s reputation.