By Hana Faulds
What a crazy year 2020 was, right! And to that note we send our love to all of you around the globe.
2020 was the year of changes and for many that meant finding different ways to connect. Meeting online has a whole new and different meaning, hasn’t it?
We are very sad we didn’t get the chance to see everyone at the 2020 HAE Global Conference, however that pushed us to think outside the box and find a new way to stay in touch.
Chatting with our international friends is what we miss the most and that is why the HAEi Youngsters Advocacy Group launched the HAEi Youngsters online meetups in November 2020, and it was a huge success! Our hope is that through those meetups we get the chance to catch up, have fun, talk about HAE and support each other. We are happy we found a way to do this with the help of HAEi.
The idea is simple. At the end of each month, we invite you to join us on a Zoom call and say hello. On our Instagram you can always find more information about the theme of the meetup, the date and time as well as a registration link. (Psst.. If you’re not already doing so, make sure to follow our Instagram account @haeiyoungsters so you never miss out on any updates from us)
We want to make sure that everyone on the call gets a chance to share their story and that is why we have a limited space of 15 people per call. If you are new to the community and have never joined a youngsters meeting, don’t worry! We always start the meetups with a (virtual) roundtable introduction to break the ice.
Our first two meetups in November and December 2020 and were a lot of fun! In November we introduced the theme ‘Meet around the world’ and we were overjoyed to say it was fully booked. We had youngsters joining us from six different countries! Some had never met young people with HAE before, and some had never been to a global conference, but they were all excited to chat with HAE friends and share their stories. And in December we were all about the holiday spirit and what people were most excited about this holiday season.
It was wonderful to meet new people and reconnect with old friends and it was definitely the highlight of our 2020! We are so grateful for this global community and we look forward to many more meetups to come in 2021!