By Bryan Sparrow, Summer Student
For an organization so deeply rooted in serious subject matter, I was pleasantly surprised with all the fun I experienced at my first Annual General Meeting (AGM) this June.
I resumed my position as Summer Student just in time to begin preparation work for our meeting in Québec City. Although frustrating at times, my new responsibilities of report assembling and presentation organization were a welcome change from the envelope stuffing and resource alphabetizing I had grown accustomed to in the past.
With all the preliminary work nearly completed, I had finally arrived at my destination after a grueling 10 hours of travel. Having never been to a CAAN event like the AGM before, it was safe to say that I was a little bit nervous of what was ahead. However, initial jitters aside, it quickly became clear that I had nothing to worry about.
CAAN, being the tight knit community that it is, welcomed me with open arms as I helped man the registration desk. Seeing as I had been corresponding with many of these people for weeks, some even years, it was great to finally put faces to names and familiarize myself with those who benefit from and help make CAAN’s work possible.
Along with doling out nametags and AGM booklets, I was lucky enough to take meeting minutes and see firsthand what CAAN has planned for the future. Typing up the resolutions on the last day of my stay in Québec City really put everything in perspective for me. It’s not too common for a 19-year-old to work for such an influential organization and I was truly honoured and blessed just be sitting in the same room as people fighting to make a tangible change in the HIV and AIDS movement.
Despite encountering a few bumps along the way and spending a day sick in bed, I would say my first (and hopefully not my last) CAAN AGM was a total success. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who made it possible and congratulations on everything that our organization accomplished! Keep up the good work, everyone.
About the Author: Merv Thomas is the National Programs Communications Manager for the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN).