Stefan Rudel - External Relations Officer, Vice-Chairperson

Can you introduce yourself?

Who am I? And what will I look at when I'm older or feel like my life will end soon? I'm asking myself this question from time to time, and since some years and since I'm happy with basically all decisions I make I'm always able to smile - I'm smiling about myself and that's my answer to that question. I see and experience myself as a person who is happy now, who is acting now, and who is living now. I sometimes struggle when other people ask me such questions in a more confronting way, and my ego starts to look at me and says: "But you need to start to do something at some point" - and my suppressed part answers: "Yes, I know. I will - for sure". In lighter days and times I'm reflecting on this inner (is it really an inner, or not more an outer struggle that is going on then?) struggle and my answer to myself is: "I'm already there, deeply and safely. I'm living" - and that's the point. What should I start and what should I begin with, where should it take me? Because I'm already there, and there is: here. Here and now. That's me. (And if this is too confusing: I guess that's part of me introducing me, I'm not always too sure about myself, since I'm still growing and developing... all day long, and all night long, same as Lionel Richie – don't take me too serious ;-))

Which YEE member organisation do you belong to? What are the main activities of your organisation?

I'm part of FÖJ-AKTIV e.V., and we are a small and 100% volunteer based organisation actually supporting volunteers who participate in a German ecological volunteer service program. I understand "my" organisation as a back-up for the eco volunteers who want to do more (for example, organise a campaign, set up a national action day, etc.) besides of their volunteer work at their volunteer place. The organisation gathers and connects eco volunteers and builds up and maintains a network for those who want to stay connected and in touch with other eco volunteers.

How did you get involved in YEE? What was your first impression about YEE?

I got involved in YEE by becoming a board member of FÖJ-AKTIV e.V., or at least this was the start to get to work with YEE. My first impression was: oh no, they are big and I don't really get the point, and they do so much and I can't keep up with that. Then I went to the first training course and now I get the point: I know the people behind it and I really realised what it means to work with and for YEE.

What is YEE for you?
To me it's "Youth and Environment Europe" - that's what they told me and I hope I learned it correctly?!:) Okay, to be more serious (once again): YEE to me means great opportunities for youth, means a network and means growing personally - together with other young engaged people. YEE also means (organised and well structured) motivation to me, and I'm thankful for that (since I can learn from that for participating in FÖJ-AKTIV e.V. more efficiently and successfully).

Why did you want to become a member of YEE Board?

Because I think it helps my work with my German organisation. I also can make more contacts and get better connected to other social groups and people, which makes me able to get on a more professional level and make myself focus more on what I'm interested in – I realised at the training course that took place before the Annual Meeting and election of the new Board that this is the place where I want to be and that the people that were there and are the people I want to be with. To stay at that level of motivation and realisation the Board position helps me too keep up with that.

What is your main aim as a 2016 - 2017 Board member?

Well, part of the answer is already there in my other answers - to get on a more professional (structured) level - this is a personal expectation. For YEE itself I want to represent and share YEE's values, ideas and gifts on a not too serious level - because I think and feel that this is what makes us, every individual, special: enjoy what we are doing together with other people we like. And laugh and share happiness with each other - that's my main aim: to be a person, not to be a position. :-)

Why do you care about the environment? What does the environment mean to you?

Because it's what I live in. I couldn't be there without the environment - but I'm happy and thankful to be there (to be here) and be able to live and experience. For me it's simple logic: why should I destroy what makes me able to live? Why should I destroy myself? Besides of being my surroundings and being the place/'whole one' I'm being part of environment means to me: fun, diversity, colourfulness, variety, energy, light, green, temperature, change, consistency, red, patience, power, mightiness.