In my experience as a youth worker, team leader and educator the youngsters are very interesting and challenging target group to work with.
Those “rebels”, maybe they are lacking an experience or knowledge but what impress me the most is their vision about the world trends, where it is going, in which direction and possible solutions and paths to get there. Also their energy is enormous: they can fall 100 times but always ready and motivated to stand up and move on. The ERASMUS+ program is an excellent opportunity to show them the way and enrich them with certain skills and competences to succeed. That`s why I enjoy working on a projects and youth exchanges based on non-formal education: there`s always a success story and happy faces going back home. And of course, the pleasure is mine to be a silent witness of that.
The latest such a story of my portfolio, as usually began in my organization-the Volunteers Centre Skopje. As a partner organization of a youth exchange in Serbia we are preparing the team that will represent the organization. This time the team is 6+1 participants, what`s more than usual meaning: more participants-more responsibility and team work to implement for us to be successful. But I don`t have a doubt at all in the choice of the participants, my organization always sends youngsters that give their best.
A short intro at the first meeting, preparations and trip logistic.Most of them have a little experience in projects although every single one is a new challenge, opportunity, completely new journey into someone else`s life and quest for knowledge. So we started it with Vanesa, Eleonora, Gala and Veljan waiting for Aleksandar and Marijana to join us there. We traveled through the capital of Serbia, Belgrade with a little sightseeing and team coffee breaks documented with snapshots, and then going south to reach our venue-Rudnik. It was a small place located in a mountain region with forests and impressive nature: just a right place for the topic of the project: Seeds for sustainable development. Warmly welcome of our hosts, RitamZdravljafrom Serbia and the things started to develop by getting to know the other teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania and Portugal. The non-formal approach with ice breaking and name games again produced amazing results combined with some team work. It was obvious that this is a compact and highly motivated group of “rebels” ready to reply the objectives and deliver results in no time. And all the congratsfor the efforts to our facilitator Damirand his team who took the responsibility and lead the group throughout all the obstacles in the process. Team leader`s meetings, suggestions, shared responsibilities and safety measures were part of the daily routine to achieve successful group work. Alsofew city bound walk through the forest and the surrounding just to be aware how beautiful place we have visit as well as the benefits of the nature.
Divided in smaller groups we started to develop the ideas on the final outcomes: videos, handbooks and posters for the dissemination of the project. Every group worked hard to achieve the results even during the cultural visit of the nearby monastery Vracevsnicaand the city of GornjiMilanovac. So much beauty and impressions of this visit combined and related only with this people you met here. And a lot of pictures sealed with smiles and positive attitudes that maybe, someday, after many years will recall the mood and feelings we shared among us. Every night is an intercultural evening with traditions, food and beverages, music, presents and hugs, just to share once more the intercultural awareness we started from the beginning.
The departure day came more quickly than we expected. Everybody`s aware that has been a part of a very successful story that wants to be extended. But we leave it for some other time. It`s time for the rebels to go home and spread the word, the competences and skills to be sustainable. As I descend the stairs with the suitcases of my new friends for final goodbyes I notice the faces of my team mates waving goodbye. They are happy indeed. They got what they came for. I am really proud of them. And me?
I got inspired for another poem to write. It`s the only way such a beauty and feelings to be preserved forever.
Author :Goran Galabov