As you know, we love Interpals friendship stories! We are so happy to hear that people meet through Interpals and develop amazing friendships and relationships.
Soon after Ola M. (Gingerolka) from Poland joined Interpals, she was inspired to found The International League of Awesome (The ILA). The ILA develops video projects as a way to exchange friendship and to share the world with one another. As Ola says, “We’re the group of people from all around the world, who wants to create and share the happiness and joy of being a part of this world.” Today, The ILA boasts members from Finland to the DR Congo to Australia, and many more. Their most recent video is a New Year’s greeting from The ILA members to one another:
We talked to Ola and Jordan K. (kInGi495), an ILA member from Australia, to get a better sense of The ILA community.
Describe The ILA and how it began.
Ola: The whole project has started 2,5 years ago. I was taking part in a competition about volunteering. We were supposed to prepare some presentation, essay or video about volunteering. So I thought it’s a good opportunity for me to find out how volunteering is seen in other countries. That’s why I prepared few questions and asked my friends to answer on them in front of a camera. Unfortunately, the final video didn’t win, but my friends, who participated in it, were very excited and they told me to continue the whole idea of such projects. That’s how The ILA has started. By accident. And I can’t explain what we actually do. Because it’s The ILA – you never know what will come up to our minds
Jordan: I got into contact with Ola through Interpals about three or so years ago while looking for a snail mail pen pal. As for the ILA, Ola had already done a video project with a few of the other members pre group formation and enjoyed the experience. She asked if I’d be interested in doing some projects and I said it would be cool, so pretty much I’m one of the foundation members.
What are your favorite things about the ILA?
Ola: The people, definitely the people. And how they’ve changed during those years. At the beginning, they were all a little scared, a little unconfident – so was I! It was something new to me. But now – we are all different. And I’m sure each member of The ILA can confirm that.
Jordan: Everyone is really supportive of each other, and it’s a pretty relaxed atmosphere. Everyone is mates with everyone if that makes sense. …I’d say the group as a whole is very relaxed, we joke around with each other quite a bit, and I’ve never noticed any sort of animosity between members.
The ILA features members in one of their main series, “10 Facts About.” We asked Jordan a bit about his experience filming “10 Facts About – Australia.”
Jordan: It was quite a fair bit of fun to work on, namely because I got to let my inner larrikin out. Had to redo it once or twice due to camera issues, but it was no problem in the end.
What are your hopes for the future of the ILA?
Ola: I’d like The ILA to be an inspiration for other young people. I wish people learn as much as possible from our videos and try to change their lives.
What would you like the Interpals community to know about the ILA?
Ola: I just want people on Interpals, to know that we exist and that anybody can do something. You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be the smartest, you don’t have to be better, taller, faster or anything – you just need TO WANT. And that’s how The ILA has started. We, the members, are not perfect. Nobody is. But as you see – we can do something. And we enjoy it, we love it.
How can Interpals members join The ILA?
Ola: You just need to be open-minded, creative and ready to work. …That’s why the way to join The ILA is simple – you need to do something. After writing to us, we will let you know what to do. Mostly, I ask to make a video. Since we make videos, the people interested in joining should be aware of making the videos in the future. And this is our e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org [If you have any questions for Ola about The ILA, please contact her through this email address only.]
What do other members have to say about the ILA?
Ola: Here are the opinions of other members:
Charlie: “The ILA is a great way to make friends from anywhere in the world and more people should try the idea”
Lars: “I’ll say the ILA community’s mission is to build international bonds and friendship to make ourselves realize we’re not all that different no matter where we come from.”
Jenna: “ILA is awesome, just like it says in the name”
Pája: “In my opinion ILA is the best way to make friends, to meet people from all around the world – in online form and share our own creation. I think there is chance for everybody to express his creativity.”
Ire: “I think the ILA is share our different cultures and languages, from state to state, to all with our videos, too. Make friends all over the world, knowing so close their habitudes (and maybe face to face, who know? ), traditions, festivals..”
Joshua: “I think the ILA’s main mission is to bring people from different countries closer to each other, by learning more about them. Ultimately, making this a ‘small world’ ”
Jordan: “Although I have a feeling I’ve answered this already: the ILA is more about mateship than anything else. It shows that we aren’t all that different from one another. We get to meet so many awesome people that we probably would’ve never met if not for the ILA”
Anni: “ILA is wonderful group! Because of ila i have met awesome people”
Morgan: “You can’t explain what ILA is, you have to experience it ^^.”
Benjamine: “I don’t know really what to say, ’cause everybody explained it the best what the ILA is But if I have to say something about the ILA group : ‘ILA group is a place where no one would have thought that different people, from different places and nationalities would complete each other thanks to their differences.’ “
Ainhoa: “The ILA is a great project that, with effort can go so far in the audiovisual world as a way of sharing how small the world is and how globalisation make us so close to each other”
Dayana: “One of the best project someone could think about. Makes us to have great experiences meeting wonderful people you would never imagine. We have fun and learn about many places and cultures and of course aboue many people. The best thing is to call them friends. Friends around the world )”