When I arrived in
I’m volunteering for 12 months with Osmeh Mladih (which means ‘smile of youth’ in Serbian). Osmeh is a non-governmental voluntary youth organization based in
So anyway, after a couple of weeks spent sightseeing and settling into life in the (rather ironically named) ‘white city’, I was more than ready to get stuck into work at Osmeh. A big part of my EVS project is ‘English Speaking Friday’. Since December, I’ve been holding two conversation workshops every Friday for young people. The aim is not so much to teach English, but rather to provide an opportunity for people to practice speaking. We talk about all kinds of things – music, tourism, stereotypes, traditions – and I often finish the workshop feeling like I’ve learned something as well!
Other projects I’ve been involved in over the last few months include organizing an Open Day to celebrate International Volunteers Day; a international partnership building event in Kikinda, Vojvodina; redesigning Osmeh’s website; and creative work (posters, logos) for projects and events we’ve participated in. In fact, I’m really enjoying the opportunity to be creative. This is what I wanted from my EVS – a chance to try something different and develop new skills. And volunteering at Osmeh is a world away from the office admin jobs I worked in before I came to
Right now we’re preparing for an international training course that Osmeh is hosting in
Although winter’s been cold and snowy, and life in the city (like the traffic) has slowed down for a couple of months, there’s still plenty to see and do. Every week it seems there is a new film or music festival, exhibition or theatre season. This month we have the Guitar Art Festival and the 38th International Film Festival. For me,
Spring will bring new projects (promoting EVS in high schools); partnerships (with the Media Education Centre); travel opportunities (including trips to Poland and Lithuania); as well as the mid-term EVS training in Ohrid, Macedonia, and hopefully chances to see a lot more of the Balkans region. I’m starting to wonder how I will fit everything in! Eight months left, and already I’m thinking it’s not long enough…