This year, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the constant challenges youth and volunteer-led organisations face – especially the lack of funding and resources to continue our work sustainably – has proven to be a very difficult one for the YFE team.
So far, 2021 has been a busy and exhilarating year. We have led and participated in many exciting projects and initiatives – from leading the GEF’s Action Coalition 6 on Feminist Movements and Leadership; to launching a pan-European #PeriodPoverty Campaign and speaking at various high-level panels – and we have continued to amplify the voices of young feminist in Europe and beyond, challenging oppressive power structures and paving the way for a more sustainable, just and inclusive future for all.
However, in a volunteer-run organisation, time is always a limited resource. We have dedicated time and effort to coordinate and organise all this work, alongside carrying out our professional, academic and personal lives. Trying to balance the different roles and responsibilities we hold individually and collectively has impacted our everyday lives and has taken a toll on our physical and mental health.
While it has been thrilling to partake in many events, campaigns, partnerships, processes, and other external activities, we have realised the need to dedicate time to our internal work and build a community of care, practice and learning.
Therefore, we have decided to take a break from participating in all postponable external activities to focus on our internal work and organisational wellbeing. This breath will take place from July 19th until September 10th.
At the heart of our intersectional feminist work is the work, practices and values we uphold and live by within our organisation and structures. As such, our feminist commitment must start with ourselves and our collective.
We believe this is a prerequisite to becoming the intersectional feminist youth-led collective we strive to be.
During this period, we will collectively nurture our organisation, the relationships of our members and our community, our wellbeing, growth by holding space to come together and address the following questions:
- What does feminist leadership, principles, practices mean to us? How do we hold a safe(r) and brave space in a growing team of volunteers?
- What does it mean to be an intersectional and anti-racist organisation?
- How do we ensure that YFE is becoming a sustainable organisation?
At this time, we will also pause all non-essential communications and activity through our online channels. We will respond to you as soon as possible after September 10th. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
For the time being, we invite you to visit our website and social media channels to learn about the work we have been doing and the exciting projects we have engaged with. We will see you back in September!
The YFE team