Girl guides are brave females who like exploring the world, trying to make it a better place for everyone. This summer, a group of girl guides from Belgium visited Kumanovo and spent a week with local youth, developing fun activities together in the youth centr and learning more about intercultural dialogue.

The group stayed in Kumanovo between the 3rd and the 10th of July and consisted of 10 young girls aged 16-17 and 3 group leaders over 20. Their motto is: ”Around the world in 7 days”: in seven days of being in Kumanovo, the girl guides tried to experience the local culture and to share theirs, increasing their intercultural awareness.

Among the daily activities that they practiced, the enthusiastic participants played games and did fun and educational activities with the youth visiting the youth center and the local volunteers; they also created a board game and taught the local youth how to play it; together with the Hikers club and the Mountaineers Club Kozjak 2013 the group went hiking in the promixity of Kumanovo, in order to enjoy the beauties of the local sceneries and to learn about sustainable living. And, because their stay here coincided with the World Cup games, they all watched Belgium play against France and supported their favorite teams together.

When asked about the challenges that they encountered in working with local youth, the girls mentioned the language barrier and the need to learn more about the historical and social background of the community. For this purpose, the 2 youth workers from the youth center supported the group at all times with translation, with information and proper guidance.

This is what the girls shared with us about their experience in Kumanovo:

Jeanne Valli:

It was just fantastic! I really loved taking care of all the youngsters. The hardest thing was to leave the place – I will keep a lot of memories in my mind! Thank you very much for letting us have this beautiful experience!

Louise La Haye:

I think that my trip to Kumanovo and Macedonia in general was pretty eye-opening. I was delighted to discover an authentic culture, since it is mostly hindered from mass-tourism. The most challenging thing was definitely the language barrier which I, as my fellow scouts, had to overcome in order to work with the youngsters. Thank you for this experience! I hope it brought as many good things to the youth center and the youth as it did to me!