Reflections by Irisa Mihaj
Hello everyone, I would like to share the very beautiful experience I had in Krusevo, North Macedonia. First of all, I would like to thank Inter Alia for giving me the opportunity to take part in the program!
Access to North Macedonia was very easy since we border geographically, so it was obvious to choose the train as a means of transport, both geographically and economically. The journey was long but it was not particularly noticeable as we only had one train change and then the project organizers came and picked us up. North Macedonia was reminiscent of Greece, so the environment was particularly familiar. We arrive at the hotel, arrange our things and start getting to know the other participants. There was an awkwardness as you meet people of other nationalities and your communication in English is limited, but this lasts for the first few days and after that you develop relationships that, believe me, you would never want to lose in your life.
The second day was a “get-to-know each other” day. Our trainer Kate organized many games in order to “break the ice” and bond as a team. So it happened. From the third day onwards we started our activities. The activities we did had the main goal of empowering and encouraging young people to actively participate in shaping society, how to be active citizens and how to actively participate in social events by developing social and leadership skills. Kate made us create our own NGO as we believed it would help society in fighting for example unemployment or the environmental problem that has increased in recent years. We also took part in various plays and short skits that mainly aimed to promote volunteerism, activism and human rights. Her goal was to send the message through simple means that if each of us is an active citizen, we can help and assist in our own way in the fight against negative phenomena. Which was successfully achieved as I gained a lot of knowledge from this project. It made me want to be more active and do things for the local community.
Finally, I want to convey the message that it is worth taking part in such kinds of programs as, in Greece, I regret to admit that they are not widely known and it is very likely that future candidates miss this opportunity. It’s a way to meet people who are different from you, live situations and experiences that you might never have had the chance to do on your own, learn new things, develop your skills!
So, don’t waste time and apply!
I hope I helped you and gave you a little idea of what these programs are really like and I hope I convinced you to give yourself a chance and live this very beautiful experience.