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General assembly 2016

As usual, the Board of Administrators, together with the executive office, organized the General Assembly of VIEWS International.

As you may probably know, the assembly is held in a different country every year, and this year it was Greece’s turn to organize it.

The assembly took place on the 1st October in Athens. However, participants arrived the day before and left the day after, which gave them the opportunity to meet each other and visit the city. They had a very pleasant time in Athens, and even got the chance to eat a lot of excellent traditional food.

Participants were accommodated in Iniohos Hotel, a three-star hotel located in the nearby Omonia square, a very crowded place in the city centre. Tthe General Assembly, however, took place in the central hall of the Centre of Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind (CERB). During the assembly, the participants had also the opportunity to meet some CERB members and to exchange information about each other's organization. Furthermore, the children living at CERB had a chance to meet the participants, introducing themselves and inquiring about the Erasmus+ programme and the opportunities it can bring to blind people, including the European Voluntary Service.

The assembly saw the participation of the President of VIEWS International, Michael Thornton, from the United Kingdom; the Delegated Administrator, Anna Rita de Bonis, from Italy; the treasurer, Boglárka Kollárszky, from Hungary; and one of the administrators, Stavroula Kousteni, from Greece. There were also other participants representing Romania and Turkey, whereas Bulgaria was represented by our President Michael Thornton, as our vice-president Nikola Bakalov could not attend the meeting. Of course, Anca from the executive office was present as well.

The General Assembly went on for the whole day. Among many other topics on the agenda, we presented, discussed, voted and approved the activity reports of 2015 and 2016, the accountancy of 2015 and 2016, and the Provisional budget for 2017.

Although our actual vice-president Nikola Bakalov was due to finish his term of office at the end of 2016, he presented a new candidacy and will therefore stay with the board.

However, there was a change in our board as well: Séverine Renard stepped down from her role as administrator just some weeks before the GA, and her place remains vacant. If someone would like to become a member of the administrative board, he/she can send his/her candidacy to boa@viewsinternational.eu. We haven’t assigned the new roles in the Boa yet, but we will do so in one of our next meetings and we will certainly let you know.

The General Assembly was very fruitful, which means that there is more news awaiting you… We are planning new activities for 2016, so we advise you to stay tuned by constantly checking our webpage or any other means of communication. That way, you won't be missing any activities of the VIEWS International network!

I can say that these days were wonderful and that we owe them to Stavroula Kousteni, without whom none of this would have been possible; to the Centre of Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind, which organized our meeting in a flawless way and provided us with coffee breaks and lunches during the meeting. Another special thank-you goes to the volunteers, who helped us throughout the three days. Last but not least, on behalf of the Board of Administrators, I would like to thank our tireless employee from the executive office, Anca David, for her great job and her support not only during these days, but also during the preparation period. If you don’t experience it yourself, you cannot imagine how much work it takes to organize this meeting and to ensure that everything is done properly.

Anna Rita de Bonis, Delegated Administrator