Тhe young people in Radovis are happy to be living in a small and peaceful town, which also offers us opportunities to fill our free time with activities that help us learn many things and help people in need. One of those opportunities is to be part of the Red Cross Branch in Radovis. Exactly 70 years ago, in May 1952, this branch organization was formed. Many happy returns of the day! On this occasion, I want to tell you what it means to be a volunteer and to tell you about our activities.
Radovis is a small place located about 100 km southeast of Skopje. According to the latest census from 2022, slightly less than 29,000 people live in Radovis. The traditional dish is the famous “Radovishki Samun,” made from dough and several types of meat (pork, chicken, beef, etc.). Under the name Pastrmajlija, this specialty has its copy in other cities of our country and is always a reason for discussing where the actual original derives. In the autumn days, Radovis is also known for the manifestation “Samun em Tatlija” (Tatlija is a dessert made from young cheese). When we are not part of this event, we organize other activities with the Youth Club, which operates as part of the Branch organization of the Red Cross in Radovis.
What does RCA-PHV mean?
RCA-PHV is an abbreviation of the Red Cross in action, promoting human values, and for more than 20 years, is a national tool for recruiting and retaining new volunteers aged 13 to 17 years in the Red Cross.
What is the aim of the RCA-PHV program?
Young people receive training on Red Cross values, culture as a value system, and how to develop small community aid projects. The young volunteers change their daily routine, spend time in research, activities, promotions, conversations with target groups, and teamwork to create small projects and help people in need.
What are the contributions from RCA-PHV?
● About 130 small projects are developed during a single year
● More than 25,000 volunteer hours are invested in the community
● Volunteers help more than 2500 people
● More than 25,000 euros are collected from the district and returned to the community
What projects are being developed?
– The field and the topic of the projects are different every year. The topıc in 2022, for instance, is RECOGNITION OF DIFFERENCES.
-Takıng thıs topıc as a title, the projects can be done in two fıelds: COMMUNITY ACTION and INTERCULTURAL ACTION.
– COMMUNITY ACTION includes humanitarian projects to help people at risk, support and assistance to daycare centers and institutions, as well as environmental projects.
– The fıeld of INTERCULTURAL ACTION covers all projects for education, promotion of coexistence, peace, tolerance, and mutual understanding between different ethnic groups and groups different on any other basis.
As part of the small project ın the fıeld of intercultural action, one of the RCA-PHV teams on 03.05.2022 invited volunteers from France, Poland, Finland, and Portugal, who are part of the projects of the Volunteer Center Skopje, to present their language and something of their own culture. The volunteers from the Youth Club, together with the PHV team, representatives of Turkish nationality, and the users of the Daycare Center Poraka, who are part of the project, including participants with disabilities, visited the monastery in the village of Oraovica -St. George.
After this journey, we organized games to get to know each other and socialize. Afterward, our guests, the international volunteers, had the opportunity to taste local food. Further, in the hall of the Red Cross, the team from PHV for the intercultural project prepared several activities to get better acquainted with different types of cultures, such as:
- Presenting traditional food and music.
- Learning some familiar words.
- Recognizing the language in which the text is written depending on the alphabet used.
We all together wrote sentences in different languages related to the equality of people from different cultures on a big piece of paper. The volunteers from Skopje also visited the church of St. Trinity in Radovish with the help of the Red Cross orienteer. The church was consecrated in 2003, making it one of the few relatively new churches and considered one of the most beautiful and most affluent Orthodox churches in the Balkans. Many tourists visit it throughout the year.
We are different, every one of us!
As a volunteer and part of the Youth Club, I saw what it is like to be part of a team in which everyone speaks a different language. In Radovis, young people speak mostly Macedonian or Turkish. Although we all grew up in the same city and went to the same school, I realize that we all have different knowledge of other cultures. Being only 14 years old, I still have a lot to learn about different cultures worldwide. However, I think this was a good start for me. And as we wrote on that piece of paper, the man who has many friends is rich. With the help of our old and new friends, we realized that we are all different in one way or another. And that makes us equal.