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From diversity to diverse team by Elena Petrevska

The main goal of the training was to contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth by increasing capacities of organizations and their youth workers to prevent youth unemployment through career information and guidance. However, the training was not only about working hard, finishing the sessions, and going to sleep. It was not meant to start, finish and that’s it. Contrarily, it gave us a feeling of long-lasting friendship and partnership between nine countries, whose members are regularly communicating on Facebook and keep the same level of passion and energy, even now, after a month has passed. Besides, there must be an explanation (a magical liquid) for the unity of all the participants. And that’s …

RAKIJA !! 🙂 No, I am definitely joking.
The real factors that contributed the most for the strong relation being developed even from the first evening were the smiling faces and the desire to be part of the group regardless of the fatigue and the number of hours each team had to travel. Throughout the whole program, we encountered many challenges, many beautiful moments, many parties, many workshops, and in all of that, we were always bonded as a team. No matter if someone had problems with talking in English, or clearly expressing some idea, the rest of the team was here to provide support and aid. The time schedule and the breaks were perfectly organized, and we had time for studying, but for partying as well. Our enthusiasm was high from the beginning till the ending of the course.  We had many team building exercises, where we spent amazing time solving the enigmatic, but intriguing problems given by our trainers. During the sessions, we discussed many themes, starting from personal issues and challenges, where we examined and experimented with ourselves, to social, where we discussed about the crisis and the difficulties on a European, but also on a global scale. We were given the opportunity to talk about motivation, self-actualization, CV writing, work interview.

Furthermore, we discussed about the opportunities given from the European Union for Young people who are seeking for better tomorrow, the educational system and the rate of unemployment in each country. Whenever we had a question, we asked, whenever we needed something, we were given. Furthermore, we sang, danced, and acted. We created the most innovative pyramid of people, the best rap song, the most creative A-Z object finder, the most beautiful group photo, and finally yet importantly, the most original HYMN of the course. From mission “impossible” we succeeded to make it possible and finish all sessions WITHOUT anyone missing on them. No matter if we stayed too late at night thinking there will be some interesting moment we will miss or walked through the city and were too tired, we never missed any session. Even the trainers were positively surprised from that fact. However, from our point of view, they were too good to be skipped, and for that, I give special praise to Mark Anderson, who came from UK to lead us through the whole process.

That feeling of relaxation while someone else Is giving you a massage was unforgettable. Undoubtedly, we repeated that session many times. Vlado, our technician-leader, was there to make millions of photos and one amazing video from everything that happened on the course-everything, except some events which happened late in the nights (or more precisely, early in the mornings). During the eating periods, some of us were satisfied, but some were praying that there would not be PORK. Still, we were especially satisfied by the fact that the desserts were more than delicious. The millions sweats and the fruits that were served after every lunch widened our eyes and made us feel even more content and delighted. During the intercultural evenings, our trainers decided to change our cultures and instead of presenting our own, we presented someone else’s. It was very noteworthy and remarkable the way everyone understood and dealt with country that was new and previously unknown. However, at the end, everything turned out amusing and hilarious. During the following period, we visited one fortress. It was enormous and spectacular, and we spent some time there, relaxing and enjoying in the view.

Afterwards, we visited a winery. There, we were given the opportunity to degust (more precisely, drink) seven different vines, and after the degustation, whoever feels that wants to drink more from some vine that was previously degusted (if one remembers which is which), should feel free to drink some glass, or a bottle more. On the top of that, SRBSKA VODA was served, and it just maximized the effect of “fulfillment”. Still, regardless of the state in which we were, EVERYONE was present on the workshops the next morning, ready to share some idea or thought. For a farewell party, we were in a nearby bar, where we had karaoke. Even though at the beginning there were songs that were completely unknown to us, it was not a problem for us to sing. The most remarkable moment from that night will surely be Carlos’s performance of “Sit kafanu”, which definitely surprised everyone, including himself. It was surely long and interesting night, but the events of the last hours will remain unknown, hidden, and covered up. From that seminar, we will all remember many amazing memories and many emotions shared-someone fell in love, someone had a sympathy towards someone else… But what is even more important, is the friendship and the connection that was built between everyone in the team, which will surely last long after the end of the training, at least on Facebook.

Written by Elena Petrevska, participants from Macedonia