Petar Stevanovic – One year later: How I changed society

One year after the start of the activities within the project: “European Youth at the frontlines of active citizenship: A Roadmap towards a collective South-North-East-West Momentum”, organized by the Volunteer Center Skopje, and supported by the European Commission through the programs ” Erasmus + “and” European Youth Together “, Petar Stevanovic from Skopje tells how and whether he changed society for the better.

– The purpose of my project was to raise public awareness about the condition of our mountains, rivers, lakes and picnic areas. By organizing environmental actions to clean the environment in the surrounding mountains, our voice and work reached the public. During the project we also made ecological signs with messages for environmental protection, which we placed at the locations where we cleaned.

Were those activities announced from the beginning of the project or did you change them according to the conditions?

-Most of the activities were planned from the beginning of the project, but we changed some of them in accordance with the weather conditions, as well as the conditions dictated by the restrictions from the corona crisis.

What was the “feedback” of the participants?

– “Feedback” was better than expected. At each event organized by the informal group “For a Cleaner Macedonia” that occurred as a result of this project, participants were satisfied and happy to be part of our environmental actions and always expressed a desire to join us in the next actions.

A year later: Have your activities changed society at least a little for the better?

-Our activities have certainly changed society for the better by motivating many people to be active in the change they want to achieve. I can not say for sure that because of our activities – many other organizations and initiatives have appeared and started environmental actions, but on the media and social networks it can be noticed that in all cities people have started to gather and organize environmental actions for cleaning , and thus raise environmental awareness.

What is missing to raise social awareness in all fields?

-There is a lack of formal environmental education where children from an early age would learn how and why it is important to keep nature clean and to destroy as little as possible for human needs. The young generations must be the wave of change …

Do you have an idea and initiative to continue with the activities and volunteering after the completion of the project?

“I had an idea, a plan and a vision, a lot of love, will and desire for one reason (quotes from a song).” Of course we have and we would be happy to continue our activities. I never even saw the project as a short-term activity. Our idea is to act in raising awareness through various activities, in addition to the regular eco-actions that we will continue to organize. Environmental education is really needed in Macedonia, and we want to help achieve that goal.

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