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Volunteerism is alive… And it’s here in Macedonia

Six young Catalans decided to step outside their comfort zone and despite the situation with “Covid-19” to come to Macedonia in late October 2020 for vocational education and training (VET) purposes. Bianca, Maria, Antoni, Jostyn, IIlya, and Oscar studied trade, tourism, and sports. In the next two months, Volunteers Centre Skopje as a host of these youngsters from Spain will help them to develop their knowledge about jobs they are interested in.

“We were flexible enough in this ‘Covid-19’ context to see beyond Spain and go off the beaten track to gain evermore open-mindedness. We were seeing all the possibilities and we eagerly chose Macedonia. We are definitely keen to learn as much as possible from Macedonian people, their culture, and to have a great time.” said the young guys and girls from Barcelona region after coming to Skopje.

The dawn of their journey is a demonstration of genuine courage. In the beginning, they will strengthen their capacities in the touristic agency “Arbo Travel”, in a trasnsport logistic company “Glob trans” and “Macedonian association for human resources”. Also, they will have a possibility to learn how Volunteers Centre Skopje works and to help in the Daycare Centre for street children in Shuto Orizari.

“The job market in Spain is very competitive in this unusual year 2020. Having this in mind, this was nevertheless not an easy decision for us. Then, we had no insight into how Macedonia is dealing with ‘Covid-19’, which restrictions were implemented. Our choice came as a total surprise to our families, but eventually, they acknowledged it was the right option. Most of the fears came from the lack of information, so when we explained that the country is implementing security measures and restrictions, there were no more doubts or disbelief.”

Their first impressions about Skopje and Macedonia are really great. Youngsters admitted that no one from them was ready for such a surprising combination of the ancient-looking, large-sized buildings, monuments, as well as huge TV screens, and modern-life facilities.

“This is probably the unique place in the whole universe where you can witness this cultural mix. We enjoy how it looks. Everybody we have met so far is particularly helpful, friendly, and good to us. We have been very astonished by the tasty local specialties”, saying at the end of our conversation.

Their stay in Skopje could become a reality – thanks to the “Erasmus+ framework, a program managed by the European Union and the partner organization Asociacion Mundus from Spain.

“Voices” team