In the last years IYNF has been choosing an annual topic to coordinate our work. After the ‘Year of Action for Change’ in 2013 and the ‘Year of Urban Outdoors’ in 2014, IYNF stands this year under the motto ‘40 Years of Connecting and Inspiring’. The reason why we selected this topic appears obvious: 40 years ago the first team of young Naturefriends won the long-lasting debates and negotiations with our adult organization Naturefriends International (NFI) and was finally granted the opportunity to create a more or less independent youth section: the Naturfreundejugend Internationale or Young Naturefriends International as it was soon called.
However its first years were not easy. The organization had strong ideological values, deeply connected with the socialist and working class movement. With the Cold War in full swing was not an easy thing to be in the western side of the Iron Curtain and advocate socialism at the same time. Still, with a lot of determination IYNF made very important endeavours on defending fundamental human rights and fought for democratic justice, feminism, intercultural dialogue and ecological tourism. Even though the aims have changed over the years, the organization has always been pragmatically involved with important causes following the evolution of the late 20th century.
Fast forward to 2015. The motto ’40 Years of Connecting and Inspiring’ was not aimed to show off, it was rather seen as a great opportunity to design a framework for the actions and activities of this year, bearing in mind our most successful achievements and best practices since 1975. Therefore we will mark the occasion with different initiatives that will capture the values, the memories and the history of IYNF, applied to the present context.
Besides the usual networking meetings and capacity building activities planned for this year, the ’40 years of IYNF’ will bring two key moments – a special anniversary celebration and an e-publication condensing the most symbolic moments in 40 years of existence of International Yong Naturefriends.
Taking place in Prague on the 5th of September, the celebration event will bring together different generations of Naturefriends to evoke past experiences and engage into discussions about where the organization is coming from and going to. More details and registration for the 40 year celebration are available right here. Please register before the 31st of July!
The e-publication will be the most comprehensive compilation ever released about the history of IYNF and is expected to be out in the World Wide Web by the end of this year. It will cover the most important events in its history, highlights and crises of IYNF, personal anecdotes and favourite stories, as well as a selection of the most breathtaking visual finds from our archive (so in case you don’t remember that horrible haircut you had in the 80s – we do, and we are not afraid to show it)!
With this announcement we would also like to invite all Naturefriends to take part in this celebration throughout the year. We are certain that you have interesting stories, memorable moments and experiences connected with IYNF. We give you the opportunity to shine and have your story published in the book about the 40 years of IYNF! If you have something to share, comment or suggest, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.