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EVS in VCS: Koen

Description of the Project:

During my European Voluntary Service I shall write for VOICES; the monthly magazine published by the Volunteer Centre for young people in Skopje. My aim is to write articles about cultural events in and around the city, highlighting music festivals, concerts and the like. Since I have been working as an independent promoter for bands in The Netherlands, organising tours, concerts and festivals, I hope to bring more bands from my network to play small tours in the region, organise exchange festivals between Southeast and Western Europe and support the local scene of musicians who are looking to expand their terrain to The Netherlands or the larger Balkanic region. The first weeks after my arrival here I was involved, for the 3rd year, in the organisation of Balkan Streets Festivals: a series of festivals in bigger and smaller peripheral town across the region (Vranje, Tesanj & Vukovar) aiming to bring musicians and young people of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds together using concerts as a medium, and also give an impulse to local scenes. I am very motivated to organise similar events in Skopje, including workshops by professionals and concerts. Before my travel I worked in promotion/PR for my Dutch Sending Organisation, and together with a friend I run a small independent record label. Using the experience and contact I already have I hopefully can contribute to the existing scene here and bring people together.
Impressions of EVS: Working as an EVS mentor myself for my hosting organisation in the last year I have quite some experience in the whole infrastructure of volunteering. Although I visited many trainings and projects in the past 5 years, there are still many things that I can learn. Since I am 29 this for me is also the moment in my life where I’d like to make a contribution to another city and country by dedicating 6 months to volunteering in diverse projects. I like the international atmosphere that EVS volunteers bring to a city and I admire the idealism that many of my fellow volunteers show in their projects. Working with a diverse group of internationals and locals from Skopje is inspiring and interesting. I am eager to learn the Macedonian language and to understand more about local culture, traditions and habits. EVS helps connecting talented European youth, which will certainly enrich the continent for many years.