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Stamily Meetup 2023 in Belgium

Updated: Jan 15

Written by Shadruzzaman and Jurjen

Stamily in Durbuy

From October 6th to 9th, 2023, Stamily held a meetup in Durbuy, Belgium. This meeting was meant to meet fellow members, celebrate the shared experience of stuttering, and to push Stamily as an association forward. Members who could not join in-person, could join online as well. We will share the highlights with you in this blog.

Friday: break the ice

We started the weekend on Friday evening with some social time, such that everyone had the chance to settle down in a new environment and get to know each other or catch up with those who have met each other before. To break the ice, we included a short round of standup introductions, such that both new and old members all got to know more about each other. We all had to make a specific body posture that matches with our personalities or interests, which shows that communication is more than speaking but also in some cases resulted in funny moments when it was unclear what the posture meant.

Saturday: work, explore, and relax

On Saturday morning we started with some meditation so that everyone could come to a peaceful state of mind, whereafter the participants splitted up in smaller groups to work on projects they were interested in. These projects included making videos about living with a stutter, developing new Stamily cafes, brainstorming about new collaborations, and improving the Stamily website. This part was also where online participants could join in and work on projects together. After hard work and a nice lunch, we explored Durbuy city center in the afternoon. Although Durbuy’s claim to be the smallest city in the world is questionable, it is a beautiful small city to wander around in a short time and feel satisfied by the medieval architecture and positive atmosphere. Fortunately, there happened to be a beer festival on the day we were there as well, which gave us a chance to experience the taste of fresh Belgium beer.

Roaming around in Durbuy

The evening was filled with relaxation time in the hot tub and sauna that were part of our accommodation, accompanied by some relaxing music played by some of the participants, and/or by playing table tennis, table football, or pool.

Enjoying well-deserved relaxation time in the hot tub

Sunday: finishing up!

On Sunday we started the day this time with yoga, which was followed again by working on the same projects as Saturday, where the goal was to finish up where people were working on the day before and make plans to continue their project after the weekend. The results and plans were shared with the other members. It was amazing to see how much work was done in a short time and to see how we as a community can contribute to the entire stuttering community.

Stamily members sharing their results

After all the hard work, it was time for optional activities: hiking, visiting a cave, or swimming.

In the caves of Hotton

Sunday evening was the last evening. People decided to play games together and/or enjoy some time again in the hot tub and sauna or just have a chat with each other. On Monday morning it was time to clean and to leave the accommodation. Some of the members decided to enjoy a few extra days in Belgium and visited Leuven, Brussels, and/or Gent.

Meetup attendees having a drink in Leuven

Stamily meetups matter

The Stamily meetup was organized by and for Stamily members. Some of the members made sure that every meal was well-prepared and no one was hungry during the weekend, while others ensured that everyone was able to arrive on time at the accommodation from the airport or the nearest train station. The fact that people from 10 different countries attended the meetup is a testament to the increasing global reach of Stamily. It is also a sign that people who stutter are eager to make international connections, learn from the different ways that stuttering is experienced in different cultures, and overall want to contribute to a better world for people who stutter.

Stamily member nationality count

Stamily meetups are important because they provide a safe and supportive space for people who stutter. We clearly see that these meetups can help people to feel less alone, learn from others' experiences, and build a sense of community.

If you are interested in learning more about Stamily or attending a future meetup, you can visit the website and register yourself, if you haven’t done so yet.

Stamily members all together!

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