Mundo-J is an eco-renovated office building, having a central location in the heart of the European district and gathering under the same roof more than thirty actors for social change. One year after moving in, the EAEA Secretariat reflects upon the change of premises.
"Mundo-J’s objective was originally to gather organisations active in the youth sector, in French "jeunesse", but we decided to apply anyway because we believed in the project and its benefits for our association,” says Gina Ebner, the EAEA Secretary General.
Nowadays, Mundo-J hosts organisations working in the fields of youth, education, development, health, disability and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer/questioning) rights. The focus on education is very strong though, as the choice of the meeting rooms’ name suggests: the biggest one, for example, is named after Paulo Freire, the Brazilian adult educator who was a leading advocate of critical pedagogy.
Mundo-J creates a comfortable and efficient workplace where NGOs are encouraged to take advantage of common and well-resourced facilities. It offers seven meeting rooms of different sizes, a café/restaurant as well as kitchenettes and sofa corners on each floor.
"Moving to Mundo-J has increased the EAEA possibilities to organise events and to promote them among key stakeholders," confirms Raffaela Kihrer, the EAEA Membership and Events Officer.
Mundo-J was also a very responsible choice environmentally for EAEA. The building was designed to limit its environmental impact as much as possible (energy, water, waste, mobility, biodiversity, reuse and recycling).
Moreover, the management team has also carefully selected its partners and contractors and favoured projects of social employment and actors in the social economy.
"Moving to these new premises was a step totally in line with our sustainability policy, which is very valuable for an association that is part of innovative projects on this specific topic such as Know Your Lifestyle", says Francesca Operti, the EAEA Project Officer.
Being surrounded by other NGOs not only allows for the creation of synergies between organisations and more visibility for their activities, but offers a lot of opportunities in terms of knowledge exchange.
This is why EAEA launched the Mundo-J Academy: an initiative that facilitates the sharing of expertise, skills and competences through informal exchanges, lunches and trainings. In its framework, language tables, meetings between people holding the same positions and other more "à la carte trainings" were organised.
The Academy received a lot of appreciation so far, both from the Mundo-J team and from its tenants.
"People are enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn from other colleagues and get mutually inspired and motivated. This is very much in line with the philosophy of EAEA and we are very proud to have initiated it," announces Tania Berman, the EAEA Policy Officer and the responsible of the Academy in the secretariat.
For all the above-mentioned reasons, the change was very much appreciated by the EAEA Secretariat.
"Plus: the change of premises was also a very good deal in terms of budget!" Valentina Chanina, the EAEA Office Manager assures.
Text: Francesca Operti
Photos: Mundo-J, Aleksandra Kozyra