Have you ever heard about Kokino? It is a marvellous place. Located only 20 km away from Kumanovo, where our office is based, Kokino offers breathtaking views and adventurous hikes, but it is also a UNESCO protected land which harbors an ancient observatory.

This Fall CID decided to organise an international workcamp in Kokino, focused on the preservation of the cultural heritage in the area. The workshop was part of the Volunteer Path project. The aim of this project is to work towards the strategic objectives of the White Paper and to promote the work of IVS organisations and Non-Formal Learning, whilst valorising local customs and the diversity of these.

The workcamp gathered around 12 volunteers, local and international, in order to make this area more suitable and pleasant for the mountaineers, nature lovers and admires of natural heritage. During 9 days, several activities were organised in partnership with the Red Cross and the local Mountaineer Club Kozjak. The volunteers participated in marking the hiking paths, collecting the trash and building benches for resting on the way.

Besides the clear benefit for the community, the workcamp also focused on building the competences of the volunteers in intercultural learning, speaking in a foreign language, having basic survival skills in nature, understanding the local reality.

Here are some opinions that the international volunteers shared with us:

Baptiste: ”I am a volunteer from France; we are hiking with the other volunteers in the workcamp. We’ve enjoyed it so far, it’s really nice to be here in Macedonia for the workcamp. It’s really great just to be here together, sharing this moment with different cultures and people.”

Helena: ”I’m coming from Moldova. I’ve decided to do this workcamp because it is a good opportunity to do something outdoors. The weather is beautiful and we are in Kokino which is known to be an old observatory, but also this element of doing something good for the community was really interesting. It makes me feel good to know the benches that we did and the trails that we painted for the hikers will be used afterward by other people that will be hiking in this area.”

Pius: ”I’m from a farm nearby Frankfurt in Germany. I’m here because I want to learn about this country and the people here. I like very much the mountains and the landscape. It was a very good experience for me and I hope that I can come back again after my studies.”

Baptiste: ”I’m also from France, I live close to Paris. I came here to join the workcamp to discover this country and its beautiful landscapes, to build something and be helpful and to meet people. I really like it.”

More information about the Volunteer PATH project can be found here.

And here is the video compilation from the workcamp: