A longer and stronger connection with other European local organizations

A longer and stronger connection with other European local organizations

Rémy Sounier from JCI Montpellier in France on why multi-twinning is worth it: "The friendship compensates the effort and the pleasure to see each other."

By Katre Laan

What's a better way to understand fellow JCI members' culture? A multi-twinning event! Twinning is one of the common ways to meet and bond with JCI members across different cultures. Initially 36 years ago a friendship which started between two Local Organizations grew into seven. Since 2016, the annual get together is called an international multi-twinning event (IMT).

"I think that twinning allows us to see all the points that bring us together within JCI but especially as human beings," says Rémy Sounier, the Commission Director for IMT 2020 in Montpellier, which was cancelled due to the pandemic this year.

The annual four-day IMT (with a pre-twinning schedule) is packed with cultural experiences, homemade dinners, networking opportunities, visits to the local city council and of course for members to unite and see each other again.

IMT is a friendship and twinning partnership between seven local organizations: JCI Viljandimaa (Estonia), JCI Odense (Denmark), JCI Liège (Belgium), JCI Montpellier (France), JCI Bergsche-Maas and JCI Kajaani (Finland).

A spirit that stays with you Members from different Local Organizations in the multi twinning partnership value different perks of the event. As internationalism of JCI pillar, twinning offers an opportunity to socialise with members in a host's house.

"For instance, anyone who attended once, experiences the spirit forever. This has to do with a good mix of aspects, business and party, conversations and activity. Home hospitality creates a lot of magic too," says Nancy Hähnel, the project manager for IMT in 2019 and continues: "It's difficult to pass on the special magic of twinning to someone who has never attended."

Rémy Sounier from JCI Montpellier recalls the first evenings of the IMT events special:

"During the first evening we arrived at someone's place we didn't know. We didn't speak the same language. After an hour or two of discovery and presentation, we relived the world as if we had known each other for the last 10 years. Such is the magic of the IMT." In JCI Montpellier, the annual IMT event in JCI Montpellier also lists the Local Organizations calendar for the Local Organizations President and members.

European support from friends One of the greatest benefits of hosting a multi-twinning event is membership engagement. The host organization for 2019, JCI Bergsche-Maas had six active members at that time. Nancy Hähnel, the project manager for 2019 IMT, says: "JCI Bergsche Maas involved and activated old members and senators. We made it and we were able to host all the guests!!" Similarly, in Montpellier. They experienced a boost when organizing the IMT in 2012. "It was a memorable event. At that time, JCI Montpellier had less than eight members and thanks to the support of the IMT participants, the organization of this event impulsed a new dynamic," says Sounier. Socialising plays a major part in the lives of JCI members. Although JCI Bergsche Maas is currently inactive as a Local Organization, Hähnel is grateful that members are still invited to upcoming IMTs. "Through contact between us we have become friends. Also we visit each other outside JCI events, for carnival time in Holland, la Féria in France, vacation in Germany and other varied occasions."

It's difficult to pass on the special magic of twinning to someone who has never attended

It's difficult to pass on the special magic of twinning to someone who has never attended

Another Twinning Initiative - European Multi Twinning

The European Multi Twinning (EMT) is one of the oldest, largest and most active twinning agreements in the history of JCI. Twinning offers the opportunity to experience other people, cultures and customs. It offers participating Local Organizations the chance to introduce their own country, culture, food, drink and traditions but, most importantly, it is the ideal platform within JCI to establish new friendships and have many exciting and fun experiences. Each year over 100 members from nine different Local (and National) Organizations gather together to attend workshops, seminars, and fun activities.