As a part of the Stronger School Student Unions (SSSU) project, we are organising 10 field visits with the goal to help, advise or train our member organisation. We kicked off the field visits in Dublin, Ireland with our member organisation ISSU. The goal of the visit was to reflect on the structural issues and increased grassroots involvement.

During 3 days, we managed to take a step back and reflect on the organisation, reasons for school student activists to be a part of the organisation. We also questioned the current structure, and looked at the pros and cons of each level of the organisation and each structure within the organisation. School student organisations are very dynamic and often very busy, and to keep the organisation running, it is important to take time and reflect on the structure and its efficiency, which is one of the goals of the field visits. Supporting members in their discussions, thought process, bringing best practices from other OBESSU organisations is how we hope to contribute to positive changes and improvements throughout the membership. 

Ciara Fanning, the president of the National Student Executive (NSE) said about the field visit:  "The OBESSU field visit was invaluable for our union. We had the opportunity to take time to look at our organisation in depth which is something we often don`t have time to dedicate to. The way the field visit was facilitated was excellent and gave our officers the opportunity to openly discuss and brainstorm on the problems with our structures, but also to develop possible solutions which we can now work on going forward. After the visit our vision and direction for our union is definitely more clear and defined!"

We ended the meeting by ISSU taking time to plan next steps and see how the 3 day long discussion and the observations, learnings and ideas can be put to practice, both short term and long term. 

We are very glad to have been a part of the very constructive and productive discussions that ISSU had and we are looking forward to seeing their progress in the upcoming months!

If you need support, facilitation, capacity building or anything similar and would like OBESSU to organise a field visit to your organisation, we will try to find the best suited people in our network to visit you. The topics we focus on are:

  1. Knowledge and turnover management

  2. Sustainable finances and human resource management

  3. Political impact and outreach

  4. Representation: structure and constituency

  5. Democratic decision making and inclusion

If your organisation is interested in a field visit, please contact Daša at dasa@obessu.org