Upgrade your neighborhood – Brand your city by Elpida Sdrali

EUROPE 4 ALL
November 8, 2018
SFEST festival
November 14, 2018

My first ESC volunteer experience for the NGO Sfera Macedonia and the project “Upgrade your neighborhood – Brand your city” was a very nice and valuable one for me. The project itself was mainly about creating some positive social impact on the local society and in particular on one neighborhood of Bitola named Karposh.

I was working on this project during October 2018 along with my two fellow volunteers. We started with making a survey for young people of Karposh aged 14-20, where we asked about their opinion of their neighborhood, if there is anything that they would like to change and what activities they would like to have organized for them. It was the first time I made a survey and it went really well since we had our first results very soon.

The most popular activity of the survey proved to be the making of a movie screening and I was happy to organize it as my own personal project. The screening was made in the neighborhood of Karposh and particularly in Kole Kaninski Elementary School for the students of the 8th and 9th grade as part of a biology class and it was about environment and sustainability. It was a very successful co-operation with the school and the teachers. The students seemed really interested and many of them came after the end of the movie to ask questions about ESC opportunities.

Being part of Sfera Macedonia was a pretty busy experience in many more ways too.

I need to mention “Art Attack” workshop that I was assisting with. We decided to have a DIY kite making workshop, since the following day, there was the Sfera’s kite flying event. It was so fun getting prepared for this event, buying all the colorful materials and then actually making all those kites with the people who were part of this. Of course, the following day that we took all our kites to a hill nearby and tried to fly them was super fun too. To be honest I hadn’t done that since I was a child and I got enthusiastic about it!

Another event that we made happen was an intercultural night in the premises of our office. We did the groceries, we even brought local specialties from our home countries beforehand and we cooked all day long to get prepared for the large crowd who visited us.

As a volunteer, I was also doing some office work, preparing event posters or some necessary documents and I had regular meetings with my fellow volunteers and our coordinator and mentor.

Last, I was representing NGO Sfera Macedonia together with my colleagues during different events, such as the European Cooperation Day and the NGO Fair in Bitola (2/10/18), a school presentation about Voluntarism in Europe (4/10/2018), the Municipality of Bitola Voluntarism event and the general meeting of Bitola’s NGOs (16/10/18).

I certainly shouldn’t forget the Macedonian language classes we had every week that were not only helpful for my everyday life in Bitola but also very interesting in the sense that it was the first time for me to study the Cyrillic letters.

In general, this voluntary experience of mine was super amazing and I would really like to thank personally Milcho, Kate, Mende and my lovely mentor Valerija for making me part of their team, for their professional and at the same time friendly attitude and for this nice month of my life.

I would suggest Sfera Macedonia to anyone looking for a nice ESC opportunity!

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