In September 2017, I was a part of a community caravan project, in which I was a facilitator for five days on various popular subjects for youth aged 16-18. The project took place in Struga, Veles, Shtip, Dojran and Gevgelija. I worked with a team of 6 other high school students to plan and implement this project, and we overcame several issues to successfully realize the project together.
The aim of the project was to teach and promote positive values and examples to young people, such as ethnic tolerance and respect, which we thought were important in regards to the ethnic tensions in Macedonia, as well as taking care of the environment, young people voicing their opinions in student unions and ultimately creating one of their own. Moreover, this project consisted of four workshops: Democracy, Youth Activism, Environmentalism, and High School Rights.
During the implementation of the caravan community project, I learned a lot about working with my peers as a facilitator and a role model. Additionally, I learned how in some communities Albanians and Macedonians had to be separated in order to attend school, how people’s recklessness and greed contributed to pollution in small communities and how authorities abused their power to silence students and young people in general.
These workshops helped shed light on the problems in our country, but it also gave me hope because the young people were tired of facing the apathy from the older generations and wanted to do something about it. Our participants were inspired to take action by way of joining high school unions, organizing cleaning actions in their communities and some even continued on to take our example by organizing their own caravan project to reach more cities to include a larger group of young people in N.Macedonia.
The overall success was bringing people with different backgrounds, paths of life and religions to interact with each other, to past each other’s differences and take action to improve the social status quo of Macedonia. Friends were made and prejudices were taken down.