In the second half of August 2019, I had the opportunity to work as an EVS volunteer at the Center for Youth Activism KRIK / КРИК for two weeks.
During this time, I had the chance to discover more about North Macedonia and especially about Skopje, by doing volunteering activities in different locations.
The young team from Krik Center (and Nala their beautiful dog) have welcomed us and offered us language support, in a country with a different alphabet than the one that I knew. I had the chance to meet new people and to learn more about different cultures, languages and religions.
North Macedonia is a beautiful country with an interesting history, the symbol being Alexander the Great or “Alexandru Macedon”.
During the project, one of the first volunteering activities was to do a little bit of gardening and to redecorate the garden furniture from Krik Center, in order to give a touch of color to the place.
Then, I also had the challenge to prepare workshops for young people with intellectual disabilities, who benefit from specialized services in Zavod Center, presenting them the information about Romanian culture and playing interesting games together.
Another activity that I really enjoyed a lot, was held outdoor, more precisely in the City Park, where together with the French Scouts, we managed to bring smiles to the young participants from Zavod Center, spending a wonderful time together, and making them feel included in our group.
Being part of the project “Enable THISability!” was a wonderful experience and I am very happy that I had the chance to be part of it.
In North Macedonia – Skopje is wonderful, but Matka Canyon and Ohrid, will always remain my favorite places!!!
I wish a lot of success to Krik Center, to continue with their work and to develop more volunteering projects in the future.
During August, i volunteered in Skopje and accumulated great memories. I learned the culture and language of Macedonia. I had the to visit many museums and places of worship in different languages and religions. I had the opportunity to work with young people with disabilities in the center of Down Syndrome and in Zavod. It was a great experience for me. On my visit to Ohrid , a beautiful lake and a very historic building welcomed me. Krik and i have done a lot of work . i thanked them for everything. I believe that we will shape our future with goodness.
Hi, my name is Fatih. I am 20 and I am from Turkey. I study Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Bilkent University, Ankara which is the capital city of Turkey. I am a volunteer for 1 month in Skopje, Macedonia. Before I came here, I had some doubts about my adaptation process. However, as time passes I handled it with the great support of volunteers of KRIK centre. Going Macedonia and also going abroad is a completely different experience for me because before Macedonia I’ve only been to Europe, in London, once for 1 month. I would like to tell my 1-month experience step by step. The first week, I tried to learn how KRIK Center works and what is the duties of workers here. In addition, I discovered the city a little bit. At the first time, It was hard for me because of the Macedonian language. I couldn’t even read this language because of the different alphabet. Then, I took some Macedonian lessons in KRIK office and I got used to it. At least, I can read words in Macedonian and understand some basic things. As I travelled to the city, I realised that there were so many Turkish people. This fact helped me to feel home and makes the process of adaptation easier. The second week, I met with the Scout form France and we did some activities with some children who have mental disabilities. I had no experience with kind of these children so I was really excited and a little bit worried but with the help of Scout and also other volunteers from KRIK, I didn’t have much trouble. To be honest, I think I got along well with them and playing with such kids was really enjoyable for me. End of the second week, we went to Dojran and joined D festival with 2 kids. We stayed in a tent and we were just around 20 meters away from Dojran Lake. We also gave some information about KRIK to people at the festival and played some games to make people understand what social inclusion is and how disable people feel in social life. Staying at a tent, being in such a festival and informing people about a social organisation were really different and enjoyable experiences for me. The third week, just after the d festival, we went to the Summer Camp in Ohrid. We stayed again in a tent and we were just 10 meter away from the Ohrid lake. Ohrid is a really amazing place. Probably, I will visit Ohrid again one day. We stayed there for almost 1 week. During the summer camp, there were some workshops, games and outdoor activities. This summer camp was so enjoyable and instructive for me. I’ll miss it. My EVS experience was generally like this. As I said, It was so different and enjoyable adventure for me. I met many people and I made lots of new friends. Thanks everyone here for everything and I hope we’ll meet again.
My name is Beltina and I am originally from Albania and I grew up in Italy and the United States. I have a bachelor’s degree in international political economy and diplomacy and a master’s degree in international development and peace studies. Before EVS, my experience was centered on research and writing, community and higher education administration, and policy analysis. I am passionate about serving communities in need, especially the youth, refugees, and the disabled. As an EVS volunteer, I was placed at Center for Youth Activism – CYA KRIK in Skopje, North Macedonia. At KRIK, I have been learning the power, reach, and significance of youth work that is carried out by young people at the local level. Together with the KRIK team, I plan and facilitate workshops for disabled marginalized youth, formulate calls for applications for training at the Center, learn about and the broader scope of Erasmus+ and the opportunities it provides in Europe, and connect to local schools and the National Youth Council of Macedonia to further dialogue on the needs and rights of disabled and non-disabled youth in Macedonia. As an EVS volunteer, I am privileged to work with a team who is exceptionally trained in the field of youth work. After my EVS assignment, I will be initiating doctoral studies in August 2019 in the United States and hope this experience will help me capture cultural and social experiences for my studies in conflict transformation. My EVS experience has proved to be fulfilling both at the professional and personal level and hope to be back in North Macedonia and the Balkans to carry out field work for my PhD studies.
Hi, I’m Gianpietro, I’m 27 and I’m from Sardegna, the big and ancient island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. Where to start to tell about five months here in Skopje?
Well at the beginning one can be tricked by the aspect of the city: old and new dwelling into something that’s ugly and graceful at the same time. Smog and air pollution surrounding breathtaking hills covered in green and trees, expansive cars and villas on one side facing an old kafana burned to the ground on the other. Shiny Mercedes surpassing a dirty gig carried by a skinny horse, with poor people on the top lookin’ for plastic bottles in the trash cans of the city.
The aura that surrounds everything seems to come from the history books I’ve studied in Sardegna, something related with post-Tito, progress and loss.
You change your mind as soon as you start to explore deeper. The city is alive, and multicultural in many ways. The numerous universities based on all the city host a lot of foreign students, from Turkey to America, even Italian and, rarely,even from Sardegna itself.
The Old Bazar is a world into a world, the road to reach the Castle and the Mustafà Pascia mosque and experience of different language and colors. Or, at least, this is what I’ve felt while losing myself into this new city, so strange and yet so familiar.
And then Krik’s Office. A cosy house based on the hills. I’ve arrived in January, when all was covered in snow and ice. Nala, the cute dog of the office gave me a warm welcome barking happily.
Inside a team of young people received me with smiles and hot coffee. And then my adventure begun.
I’ve never worked with people with disabilities, nor physical or mental ones. So at the beginning I didn’t know what to expect, or how to behave with them. The guys from Zavod, one of the special schools we work with, solved all my doubts breaking immediately the ice with a hug. And after that everything fitted in it’s right place. Same history for the youngsters in the other two schools: I’ve never experienced so many positivism and will to participate at workshop in students so young.
You know, sometimes working as a volunteer can be hard, kinda stressful: something not working in the house, difficulties and adaptation problems are things that happen’, but in the end, when the participants keep sending you messages all the week to be sure you’re going to visit them…well that is worth all the efforts, the days without hot water or the nights sleeping in broken beds.
Knowing you’re not alone in this work is also something that charge your with positivity.
Not only the guys in the center, but also the other volunteers who occasionally give us help are a plus ultra. With them I’ve spent five months of great evenings, with ideas and laughs and partecipation. I’ve shared ideas and learned new points of view, debating topics and confronting myself and my life with others. I’ve met new friends, new opportunities, new languages and new traditions, and this is still going on, helping me to better understand who I am and what I can do to make the difference.
Call for an EVS volunteer for the project “Social Volunteers” for 10 months in Resita, Romania.
What: European Voluntary Service
When: 01.09.2020 – 30.06.2021
Where: Resita, Romania
Host organization: Association Volunteering for All
- Daily activities in 2 school from the disadvantaged communities near Resita, using nonformal
education methods whith the aim to make the educational activity more attractive for kids.
- Dayly activities in a school from Bocsa and Calnic;
- Monthly activities to promote Erasmus+ and volunteering, and to recruit newvolunteers;
- Weekly activity to promote Language cafee;
- Mentoring two local volunteers;
- Projects of the volunteers (individual or in teams) which promote civic involvement,
participation, volunteering and tolerance in Resita once every 3 months.
- English class with our local volunteers.
– Between 18-30 years-old;
– To communicate in English;
– To have knowledge of project preparation and application at least at basic level;
– Communicate with disadvantaged groups;
– Create and apply activities;
– Predisposition to teamwork;
– Participation in voluntary activities;
– Being open to learning and sharing
Food, accommodation and transport:
The volunteers will be hosted in a rented apartment, with single or double bedrooms. In the apartment there are all the necessary conditions for a good life. Rent and utilities (water, gas, electricity) will be paid by the hosting NGO.
Transport (at local level) will be provided by the hosting NGO, in this case Association Volunteering for all, which will give each volunteer the necessary money to buy a monthly transport pass in the city, so that you can enjoy free public transportation.
Application procedure: If you think that this is an opportunity for you and would like to get more active in the activities of Association Volunteering for All , send us your motivational letter and CV at email@example.com.
Participation fee for CYA Krik: 600 MKD
For any additional questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I`m Bojana and I was volunteering for 2 months in Mersin, Turkey for the first time in my life and I loved it. Although it was a short term project (September-October) but it was full of different experiences that it`s hardly possible to compress everything in one page.
Most of all this EVS gave me the opportunity to meet new cultures and traditions and the pleasure to work in a international group of young people. And of course, a chance to spend two months on the beach.
We have been hosted by the organization “The Third Eye Association of Mediterranean”, whose main motto is: Be aware, and create awareness. We lived in 2 apartments located on the beach in a small village of about 10,000 people called Kazanl`. Our mentor Yusuf was living just next-door so most of the time he was easy to access for anything that we needed.
The main purpose of this project was protecting the sea turtles. So most of the time our activities were related with the turtles. In the afternoon we were cleaning the beach where the turtles were coming to lay their eggs. In the night on the beach we were searching for baby-turtles that were going in the wrong direction (because of the artificial lights) and then release them in the sea where they belong. That was our main occupation in the first month because of the hatching period.
After the hatching season was finished, in the second month our daily activities were workshops when we were preparing theatre and after present it to the schools, mostly kindergartens but also elementary school. Our goal was to raise the awareness of the smallest about the endangered sea turtles but also about the pollution that is the biggest threat to all living species. Except for the theatre we were doing lots more things like painting shells, making wallets out of cartoon juice bottles and gave them as presents to the kids in order for them to get in touch with Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
We were 13 volunteers altogether, coming from all around the Europe. They were from Poland, 2 from Litany, 2 from Italy, 4 from Spain, Slovakia, Check, and Portugal. It was a good group of volunteers, mix of different cultures and traditions and I enjoyed spending time with them. I also improved my cooking skills and learned some traditional dishes from the others in the group. Also the local people were very polite and treated us with respect.
During our free time mostly on weekends we were travelling and discovering amazing places in Turkey such as Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Nemrut mountains, Asthma cave, Heaven and Hell caves, Aladaglar mountains and even more places near Mersin…
This EVS project was an experience of my life. I’ll always have nice memories about it and if I have a chance for another similar EVS project I will definitely go for it.
Short info about my project and me:
I am long term EVS volunteer from Germany. My project is “We all have different abilities” with duration 01.09.2016 – 01.09.2017. I am delivering creative workshops for youth with and without disabilities (visual, hearing impairment and Down syndrome). The activities that I delivers are promotion of KRIK in the schools, Dance Club workshop, Wall painting workshop and more. Furthermore I am also helping in the daily work in the office, attending events and trainings about youth work and social inclusion.
“I got the chance to figure out I don´t have to find myself, I have to create myself.”
– Peter Ernst
My EVS experience was amazing. I grow fast to an adult person, because I learned a lot in my project and in my EVS. One year living abroad means getting a lot of experience. I can tell that experience teaches you. It teaches you how to become responsible and how to manage and deal with life. Good and bad experience exist in EVS, too, but both of them were very important for me. I´m not a totally different person now, but this year – full of experience – gave me the opportunity to see the world with different view. I´m smarter, calmer and happier. The most beautiful experience I had in my EVS was the moment at Ohrid, the wonderful lake which I was visiting while I got a training about Project management and youth work at the Scouts camp in February 2017. The worse experience was based on a misunderstanding, because I didn´t deal well my own money budge at one of the first month and I thought I got cheated. But on the end I was very emotional and I just overreacted. If I would get this situation again, now at this time, I would know how to deal with it and I would act different because of my experience.
Centre for youth activism KRIK in Skopje/ Macedonia – My hosting organisation is like a family to me. We got close and have an emotional relationship. The members invited me for typical Macedonian holidays and cultural traditions. My mentor Irena gave me the best opportunities in this year and she supported me very well, also we shared a big hobby dancing ballet which connected us strong. The executive director Mila showed me how to manage and to deal with youth work, furthermore she helped me faster to adopt to the Macedonian culture as she invited me for Christmas dinner with her family. The coordinator Sanja saved my money budget and me very well, also she invited me to a lot of social events, like theatre plays, museums events, poetry slams etc. I could write more and more about the people in my hosting organisation which hosted me well. I will be thankful my whole live and I will never forget KRIK and my EVS in Macedonian. I remember as it was yesterday. It was the first of September 2017, at the morning I arrived with a big sunshine of motivation and my big suitcase to the railway of Skopje – which my strong mentor took the whole way to my new apartment! – and my future mentor and my roommate where waiting for me. They picked me up and showed me the wonderful city, hosting organization and surprised me with a nice welcome party at the working place on the end of my first EVS day. Furthermore I finally choose the hosting organization KRIK because of their flexible project offer and good cooperation. I could switch and change workshops as I wished in consultation with my mentor and with great preparation/ ideas of different youth work activities. The working times where nearly perfect and so flexible. If I got a problem my mentor had an open ear. The bad thing at my hosting organization was the information part. At the beginning on my EVS I didn´t get enough information about workshops, trainings outdoor activities which I visited. But the EVS volunteers – me and my roommates – mentioned our problems at EVS- Meetings and it got soon handled. Which means, if I had a problem, I had to tell it and my hosting organization changed it soon and well as possible. I can´t mention it more often. I´m really glad that I had the opportunity to work for KRIK as EVS volunteer which gave me big opportunities, also in private life!
The activities that I have delivered:
- German basic lessons
- Dance workshop
- Enlightenment about disabilities, youth work and EVS
- Wall painting workshop
- Promotion of KRIK in the schools and public open places
- Crash course painting
- Multicultural movie nights
- Summer camp for inclusion
…. were amazing! 🙂
Project: “We all have different abilities”
Duration: 01.09.2016 – 01.09.2017
Partners: “Jugend- und Kulturprojekte e. V.” – International German sending organization and Center for Youth Activism CYA KRIK
Volunteer: Peter Ernst
“Macedonia? Oh, that´s the neighbor country next to Syria, right!?! “
Since I´m young I wanted to live abroad and move out of Germany. After my A level at school I decided to live abroad for one year in social way supported by an social program called “Erasmus PLUS”. I really needed one year for me, I needed space, time to find myself and get out of my casual life in Germany.
I´m very dynamic and active, furthermore already at my school time I worked as youth worker. My goal was after school to live for one year abroad and work with youth with disabilities.
Yeah, I get a nice invitation for one EVS year in KRIK and Macedonia, where I never was before, either with my thoughts. Actually the process to become an EVS Volunteer was very fast. We didn´t had problems with the Visa. Actually I wanted to go to France for an EVS, because I went a lot of times to France and also it would be a great opportunity to refresh my language skills. With this EVS I´m learning a lot about politics, countries, cultures and disabilities. Because Macedonia is country in the “middle” of the Balkan and I have awesome international roommates. There are great opportunities, too, to travel cheap and explore rest of Europe.
I´m very glad to choose this project and hosting organization in Macedonia. I´m refreshing my language skills every day in relaxed and nature areas. I meet a new me! I learned how to relax and come down and I´m still learning how to control my feelings which is very important for future work and healthiness. I know how to use saved energy and help people.
I needed 1 month or less to find my way in the country which I didn’t know before my EVS. In the first week I found a ballet studio which I´m dancing still twice per week, French private lessons and I visit an amazing and deep theater play. I get big support from the KRIK-Team, also in my private live. They give me smart advices and a lot of opportunities.
The first 3 months at my EVS year I did teach German basics with an amazing EVS Volunteer and roommate. After that KRIK grows more up at the beginning of 2017 and get a Youth Center called “KRIKNI”. I helped to build with other volunteers and KRIK members an amazing and colorful Youth Center where I´m starting a Dance club and Wall painting course which youth with disabilities and typical development and working on their inclusion. Furthermore I´m joining as participant on lot of workshops, trainings and activities at different places with interesting topics.
I can’t say it too often, I´m soooo glad to take this big opportunity. My family and friends were at first – when I told them about my plans over an EVS in Macedonia – scared and not all did agree. But I stayed strong and made my dream, to leave abroad, come true.
I really like to support social organizations like KRIK and their goals to include people and make the youth stronger. That´s really important and a good way to explore also yourself.
And the funniest thing is, I do more than I ever expect in my EVS, I´m proud!
So on the end, thank you so much KRIK for showing me how beautiful Europe and my home country, language and culture is, too. Thank you for the distance which opened my eyes!