Day 3 – Taking It All In
Not quite sure how I managed to wake up early, but I did. I toured some parts of Accra with Meghan. It was pretty hard to get used to people trying to sell you toilet seats on the street, but a fun experience nonetheless. The taxi ride was something. I held on for dear life throughout the ride, as our taxi was deprived of seat belt buckles. I got a marriage proposal from a massage stick salesman. That was nice. Once we got to the market, we purchased locally made crafts and tried to get to know the shop owners. I met an artist who shares his shop with his brother, and saw that he was very happy after I asked to take a photo of him and his shop. We met 2 beautiful children on the beach, Nicolina and Eliana. We played and laughed, and then it was time to head back to the AF market. Julie, a delegate of IFMSA – Quebec, described the AF market as: ‘it’s like Christmas!’ I cannot think of a better way to describe it myself. Everyone was running around, full of mirth, sharing gifts and information about research and clinical exchanges. It was a great place to take photos with other delegations and meet with some NMOs I didn’t get a chance to speak with yet.
After the AF market, we headed to the Executive Board candidature debate. The debate provided perspective, as I was able to see certain characteristics and gain a better understanding of the other candidates that didn’t come through during their candidature presentations. I wondered how I would answer given the same questions. I was nervous just thinking about it.
It was then time to head to our small working group sessions. I really enjoyed this part of our standing committee sessions. It allowed for personal reflection and for intimate connections to be established with the rest of the participants. It was a great way to learn how to facilitate participation, how to manage conflict resolution, how to use key communication skills, and was also a great way to gain insight on other NMO perspectives. One down side about this particular small working group session was that none of us were entirely sure about the task at hand. The title was called SCORP international project coordination, so the group concluded that we were to focus on more long-term goals and projects – a somewhat misleading title – as it was then made clear to us that we should be working to coordinate an activity for human rights days and global health days, and needed to build a template for an international coordinator to organize, distribute, and train other members to do the same. We established that the main goal of the activity was to build a set identity for SCORP with a focus on advocacy. The team would consist of an international coordinator, who would supervise the coordination of activities at the local, national and trans-national levels. We focused on activities that had a broad yet unifying theme that could be adaptable to each NMO cultural climate, all the while focusing on activities that had some uniformity (such as same logo, T-shirt, unifying theme), in order to achieve maximal media exposure and maximize our visibility, since we believed that if multiple NMOs worked together on bringing one common goal to international attention, we could make a difference. We also focused on a detailed and comprehensive media strategy, that included the use of social media, as well as cloud, a technology used to regroup all of the social media hubs #trending on that topic, once again, to stress the notion of creating a collective effort for mass exposure and results. We also placed a focus on the idea that smaller actions can make a big difference, and would also make the activities more approachable so that students would be more likely to get involved. We then began working on more precise objectives, as well as setting a timeline.
We then proceeded to relax by the pool until dinner. I then shared dinner with our NMO and then headed to the plenary.