12 countries, 19 young volunteers, 40 implemented activities, and over 100 completed volunteer hours. Together with one and only goal: To expand and support the idea of a sustainable future.
I’m Ana, and this summer I represented Volunteers Centre Skopje and my country as an international volunteer on a project supported by the European Union, in Gdansk, Poland. The main goal of this project was the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
In this regard, the main task of the volunteers was to organize activities related to one of the topics of sustainable development. These activities were implemented in different elementary schools, and in workshops with children aged 5-14 years. Therefore, I got the chance to be in a diverse team and to meet new personalities. It was my first time working for three weeks with the same people, but it had a really positive outcome. I was given the chance to speak my thoughts and share my ideas. Other than that, it was a great opportunity to meet people from 12 different countries in one place. It was just like a pallet full of different colors.
My team and I focused on conveying all our knowledge to them in a practical but quite interesting and fun way. Our main goal was to raise awareness about the need for clean water, the threat of global warming, climate change, and so on. We presented all these activities through children’s games and music. Due to the low knowledge of the English language of the children, we had to teach and explain the activities in a non-verbal way. For me, it was the most challenging thing to do, especially with young children. It was a lot of fun but at the same time a really long and successful working process. We used facial expressions, gestures, body movements, and sometimes dance.
In addition to the opportunity to work with children from Polish elementary schools, we also worked with children affected by the terrible war in Ukraine. At the same time, we also visited the Home for Orphans from Ukraine, where through games, music and dance we helped them feel accepted, safe and happy!
But besides working with children, we also had the opportunity to experience much more, and to learn about Polish culture. What impressed me the most was the team cooking pierogi and learning to play Polish baseball. Also, some of the days were intended for a one-day trip, where I had the opportunity to see the beautiful Sopot and Hel Island.
This project was a new experience for me but above all a great challenge. Every child deserves a better education, and we, as young future leaders, have the responsibility to support them on that path and be their heroes.