During the period from 3rd to the 12th of June in the region of Varna, Bulgaria, the youth exchange “Active for Europe” took place. Youth Empowerment Association was the partner organization representing Macedonia with Josif Stojkov, Aleksandra Sipkovska, Dimitar Dzundzev, Sara Lucheska and Aleksandar Karatosho.

The aim of the project was to encourage active citizenship of the youngsters in the communities all around Europe by constant and active involvement in the creation of youth policies and the decision making processes taking place in their local and national institutions. Additionally, the exchange expended the participant’s knowledge about volunteering and improved their soft skills. Furthermore, we would like to share Sara’s story about the exchange with you:

“I have never been a part of any youth exchange and this one really caught my eye. The main idea of “Active for Europe” is to make young people realize their potential by active participation in their community through volunteering and active participation. So, because I have started with volunteering when I was 14 years old, the theme of the project became much more appealing and meaningful to me. Apart from that I had the chance to share my experience and my cultural differences with people from six other countries.
In terms of emotions, in those 8 days in Varna I met the people that I’m sure going to be friends for the rest of my life. I was amazed how similar we were even though we are all different and live such different lifestyles. I’m really grateful that I had the chance to meet all those amazing human beings and I’m going to cherish them all forever. And about thoughts, I think that this experience helped me to gain more self-awareness, to gain more self-confidence and to learn how to communicate with others beyond the verbal language.
In this project I gained so much more knowledge about the concept of volunteering, and how to actually use all the opportunities that I have in my country through my active participation in the community. The daily games and debates gave me so much more awareness on how to become even more active citizen.”