2023: EFAITH ON THE ROAD AGAIN
After COVID, life slowly resumes - at least that's what everyone hopes
At the end of 2019, we changed our statutes to an 'international non-profit association' (association internationale sans but lucratif) which is possible under Belgian law. That statute was approved by Royal Decree. although our registered office is in Belgium, this makes EFAITH a truly international association, not a 'national' organisation aiming to be 'international'.
|EFAITH wants to be the platform for European associations and volunteers for the preservation and interpretation of industrial and technical heritage.
EFAITH is for them a place of contacts, exchanges of experiences and ideas.
The pandemic ...
We wanted to put our operation on a new and dynamic footing in 2020, but were surprised by the pandemic. All our plans and projects had to go into the deep freeze. We could only keep in touch and exchange information via zoom. We tried to build contacts between associations and volunteers through free and open webinars - two more of which are planned this year .
But of course, this is just a band-aid on a wooden leg.
The Erasmus+ project 'HECTOR' (Industrial Heritage as Key Competence for Tourist Operators) also had to be shifted to the virtual world. The planned lessons had to be translated into online modules that remain available on the internet, being an advantage in the long run. Only early June could a first physical meeting be organised, and the students who successfully completed the online modules could participate in Saptember in an internship week in Abbadia San Salvatore in Italy.
After the inactivity by COVID and its aftermath, we are now at the point of reactivating EFAITH for and from 2023, resuming our activities.
What does this mean in concrete terms ?
- Membership of all organisations and individuals who paid membership dues from 2020 onwards will be extended until the end of 2023 - so they will not have to pay dues before 2024.
- However, voluntary support is always possible and appreciated
- In previous years, membership recruitment could not be done because activities were at a low ebb. We now want to tinker with that and count on every one to encourage membership of organisations in their country or region.
Following the amendment of the articles of association, a general meeting should have been held in 2020 to appoint a new board of directors. For known reason, this could not take place, was postponed to 2021, 2022 and now to 2023
- The general assembly will be scheduled after Easter, during the traditional weekend for volunteers and associations
- Candidates who want to be part of the new team can apply from now on - we will then keep in touch with them until the general assembly and inform them about the ins and outs of EFAITH
- Two more free webinars will take place this year, on Saturdays 12 November and 10 December during the afternoon. The call-for-papers is open
- For 2023, we are planning our traditional weekend after Easter in the 'FlaxValey' (Kortrijk and surroundings in Belgium). That is the venue that was planned for 2020 but since had to be postponed. Dates, programme and budgets are now being discussed. Details will be announced as soon as possible.
- In the Autumn of 2023, we would like to organise a weekend on mining heritage, after those in Beringen (2018) and Peñarroya (2019). The third edition, planned for 2020 had to be cancelled at the time. We are now looking for a new interesting and easily accessible location to host it this year. Candidates can contact us.
- In 2024, we want to devote a themed weekend to workers’ villages, with their housing and facilities. Candidates to host it can contact us for this too.
- In addition, we would like to devote each year from 2023 to one type of industrial heritage, to promote its importance at European level - and if possible to build a network of organisations and initiators around that theme.
For 2023, we are considering the theme of factory chimneys, which in cities and the countryside are landmarks of past industrial activities and the work of men and women.
- We also want to reactivate the Industriana label from next year. Due to the problems during the pandemic years, that project took a bit of a back seat. However, the multilingual label with its QR code proved its usefulness for numerous sites, and is now present in 12 European countries.