Malta: a small country with a great antenna. AEGEE-Valletta will host a spectacular Network Meeting from 30th of March till 3rd of April. The title: “Hello from the Rainbow-side”. Network Commissioner Lisa Gregis is in charge of the thematic programme, which will combine crazy fun with a lot of learning, brainstorming and the creation of new ideas. Moreover: you will experience great hospitality, amazing weather, a beautiful island and – most importantly – many of the most idealistic, inspiring and positively crazy people of AEGEE. Find out in this interview with the main organisers, why everyone, who has been to a Rainbow NWM is coming back.

Luke Pace
AEGEE-Valletta President Luke Pace on the island Gozo.

GT: Why is your event called “Hello from the Rainbow-side”?
AEGEE-Valletta: Funny story actually – the AEGEE-Valletta board was brainstorming for a name along with Lisa, our Netcommie, on a possible title for the NWM and the key word which we wanted to insert was “rainbow” – of course, for the rainbow locals. Our dear Chucky Bartolo, conjoined Adele’s famous song’s lyrics of Hello; “Hello from the other side” was changed into “Hello from the rainbow-side”. Weirdly enough, everyone loved it and we had a new title!

GT: What makes the Network Meeting in Valletta unique?
AEGEE-Valletta: Two things – location and team. Apart from our very beautiful cities, golden beaches, crystal clear waters, exquisite cuisine and parties till dawn, the team working behind the scenes on the NWM is very dedicated and hard working. Our lovely Lisa has been supporting us every step of the way and we vouch to make this NWM the best four days of the year for our participants. On a side note, participants are to expect warm weather, educational workshops and spaces for sharing opinions or ideas. Yes, it’s really warm; it’s already 17 degrees here in Malta!

Lisa Gregis Rainbow
Network Commissioner Lisa Gregis is in charge of the content programme.

GT: How many people can participate?
AEGEE-Valletta: Around 50 participants can take part; but don’t leave it till the last minute to apply as a lot of applications have already been received!

GT: Is there a thematic focus? If yes, what?
Lisa Gregis: There is no thematic focus, we are planning to have a very broad range of workshops, this is to assess the different needs of the locals and the participants. There will be sessions about Sharing best practices, Open space technology, HR, Teamwork, Leadership, Creating new inititiaves and projects, amongst others.

GT: What kind of workshops do you prepare related to European level?
Lisa: There will be a session from one or two of the AEGEE European bodies, two CD sessions and a particular one about AEGEE. The focus will be trying to identify problems, needs and points of view of the participants and translate them into something real as projects and proposals. Thanks to the Design Thinking method, this is something very innovative I’m looking forward to prepare.

AEGEE-Valletta hosted many great events, for example the EBM three years ago.

GT: How will you prepare people for the Agora?
Lisa: There will be a workshop about Agora preparation where we will try to push participants to discuss, ask questions and follow ups, be confident enough to really go on the stage in Bergamo. I promise a lot of laughs. We are a youth organization so we will learn while having so much fun together.

GT: Many participants will be for the first time at a Network meeting. Is there any special programme for them?
Lisa: We are thinking about some specific sessions for them, but it’s not decided yet. However new members should not be afraid of the content part, which is the core of the NWM, because it’s made in order to satisfy the needs of experienced and new members. We do not only want to train our participants, but also to let them feel the special spirit of Rainbow NWMs, which is something you fall in love with.

The EBM was amazing.

GT: What is special about the local programme? What kinds of attractions are waiting for the participants?
AEGEE-Valletta: The peak of the social programme would definitely be to take our participants in our nightlife village called Paceville where we promise one of the best parties. We will also be taking a tour around the hostel’s city on foot. We will be having a house-themed party where we can get to know each other better through ice breaking games. AEGEE-Valletta also plans to visit the beautiful fortified city of Mdina and have a ghost hunt in its narrow cities.

GT: Can you tell more about the parties? Will there be theme parties?
AEGEE-Valletta: Yes of course! We will have one party in Paceville, the heart of the young social life, and a frat/American themed party in the hostel itself. Let’s not forget the European night too!

Agora Valletta
AEGEE-Valletta also hoosted an Agora in 2007.

GT: Will there be a pre-event or post-event with sightseeing on Malta and Gozo?
AEGEE-Valletta: We haven’t made any formal plans yet; we will be able to see what we can plan after the participants have been chosen and we can see their arrival and departure dates. Malta and our sister island Gozo have a lot to offer – we’ll gladly show our participants around!

GT: AEGEE-Valletta is a very active antenna. How many members do you have and how many events do you organize per year?
AEGEE-Valletta: We have around a 100 members, always growing every year. We also have a very active Facebook page with around 3,650 likes – we are in the top 15 most active AEGEE Facebook pages according to the Golden Times. You can find us here We also organize monthly events for our members, weekly events for Erasmus students, around three big events such as Summer Universities or exchanges and one thematic project every year.

There are many great places to discover, such as the sea caves…

GT: Let’s talk about your local team and your content team: how many people are working on the event? How is the atmosphere in your teams?
AEGEE-Valletta: The team is awesome! The whole AEGEE-Valletta board is working on it, including also our advisory board and some old yet still active members – a mixture of experience and new ideas is the secret to having a good team. The content team is made by Lisa, the whole Network Commission and CD. Moreover we are planning some very particular trainings delivered by big names of our organization.

GT: Luke, why did you decide to take this challenge and coordinate this event?
Luke Pace: Since joining AEGEE-Valletta, I have always been looking at ways to organise events on both a local and international level. I finally had a good chance to host a serious event in Malta, and on the eve of the deadline applied to host the NWM. Gladly, AEGEE-Valletta was chosen, and here we are, preparing to host, what I am hoping to be, a great event for everyone involved!

…but: there is no topless bathing.

GT: Where can the participants find more info?
Lisa: Participants can find more information on the related facebook event, on the intranet and for the ones who will be choosen we will send them a “survival guide” with all the information about the location and the contents. They can also send an email to Apply! You won’t regret it! Deadline: 5th of February!

More info:

The Facebook event:
NWM Valletta on the Intranet: