In the period from 24.07-04.08, 2018, Volunteering Centre Skopje together with their own representatives: Shezo, Eva, Angela, Filip, Marija and Jovan, accompanied by the team leader Jovana Naseva, were part of a project funded by the Erasmus + program, and organized by “Jugend Sozialwerk Nordhausene.V.” from Germany, where youngsters from 13 to 17 years old took part. Four countries took part: Macedonia, Italy, Spain, and Latvia. The project was with the topic “We are Europe” and aimed to connect young people with little amount of possibilities to take part in this kind of projects.
Before the project started, the VCS team had a couple of preparation meetings, to discuss the participant’ stay in Germany, and to represent our team as good as we can. On these meetings, we discussed the daily plan for what is going to happen there, and the importance of being active at the activities and workshops implemented in the project. We also discussed the days when the Macedonian team had to organize workshops, to be prepared in every situation, and to make it interesting and informative for the other participants.
During the stay there, and on those 10 incredible days, the participants learnt many new things about Europe and the European Union. How we, the youth, can contribute to a stronger European Union, and how to maintain it with all the beautiful differences it has. They also learnt that for building a quality and sustainable European Union, we need mutual understanding, and mutual support, and the importance of the youth in building a better Europe. The participants realized how difficult it is to discuss on topics about “Migration” and “Veto”, which have pros and cons, and although we have some basic knowledge about them, it is difficult to get in to the roots of these problems. On these activities, our participants learned how Macedonia is included in the actions and programs that Europe implements, although Macedonia is not a member of the EU.
During the project, they made “Action Bound”, which is an application with photos, videos, quizzes and information about the daily activities during the project, and what have the participants learnt from these activities. On the 8th day, the participants organized an party, where there were groups of a couple of people in charge for every part of the party: drinks, music, food, etc. Also, there were two moderators at the party: one who spoke in English, the other one in German. At the party, there were people from outside the project, and they got to know about the “Action Bound”, the song “Stars” (which was sung every day before the activities, and the flag of Europe was presented, which the participants created it by themselves.
Here’s what the participants said about the whole project and their experience there:
- “The project was great and I had a really good time there. We learnt many new and useful things that we can use sometime in the future, through games, and presentations. To hang out with people from different countries was an outstanding experience, and we learnt that we are all special in our own way. I will take part in another project similar to this in Romania, and I know that I will have a good time there, too.”
- “Every project is an experience for itself, we build our personalities, meet new people, cultures, and we create new memories that will last forever”
- “Life and time are our best teachers, the life teaches us how to use our time, and thus my time spent there with those incredible people, helped me to improve myself in a better person. Of course, I would like to meet those people again, and I would be really happy if I get the chance to participate in similar projects to this one” – Marija A.
- “This exchange left me really good impressions, and new perspective in which Macedonia is integrated in Europe and the European Union. Our tem represented the country with dignity and pride. Personally, I met new people who left me with new thoughts, and met with some friends that I knew before.“ – Shezo I.
- “ Once-in-a-lifetime experience that changed my perception about different cutures, and Europe as a whole. Unforgettable experience about the world around me.”- Filip S.
The last day was a farewell day. They gave out their own signatures on other friend’s T-shirts, and exchanged some gifts, with hope that they will stay in touch. Leaving memories and friendships, which will never be forgotten, and it is easier when you know that you have friends somewhere in Europe, that you will meet again. And last but not least, hope never fades that we will meet each other again, with new challenges and topics to discuss about.
Translator: Damian Georgievski