Annual EMSP Young People Meetup in Lithuania


After three long years of online young people meetups and webinars, EMSP was thrilled to bring together the young MS community again at its Annual Young People Meetup. In collaboration with the Lithuanian Multiple Sclerosis Union, the Latvian Multiple Sclerosis Association, and the Estonian Multiple Sclerosis Associations, we organized a 3-day event between 26-28 August in Palanga, Lithuania. The event was attended by more than 35 young people living with MS from across Europe to help develop and drive future actions advocating for the needs of the young MS community.

Building a Community of MS Advocates

The theme of the meet-up was ‘Building a community of MS Advocates’, where the emphasis was put on the community-building aspect of advocacy. This is the first step towards achieving the goals of the work carried out by EMSP and our members. In doing so, EMSP focuses on helping regions and MS societies in working with young people through actions both parties find most relevant. Hence, the attendees first identified the needs and challenges they face as young people with MS and then developed actions and projects to address these particular challenges.

Some of the most pressing challenges expressed by participants were quite similar, despite the fact that they are coming from different countries. The young MS community expressed their dissatisfaction with the level of understanding with regard to MS coming from employers and the wider society, as well as accessibility and patient-doctor communication. This dissatisfaction drove them to action, where plans for the development of awareness campaigns [through leaflets or even through the use of innovative VR glasses], MS forums, and social media were put into place.

These innovative plans were developed with the help of national MS societies that were present on-site, but also through the exchange of best practices across countries. Nevertheless, the weekend was also filled with fun activities exploring Lithuania, dancing as well as trying out new food.

EMSP Annual Young People Meetup 2022 Palanga Lithuania Group Picture on retreat

Hear It From the Young People

We, as organisers, can talk all we want about the event but it is better to hear it from some of the young people who got to experience the event:

‘The Young People’s Network in Palanga was just what I needed to recharge some sun and inspiration for the upcoming months. I was thrilled to meet new people, share experiences, and most importantly, exchange ideas on how we can help build MS communities around Europe.  Motivated, game changers, with a hint of humor and lots of positive attitudes –  these are my kind of people and they just happen to have MS like me. Being surrounded by like-minded youngsters, made me believe in our ability to change the health system and advocate for others. Now I can’t wait to put some words into action!’ – Tania, from Austria

People standing in circle around leaves put in the shape of the letters MS

At last, it has been an inspiration seeing so many young advocates come together and develop strong action plans for the future of our community. Thank you to all the collaborators and participants! Stay tuned for more!

If you are also interested in joining the Young People’s Network, please contact Simina Peterfi, EMSP’s Community Manager.


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