Linzi Stewart, Board Member for Group 1 (UK & Ireland), recently attended the European IFYE Conference held from 21st to 28th July 2018 in Greenmount College, Northern Ireland on behalf of Rural Youth Europe.
I was delighted to attend the 60th European IFYE (International Farm Youth Exchange) Conference last week and bring greetings from Rural Youth Europe to over 200 delegates who travelled from all corners of the globe to join together in celebrating the diamond anniversary of the European IFYE conference.
Held just a stone throw from the place I call home, this year’s conference brought together a diverse group of past exchangees, their partners and children, to reminisce on days gone by, strengthen friendships and make new ones, to showcase the best of Northern Ireland and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the fantastic organisation that is IFYE.
Having travelled to Estonia on an exchange programme in August 2017 I have earned the privilege to be classed an ‘IFYE’ in my own right and so it was lovely to have the opportunity to speak with other past exchanges, ranging in age from young adults to over 80’s, about their exchange experiences from as recently as last year to over 50 years ago. A highlight was definitely getting to catch up with one of my Estonian hosts. There really is nowhere else you could find such a vast range of ages and nationalities, bound together with a passion for travel and rural life. It was a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful week with fabulous food, great craic and true Northern Irish hospitality.
It was also a privilege to attend the Annual General Meeting of European IFYE and say a few words on behalf of Rural Youth Europe and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the European IFYE Board well for the incoming year. Thank you for the kind invitation to join with you in celebrating 60 fantastic years and congratulations on an incredible and extremely successful event. I look forward to attending future IFYE conferences and becoming a ‘baby IFYE’!