Engines of society - Anouk Galassi

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In cooperation with Losch Luxembourg, we regularly present women who have a very special impact on Luxembourg society through their professional careers or simply through their personal stories.

With her colourful scout neckerchief, you can recognise her from afar: the former Commissaire Générale of the Luxembourg Scout Association Anouk Galassi. She has just crossed the huge car park of Losch in Howald, where she is about to be handed the keys to the brand new ŠKODA Fabia. Until a few months ago, Anouk was the head of the Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten (LGS), an association to which she gave her heart more than 30 years ago. She tells us a little about her experiences during a short drive to get to know the new sporty Fabia.

22 years after its debut, the popular small car is now in its fourth generation, a lot more environmentally conscious and just as passionate as we are used to. Since its market launch, the Fabia has become one of the cornerstones of the ŠKODA brand, with 4.5 million models sold. With its confident and emotional design, with a host of brand-new future-oriented features and a price-performance ratio that has always been fair, the Fabia still knows how to convince as the perfect everyday and family car.

The Fabia is available in in the Active, Ambition, Style and the sporty Monte Carlo equipment lines. When it comes to power, it is very environmentally conscious and is available with five different but efficient petrol engines of the EVO generation, all economical, which cover a power spectrum from 59 kW (80 hp) to 110 kW (150 hp) and allow a range of over 900 kilometres, depending on the configuration.

The design of the new Fabia fits perfectly into the current ŠKODA design language. Thanks to its modern proportions and sharply drawn headlights and tail lights with state-of-the-art LED technology, the Fabia impresses with a typical edgy-emotional look.

The interior also makes a high-quality impression at first glance. The dashboard is partially upholstered in fabric and features elegant copper-coloured or grey contrast stitching and decorative elements. This gives the Fabia's interior a very cosy and homely ambience. In addition, the new seats are equipped with adjustable lumbar support for the first time, making for an exceptionally comfortable driving experience. And that's exactly what Anouk will experience today.

Her trip takes her to the Luxembourg Moselle, to Mertert to be exact, because that's where the 38-year-old grew up. A few kilometres outside the capital, however, she already leaves the motorway for her first stopover, at the Potaschberg exit. There has been a petrol station here for many years, and she has some very special memories of it. As a young adult, Anouk worked as a volunteer at the Protection Civile for 10 years. There, she and her team were active both as ambulance drivers and were responsible for treating the sick and injured while they were on the road. An honourable task, even if it was not always an easy one. Although she often had to witness very formative incidents back then, she quickly learned to switch off. "At some point you just learn to function as soon as the alarm signal sounds", Anouk explains. "That way you can go on living your life normally. Otherwise, I don't think I would get into a car today."

Amidst the lush greenery of the vineyards, the striking orange Fabia immediately catches the eye of one walker or another.

Fortunately, the new ŠKODA Fabia is one of the safest vehicles in the small car segment with up to nine airbags. In addition, the Fabia of this generation is available for the first time with the seven assistance systems Travel Assist, Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Side Assist, Front Assist with anticipatory pedestrian and cyclist protection and manoeuvring brake function, which guarantee a completely safe driving experience.

After 10 years of service, it was time for Anouk to look for a permanent job and leave the voluntary service behind. Nevertheless, she still remembers her time at Protection Civile fondly. "There were many defining moments, but there were also many beautiful moments", Anouk says. It was a time when she was able to help many people in need and received a lot of gratitude in return. Years later, former patients of hers still recognise and greet her on the street. A nice feeling.

So for the sake of the good old days, today she stops at the petrol station in Potaschberg where she used to take a break between jobs – often in the middle of the night – and takes advantage of her stop to take the Fabia for a spin through the car wash. And then it's time to move on. Off we go to the picturesque vineyards – the so-called Wéngerten – of the Moselle, where Anouk knows her way around particularly well. She often travelled there as a child and enjoys reliving those memories. Here, amidst the lush greenery of the vineyards, the striking orange Fabia immediately catches the eye of one walker or another.

In the new generation, the Fabia is available in nine colours, including the two brand-new metallic finishes Phoenix Orange – which Anouk has the pleasure of presenting today – and the somewhat more discreet but equally modern Graphite Grey. In addition, you also have the option of having the roof, the exterior mirror caps and the alloy wheels painted in the contrasting colour Magic Black Pearl Effect to give the lively all-rounder an even more edgy look. It can also be optionally equipped with a panoramic glass roof.

In addition, the Fabia is available with familiar and popular comfort features that are otherwise only known from higher vehicle classes. These include a heated windscreen and a heated steering wheel. But on a pleasantly sunny day like today, you don't really need these features.

"Together we are strong and together we can do it better than on our own."

Anouk Galassi

The weather just invites us to take a little detour to the banks of the nearby Sauer. Not far away, Anouk knows an unusual, somewhat hidden spot on the Syr right next to a picturesque waterfall where you can take a little break.

Anouk was practically born with an enormous affinity for nature. She remembers that when she was a child, she often went to the forest after school with her mother and siblings to have a little picnic in the great outdoors and do her homework. "We actually almost never played indoors", she recalls. And Anouk's father also had a big influence, because he was also a passionate scout back then. So that's how it happened that she joined the scouts at a very early age and was allowed to attend scout camps every summer. "It was just the greatest thing to sleep in a tent, to run around in the forest, in meadows and fields, in places where we didn't know anything about."

During her teenage years, she decided to take a short break before returning to the scouts a little later and unexpectedly becoming a group leader in Grevenmacher. And that's how it was meant to go on. After working for a while at local level in Grevenmacher, she soon started to become active at national level, where she had the opportunity to help plan and organise nationwide projects, events and training. Even at the huge international Scout Camp at Kirchberg in 2019, where thousands of Scouts from all over the world gathered, Anouk was actively involved in organising and running it. And the best thing about all these events is that they are always organised with the idea in mind: "Together we are strong and together we can do it better than on our own", Anouk explains.

Of course, being close to nature is also important in scouting, especially in today's constantly connected world. The new ŠKODA Fabia knows how to combine these two areas perfectly. Its environmentally friendly drives guarantee a respectful relationship with nature and its brand new future-oriented infotainment system allows you to always stay up to date. The new-generation Fabia is constantly connected to the internet, allowing access to numerous infotainment apps and online services anytime and anywhere. So you can check the weather report, the news or even your own Google calendar while on the move. On the intuitively controllable up to 9.2-inch central display in the dashboard, all the different functions can be operated with 8 clearly arranged buttons. Alternatively, you can control the infotainment system via gesture control or the voice assistant Laura, which speaks 15 different languages. This way, you won't miss a thing, even during a trip to the countryside.

In 2017, Anouk – together with the future Commissaire Général adjoint Yves Marchi – put forward their candidature for Commissaire Générale of the Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten. The federation then decided in favour of the dynamic duo and gave the two the opportunity to stand up for the interests and needs of the LGS at national level. The beginning of this term was very pleasant, and the team was able to settle into its role… but then came the turbulent year 2019. It was not only the 100th anniversary of the Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten, but also the year of the death of Grand-Duc Jean, the chief scout of the LGS. At the farewell ceremony, the LGS were of course also present to pay their last respects to their long-time "chief". And then came the pandemic.

Unlike most associations and clubs, the scouts were lucky enough to have most of their activities take place outside, so things got back underway soon after the lockdown. In keeping with the Scout philosophy, the LGS then set up a number of projects to support their fellow Scouts in these difficult times. For example, they did the shopping for particularly vulnerable fellow citizens or took part in a sewing campaign in which masks were sewn, collected and distributed to protect needy people from the virus. It was definitely not an easy time, especially in terms of organisation, but it felt good to be able to help, Anouk says.

A few months ago she resigned as Commissaire Générale. But that doesn't mean she has left the LGS behind, because once you are part of the Scouts, you stay part of the Scouts forever. In the coming weeks, Anouk will be embarking on a completely new adventure, as she is expecting her first child very soon. So it's a good thing that the new ŠKODA Fabia is the best in its class when it comes to space. It surpasses its predecessors in all dimensions, and that with almost unchanged weight. Both the passenger compartment and the luggage compartment offer plenty of space with an overall vehicle length of just under 4.11 metres. So there are hardly any wishes left unfulfilled. We would like to take this opportunity to wish Anouk all the best for the future and this exciting new phase of her life.