One last thing
Published: 07 December 2010
Fun, exhausting, challenging and illuminating - these worlds would decribe best how I would summarize the EDDs and the YRAP days. First of all, all these 5 days in Brussels have been full of fun! It was great to meet so many people out of so many different countries. Everyone has its own story about how he or she got interested in development issues and about journalism. It just felt great to meet people that had the same interest, ambition and commitment towards journalism and development. It was purely joy to hear all those stories and I was happy to be part of it.
These five days have also been very exhausting. Of course, we were invited to stay in a 4 star hotel with a view of the European Parliament not because we were invited for a sightseeing tour on Brussels. We were there to report about the European Development Days 2010 and this included hard work and no sleep. But I would be willing to do this any time again. It was a great experience on a special circumstance and again - it was great to be part of it.
Over 300 speakers attended the EDDs 2010. The two days were packed with tons of paralell panel discussions, meetings and report releases all about development issues. I have never met so many interesting, powerful and famous people on one spot like on this event. My highlight of the EDDs was to be able to talk to these people in person. It was a great pleasure to be able to interview Maria Eitel, the President of the Nike Foundation, Prof. Paul Collier, the autor of the book "The Bottom Billion" or people of UN organisations like Mary Okumu from UNCDF South Africa, just to name a few. But of course, to get interviews with them was partly challenging. I was just one of 500 other journalists attending the EDDs. Additionally I found it very challenging to prepare interviews, attend discussions and report about them at the same time. In any way - it was a great journalistic training.
I really have to admit that I am astonished about the five days I were in Brussels and I am not exaggerating. Not only the EDDs and their speakers but also all participants of the YRAP and of the YRAP team were illiminating. I got so many new ideas, so many inspirations from them which I would not have gotten if I was not one of the finalist. As Ryan Pierce, the editor of the EDDs said: "It is not about the winning trip to Tanzania. It is about this" and I totally agree with him.
So one last thing: Thank you and merci beaucoup for making this happen.