“Understanding languages and other cultures builds bridges. It is the fastest way to bring the world closer together and to Truth. Through understanding, people will be able to see their similarities before differences.”- Suzy Kassem,” Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem”
From 01.09.2018 to 14.09.2018 a group of participants from “Volunteers Center Skopje”, led by Jovana Naseva and Stefan Kechovski took part in the youth exchange project “Connecting Cultures & Building Friendships” in Craiova, the sixth largest city in Romania. The goal of the project was to promote the battle against discrimination, as well as promoting the active citizenship in the local community. It was also opportunity to make friendships with people with different backgrounds via non-formal education and getting to know the key concept of the Erasmus+ programme.
The project was organized by the Romanian organization “ANDCTR”, and the participants were from Macedonia, Georgia and Jordan. The Macedonian team consisted of 10 participants and 2 team leaders.
We started the project with different activities in order to get to know the Romanian team better. In these activities, we included the promotion of “Volunteers Center Skopje”, and we learned about how “ANDCTR” works. The intercultural night was a part of the program, where we had a chance to present traditional Macedonian dishes, dances and music. We also got to know the Romanian tradition and culture, and we found out that our cultures are really similar. For us the main goal of this project was to get familiar with the terms “discrimination” and “positive discrimination”, using non-formal methods of learning. As a result of the workshops, we created a flash mob in the city center, and the scene was filled with promotional material that we created.
During these 14 days, we had the opportunity to explore the city of Craiova and its landmarks, such as the Botanical Garden and one of the top 5 national parks in Europe- the “Nicolae Romanescu” park. We also had free time which we used to visit the museum of natural sciences and the art museum. One day we went to the aqua-park as well.
In the end of this youth exchange, we received “YouthPass” certificates, and this ceremony was followed by a party. But, everything that is nice is often short lasting. Even though we all came back to our countries, we will stay in contact with new friends with the help of social media platforms.