Programme and action: ERASMUS+ programme, Key Action 2: Capacity Building in the field of youth
Dates: 20 September – 1 October 2015
Venue: Ohrid, Macedonia
Participants: Michal Havelka, Karolína Kolaříková
Participating countries: Australia; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Ghana; Italy; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Poland; Romania; Slovenia and Turkey.
Host organisation: Association for research, education and development „Marketing Gate“ – Skopje.
YouMARK or YOUth MARKeting Leaders for Sustainable Development was an extraordinary project that interconnected active and motivated people from fourteen countries belonging to four different continents – Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ghana, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey. The project took place in the Macedonian pitoresque town Struga located on the north side of the lake Ohrid that is considered as a pearl of the region with its unique ecosystem.
YouMARK focused on several topics as an economic and social development, investment, Third World, profit, leadership skills, migration, environmental issues – waste separation, growing GMO plants and their consumption etc. that are covered by the term of sustainable development. The project was organized by Macedonian professor of economy – Pance Jovanovski and honestly, I was very pleasantly surprised by his master usage of non formal education methods and always positive thinking.
There were two main parts of the project – theory and practice. The first part was more about listening and realization of seriousness and diversity of the sustainable development, we attended lectures of several experts from different fields – Australian professor and former soldier, Macedonian banker or a food blogger. Discussions or a short group work ensued. For the practical part we were divided into four groups and we worked on our own projects of sustainable development by creating NGO and its program or a profitable company and its products. We should have created a promotional video followed by a professional presentation of our task. And the results were worth the hardwork.
Besides the intensive program we spent a wonderful afternoon in Ohrid town that is protected by UNESCO and famous for its 365 churches and we enjoyed the popular intercultural nights as well. We’ve learned a lot but the most important part of the project was the feeling of unity across our age, race, religion, sexual orientation, political opinions, whatever. The different colors – well blended and intensified in the Balkan melting pot gave me a hope. One cannot change the world but we can make the world a better place when we act localy and think globally. Nothing is impossible with all the motivated people who are not indiferent to the environment. We’ve just met them! J