This year we are hosting an amazing French girl who came in September on a long-term IVS project that is part of the Service Civique programme. Her name is Marie Guenole, and she is a volunteer in our youth center MultiКулти. She will be with us until the end of February, so we did a little interview on her experience so far.

CID: What motivated you to decide to go for an IVS to Macedonia?

I was very interested in the Balkan culture. I had already done a research on Macedonia, and when I saw the call for a volunteer in Kumanovo I was really excited, especially because I would get to work with youngsters, and also organize artistic and social events.

What were your expectations prior to starting your IVS?

I wanted to be able to create a programme by myself without coordination and to work with youngsters individually. I got to do that in MultiКулти along with the other volunteers since we were planning a weekly programme for workshops, and we tried to be really creative so that we could attract more children to come.

Did you spot the cultural differences between your country and Macedonia?

I spotted a lot of differences. For example people are very cheerful here and someone is always singing and dancing and everyone is living their life to the fullest. I was working in French association AFEV last year, and I can state for sure that the atmosphere in CID is more relaxed. But on the other side we have a lot of similarities too, such as our main aim to get people to be more involved in the society, to come to our events etc.

How do you spend your free time?

I use my free time mostly for travelling. I already visited Serbia and Kosovo, and I am planning to go to Bulgaria. As for Macedonia I’ve been in Ohrid, Skopje, and I have to mention Kokino, which I really liked.

Would you recommend IVS to all the young people?

Definitely! It’s a chance to discover yourself, to gain skills on adapting to another culture and learning new languages.