Volunteer stories from North Macedonia, part 1
Zdravo 🙂 Ivana’s here 🙂
During my high-school days, I was taking part in local Red Cross volunteering activities for straight 8 years, considering myself a productive and active local citizen which had only one pure attention, helping others. I was part of the teams who were helping around during the pandemic time back in the 2nd half of 2020, which was the first serious challenge and experience that I faced, after being actively involved in different types of volunteering local activities like fundraising, helping poor families, flood relief and a lot more. After completing my tasks, there are no words that were describing my feelings. I feel fulfilled, released and at the same time, motivated and ready to start over again the next day.
My daily routine put me in a backpack full of volunteering lovely stories signed by my name. Not because I did it or I completed it, but because I was there taking part in that wonderful story 🙂
I can’t describe that wonderful feeling, that experience, that package full of self-confidence and open mindest which was giving me the strength to keep going on, at the same time not being afraid of completing all the obligations on my way.
A period of time that I’ll take with me where I go and where I continue helping around. Hopefully, there will be new chapters here and there but I’m sure that my love for volunteerism and the happy ends of those stories will remain the same.
My name is Luka Todorov and I did my volunteering project in Romania. The idea comes up once the struggling home period appears back in 2019 in December.
It was a long and dark winter day, deeply thinking about what should I do next in my life and how to overcome the challenge to become useful and valuable by doing some volunteering job.
Searching for such an unexpectable I found the chance to take part in a school volunteering project where I’ll have the chance to work with children who are basically homeless, struggling with life and facing many other daily challenges. The city government was giving a 100% of its capacity to provide everything that they need but since the youth were getting closer to the stage of becoming independent for several years, the main goal of the project was to give them the strength, support, give them the power and wings to feel released and work on it together to become ready young adults who will soon jump in the adult’s world. And of course, I accepted!
During my time there, I had a chance to work with them in the school and outside of their formal activities. Such a lovely and energetic youth they were, full of life and with shining open-wide eyes. I can’t forget their faces 🙂
Such joy and pleasure we had by taking active participation in various well-settled activities such as inclusion and diversity, sports, integration in society, self-empowerment and building self-confidence, as well as teaching them about the value of volunteerism and active citizenship.
Once the project was finished, I realized how important is to have a supportive social program for the youth who are facing fewer life opportunities. From that moment on, my inner alarm of becoming a super active citizen is turned on and you can see me everywhere around my country in a favor of the people that need me the most.
In the past two months, I have been volunteering under the EU programme Europeans Solidarity Corps in the beautiful city of Malaga, Spain.
I worked in a social center, where together with our hosting association, we were preparing activities for socially-disabled youth from this center.
By providing interaction in different types of workshops, conversations, discussions, talks about different life perspectives and points of life, my duty was to help them to feel valued in our society, raise their confidence and bring the power of words that everyone is important in the world.
It was a blessing experience where besides that, I experienced absolute unconditional love and encouragement that I do something little which makes them feel awesome and at the same time, makes me feel the person I really am. Simple, I become a more empathic person.
My name is Slavica, a youth worker from North Macedonia. During the period between November 2020 – April 2021, I did my volunteering in Turkey. It was a great experience and a life-changing period of my life.
I did my volunteering service in Canakkale, Turkey, a city near the Greek border.
The project’s name was “We care about the elders” and my main task and dutie were helping and taking care of the elder people in the area affected by the global pandemic Covid-19. The negative impact on those lovely people changed the perspective of their lives. Their needs become less but the importance of being completed was at the highest level. Health now was their priority, eating healthy was their priority, their inner peace was their priority. Doing all of this by themself was quite difficult.
Thanks to the local organization where I took the chance to volunteer, I and a couple of other colleagues accepted the challenge to be useful to them and to the local community. By providing consistent help from many aspects, we’re giving 100% percent of our daily energy, power and willingness to bring a small valuable smile to them. It was difficult but it was worth it. I can never forget the countless hours running around the city to buy things, bring medicines, food supplies and be able to open their lonely world while being isolated due to governmental restrictions.
To be honest, in those lovely 6 months, I realized how small and fragile we’re, how we all need support and unconditional love, especially in the moments when we need the most.
Nowadays, after quite a while, I think of those opportunities that are very important for personal growth, for contribution on a local level and most importantly, the lovely smile of my elder people there <3.
Branko’s here, a super positive guy from North Macedonia and here I’m to share some of my volunteering stories.
I did EVS twice. One short term in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2015 and a long term in Izmir, Turkey a period of 11 months in 2016-2017.
Since my super young childhood ages, I have been actively participating in each of my city, high school or organization volunteering activities. The time spent among wonderful people made me realize that I love what I’m doing and here is the place where I belong and I feel like being me. Over the years, I become a volunteering mentor in our city which I am really proud of and gives me the motivation to keep going on.
During my first project in Bulgaria, I was volunteering at a UNICEF festival together with 30 other volunteers around Europa. It was a wonderful and unforgettable experience for me lasting for a period of only a month. A month full of never experienced moments while working with different types of people, including people with disabilities. It was 30 days “trial” period where I developed my self-confidence and this actually motivated me to take part in a long-term EVS.
Full of impressions, have followed my next steps and jumped into my new volunteering project in Izmir, Turkey which was a cultural project, related to the inclusion of minorities and refugee people which we’re trying to become involved in the local society. It was a unique chance to get closer to those lovely people’s life stories, to hear the written side of their notebooks and the struggling life they had. Powerful lessons learned here made me become more familiar with those generations and the time spent together in our activities, made us an inseparable unit of the organization and our daily life.