“I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had…”
This would be the summary of how March Meeting 2020 was – our mid-term efforts paid off by daily challenging ourselves into making a #Rwandaful memory for the participants. But it wouldn’t have been so without the commitment of the entire Programs Team.
This year, the pre-March Meeting workshops witnessed a new workshop “SMART: Activity Management journey from Idea to Impact”. Freshly designed by the programs team, the workshop included the basics of planning, activity management, evaluation, and monitoring. Moreover, in an interactive context, 28 participants, facilitators, and trainers discussed the theory of change, and following its structure, they created outlines for innovative activities to implement and simulate at home. These activities discussed every field IFMSA follows, setting an outstanding example for IFMSA’s motto “think global and act local”. At the end of the workshop, the participants presented their activities in an innovative Rex Crossley Awards simulation format, with the presence of IFMSA Liasion Officers and International Team members who evaluated their activities and provided interesting feedback to participants. The tangible outcomes of the workshop present a pressing need for such workshops in IFMSA.
We say ‘Capacity Building is the backbone of this Federation’. Therefore, some of the Program Coordinators decided to contribute to their peers’ development and facilitated either the SMART: Activity Management workshop or the AMET- Advocacy in Medical Education Training- Strengthening Patient Safety through Social Accountability workshop. Around 20 medical students worldwide participated in these non-formal learning experiences and returned to their countries ready to step-up the game in their NMOs.
With 13 Program Coordinators and Program Representatives coordinated fiercely by the Program Support Assistant and the Vice-President for Activities, it was pretty hard not to notice the presence of the Programs Team at March Meeting 2020. Program Coordinators since the beginning of the preparations of MM20 were part of the relevant Standing Committee sessions teams. We facilitated around 40 sessions altogether, covering all the Standing Committees and Regional Sessions, as well as the Presidents’ and NMO Management ones. Besides the classic, but very important programs’ promotion, Programs team members also participated in delivering sessions on IFMSA Global Priorities and Joint sessions. These sessions approached GPs and different focus and working areas of SCs from different angles – their inclusion in the medical curriculum, voicing for action towards climate change effects, the relevance of sexual education and gender equity, ethics in healthcare for shaping better work environments etc.
80 activities were submitted for the Rex Crossley Awards this time. Of these, submissions at shortlist of top 10 activities were presented in Rwanda during March Meeting 2020 either through in-person presentation or through an online video presentation. The 3 minutes presentation was followed by 5 mins of questions from the audience and judges. Most of them were of good quality, which made the decision on the first 3 winners quite difficult. However, from the 3rd to the 1st place they are as follows: WAAW (World Antibiotic Awareness Week) – LeMSIC Lebanon, AMR Phobia – IFMSA Morocco, Vital signs – our planet our health – Students for Global Health U.K.
155 entries were received for Activities Fair, out of which 80 activities were presented at the Activities Fair. The Activities presentation in the fair was arranged as per 13 themes or 13 programs. Only the activities that were enrolled with IFMSA Programs were eligible for the presenting activities at the activities fair. Conducted on the day 5 of the March Meeting, activities fair was cheerful, noisy, blissful and interactive networking opportunity of activity coordinators and MM20 delegates, built on sharing the information on the community based local, national, regional and international activities by 128 IFMSA NMO and countries participating at the March Meeting in Rwanda.