In the period between 16.10-24.10 the youth exchange “Trust me, I’m a volunteer” took place in Barcelona, Spain. The six countries which took part in this project are Spain, Italy, Germany, Macedonia, Turkey and Bulgaria, with each country being represented by seven participants (six participants and one team leader). The main objective of the project was raising awareness among youngsters for volunteering, i.e. creating, organizing, and participating in volunteering activities on a local level, as well as on a national and international level.
Our journey began on October 16th, with the whole day dedicated to travelling to Barcelona, a bit tiring but interesting nonetheless because we had enough time to get to know each other. We were the last group to arrive, together with the team representing Bulgaria, and after our dinner, exhausted from the long trip we went to bed.
The following day was the first day of the project. Through various games we got to know each other, we started cooperating with the other participants, and we found out something more about them while sharing something more about us. The following workshops were tailored with the purpose of getting to know the main goal of the project, sharing our experiences and our expectations as a group.
Each day started with an energizer and team building followed by workshops and activities concerned with the topic. Furthermore, every day started and ended with a group reflection, while the team leaders had meetings with the organizers of the project.
During the project, two days were devoted to volunteering activities on a local level in cooperation with local NGOs.
- Eco action on the Barcelonetta beach, each participant was given adequate equipment to be a part of the action. This action was conducted by a local NGO which organises it twice a week. The main goal of this action was to collect rubbish and cigarette butts left on the beach by visitors.
- Volunteering action in Madre Coraje-organization devoted to humanitarian aid, particularly collecting and sorting second hand objects and clothing. The money collected by selling those items is donated to socially disadvantaged families around the world. The main goal of this action was to help in sorting, stacking up and packing the products in the two stores where the participants were located.
During the project we had an intercultural evening, where every country had a table with their representative traditional food and drinks, i.e. the most notable products of the country. As a part of the intercultural evening, we presented our NGO, our country and our culture.
Furthermore, the project was led by a facilitator completely invested in helping us get acquainted with the topic. Every participant was involved in the workshops, which were mainly done in groups, but there were tasks that we had to do individually.
After finishing our final dinner on the project together, we had an event for our Youthpasses, which marked the official ending of the youth exchange.
We would like to express our gratitude to Volunteers Centre Skopje for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this project. Apart from meeting new people, these projects help with broadening your world view, which can be really beneficial on both private and professional level.
Translation: Isabela Zelevska