First things first, let me introduce us.
My name is Veronica and here with me is my boyfriend Giovanni. We both proudly come from the city of Milan, in Italy, and we moved to Norway in 2011 because of Giovanni’s work. I have a degree in development studies with a specialization in children’s perspectives and Giovanni is a PhD student in marine biology at UiO, specialized on fisheries. We have been active members of Spire since November 2011. I am part of the international committee and Giovanni helps out with the campaign on small-scale fisheries in the South of the world.
When I was asked to write on Spire’s blog, I have to say I was slightly hesitant: what was I supposed to talk about? What could we contribute with? It wasn’t an easy pick, especially considering that ‘vi snakker ikke so godt norsk’…
After some reflection, we finally figured out that the best contribution we could make was to give a ‘foreigner’ point of view on how it is and what it means to be a member of Spire. So, here it goes.
First of all, to be in Spire as a foreigner means getting to know lots of people, having entertaining and interesting conversations, and having lots of fun. It’s a stimulating environment and one of the few places where you can make friendship with the Norwegians. Also, it means being able to attend inspiring conferences and meetings, and learn, learn, learn, about climate change, but not only. Moreover, I should say that, although ‘vi prove å snakke norsk’, most of the time English is easier and not at all a problem.
But we believe there’s more than that. In Spire we find very engaged youth, working (and actually succeeding) to make this world a better place. What a total shock! To realize that the youth in Norway are given a real voice! Not only, but attention, relevance, funding, to turn their ideas and ideals into concrete projects! I don’t think most of you guys (Spire members) have a clear view on how fantastic this actually is! Well, we do, and that is why we are so grateful to be part of it… It seems to me that in Spire, we always talk about how to do what we’re doing even better that we actually do it now: how to recycle more, how to pollute less, how to get more people involved etc… Well, I would like to invite you all to stop that for a moment and enjoy the idea that you are already doing a lot! You are already doing great!
But stop just for a moment though, now go back to work because climate change is not going to stop alone and fishermen in the South still need our help.
If you’re reading this post, “du er ikke norsk” and you’re not part of Spire yet, come on board, you won’t regret it! Keep up with the good work folkens!
– Veronica Ranza (internasjonalt utvalg)