Between 11-20 May a group of 7 future leaders: Emina Amit, Simona Bishkoska, Kristijan Dervishov, Simona Lokvenec, Atanas Iliev, Ana Marija Matikj and Sara Redzepagic attended a youth exchange “I YOU(th) Leader” in Zagreb, organized by Ocean Znanja u Republici Hrvatskoj.
Simona had some great impressions from this project, here is what she shared with us:
Participating in the project “I, You(th) Leader” will honestly be one of the most memorable experiences in my life. In all fairness, I don’t know where to start when it comes to describing the exchange. From the people, workshops, organization to the food, everything was simply amazing. If someone had told me that I would learn so much and make so many friends in just 10 days, I would have never believed them. Fortunately, that is exactly what happened from the 11th till the 20th of May in Zagreb, Croatia.
Apart from having the “Baby Shark” song stuck in my head for days, the workshops instilled valuable lessons in my brain, as well. Not only were they interactive and educational, but the activities allowed a lot of space for reflection and brainstorming. Through various teambuilding games and creativity stimulating tasks we were able to unravel the true meaning behind youth activist and his/her role. With the help from the inspirational guests and the unforgettable facilitators, we elaborated on social inclusion, building solidarity within one’s society and the significance of motivation in one’s life.
Moreover, what I really admired about this exchange is that we talked the talk, but we also walked the walk. And by doing so, by going on a hike and picking up the trash along the way, we became true youth activists. Because it is those small incentives that make a change, maybe not an enormous one, but it is still a change for the better.
There is so much more that I want to share. For instance the trivia quizzes during the intercultural evenings and how we beat the stereotypes with them. I could talk about the people, who have so much passion that is contagious, and the craziest energizers that led to lifelong friendships and many inside jokes. In the end, however, what I will share is my thanks to CID and Ocean Znanja for this opportunity, and a piece of wisdom that I learnt: “The only boundaries that can hold us back from achieving our true potential are the ones which we, ourselves, set in our brain.”