For the 18 talented, up-and-coming liberal female leaders from around Europe, attending the first session of the Alliance Of Her Academy, which took place in early October, was as much a relief as a powerful step forward on their journeys.
Given the long wait due to COVID-19, this second session was always going to be more anticipated and more action-packed than perhaps any academy session before, as the class returned to the Domaine De Ronchinne in Belgium – the ‘home’ of the academy programme – for the first time.
Despite of, or perhaps thanks to the challenges the participants have faced over the last 18 months, the AOH Class of 2020 has been one of the quickest to connect and form a community – a diverse group with incredible stories to tell.
Over the four days the participants spent together, they heard from alumna Emma Murphy of Fianna Fáil, who not only shared her experiences in the European Parliament but also moved many with her story of overcoming personal tragedy and becoming more determined to succeed with her goals.
Moreover, addressing the group was ALDE Party Vice President and former D66 Campaign Manager Annelou Van Egmond. Van Egmond reminded the group that “politics is not always about ideology all that much – it’s about identity… and people always want to belong to the group that is having fun”.
The AOH Class of 2020 will meet again for the final time for their graduation session which takes place just before the Alliance Of Her Summit at the end of November.