A dynamic and warm-hearted event

During the summer four members of our movement ‘Vie et Foi – Suisse Romande’ took part in the summer course on media-training organised by andante, from 13th to 17th July in Hoddesdon, near London. It was a great opportunity to be able to benefit from the enrichment of such a meeting. We were deeply interested in the general sessions where the speakers were English specialists in communication (simultaneous translation was organised with excellent interpreters). These meetings allowed us to become aware of the principles and processes of public relations, of the new environment of the media and the culture of images.

We also appreciated the practical exercises that took place in the form of workshops taking into account the language spoken by the participants. These sessions offered a training in different specific techniques: interviews for the written press and the radio, the writing of a press release, a report illustrated by pictures, ways of organising a press conference, and using the new media. The interview you can read below is one of the exercises made during the workshop.
In the francophone group we had a leader of a high format: she is the editor of a magazine meant for Christian leaders in France, an extremely nice person with a born instinct to make beginners at ease. Led by her the group we belonged to was particularly dynamic and warm-hearted. In addition to the four francophone Swiss we had four young women from the Action catholique des femmes of France, a young student from Latvia, and one of the leaders of the Slovak Catholic women’s movement.
Many thanks to the professional trainers of these days, the interpreters and the organisers: the Coordinating Committee of andante, the team of NBCW, the English member organisation of andante, who were responsible for the preparation and the success of this fascinating course. Thanks to the contacts we could establish and the training we got during the course, we sincerely hope to be able to share with our members (and with other similar movements) in the Suisse Romande all the enriching information received in England.

Chantal Maillard

As a practical exercise we interviewed Kristiana Reingolde who kindly accepted to answer our questions

Q: Kristiana, can you tell us who you are and where you come from?
A: Of course I can. I am 24 years old, I am studying intercultural relations Latvia/France in Riga, the capital of my country.

Q: What was your motivation to come over here?
A: I belong to the Community L’Emmanuel, a mixed and international catholic organisation. However, the Union of the Catholic Women in Latvia asked me to participate in the course organised by Andante. As a matter of fact, I have already worked as a press attaché for the Centre of Information of the Catholic Church of Latvia, but without any previous training.

Q: Did this week fulfil your expectations?
A: This teaching was very useful for me. I learned how to convey to the media a positive image of the catholic organisation.

Q: How did you experience it?
A: I was rather apprehensive at the idea of a non-mixed surrounding, but my feeling was not founded. To my mind, all the exchanges were very fruitful and enriching. I was positively surprised to realise that all those women aim at finding a place in society and in the Church, they work hard at it and have to show certain aggressiveness. Thanks to the fact I belong to L’Emanuel, I am used to travelling in Western Europe. Everywhere I feel at home in the Universal Catholic Church.

Q: According to you what is a prominent lesson from this course?
A: I will keep two main elements from it. First a statement: here a woman finds her place in society and in the Church without losing her feminity. Secondly an interesting training has taken roots in me that should be useful for me in my future professional activities and in my voluntary work for the Church.

Thank you, Kristiana, for this beautiful testimony!

Jacqueline Roduit et Michèle Cretton

Interviews with some of the participants

Interviews with the French participants
(only in French; source ‘Générations femme’, sept. 2009)