Agora Events

The AGORA task force has started organizing the 2013 conference which is to be held on September 20-22 2013 in Sofia Bulgaria.

The overall theme of the conference will be "Funding in a difficult economical environment- challenges and opportunities" in combination with "the effects of the economic crisis on patients with RMDs".


Objectives topic one: Funding in a difficult economical environment - challenges and opportunities

  1. Exchange national experiences
  2. Learn about possible solutions from organisations facing similar challenges
  3. Share interests for possible collaboration and joint sponsorship
  4. Working with partners



Objectives topic two: The effects of the economic crisis on patients with RMDs.

  1. Exchange national experiences
  2. Learn about possible solutions
  3. Explore ways to influence the decision making



The programme of the conference will include:

  1. presentations on the above themes
  2. workshops
  3. panel discussions



AGORA has participated at the GLOBAL RA patient forum which took place in Milan on the 13th - 14th July.

During the meeting, the Chair of AGORA Mrs Souzi Makri presented the project developed by the Organization "Partners in Treatment". Also Mrs Adriana Carluccio from APMAR (member of AGORA) presented the Smartphone and Tablet APP for RA. AGORA's member "Association of Rheumatic Patients of Crete" was also represented at the meeting by the president Mrs Katerina Koutsoyianni who presented her Association's aims and objectives as well as some of their programmes and activities .

Overall the meeting was constructive and successful.



After completing the first part of the "partners in treatment project" (companion guide and reference cards), AGORA proceeded with the second part of the project which is the ‘’Train the trainers’’ course for our members. For this reason, two groups were formed from our members’ countries, each group included twelve patients. The first group travelled to Amsterdam in Netherlands in February 2014 where the training was given by the training company WORK21.The aims of the training are:

  • Identify and determine the need for training: what, who, and how.
  • Work with effective learning objectives.
  • Apply adult learning concepts develop supportive climates and customize off- the-shelf materials.
  • Use training activities and alternatives to lecture, strategies for different learning needs, and effective questioning techniques.
  • Prepare properly for a training session and prepare participants to foster learning.
  • Manage and encourage participants of all backgrounds and learning styles; understand who is learning and how to address challenging participants.
  • Know the principles of self-management and knows how to learn participants based on these principles.
  • Present and facilitate a training program, including use of audiovisuals and handouts.
  • Evaluate using various methods and at different levels.

The trainers, Mrs. Gonny Vink and Mrs. Bertha Maat,   included many practical exercises during the workshops.
The second workshop for the second group will again be held in Amsterdam on the 18th -19th of March.

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