My volunteering in Thessaloniki (Greece) – Jelena Todić
My name is Jelena Todić. I come from Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am a student of Graphic Design, and in addition, I deal with other branches of art. I am an active member of NGO CEREBRA.
This year, for the first time Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) gave me the opportunity to participate in the project, “YAC ECO project”, through the European Solidarity Corps. The partner organisation in this project was Esai en Roi Cultural Organization, of Macedonia, Thrace. The Pre-departure program wasn’t so easy because of restrictions in all countries, but with support from Svitac (Firefly Bosnia), I was able to solve all the obstacles.
On February 12, I went to Thessaloniki, Greece; the project lasted until May 21, 2021. Due to the situation with the coronavirus, much that was planned for the project was not possible. I had several projects. In the beginning, it was lockdown, so we mostly relied on administrative work and enrolling in mentoring and leadership courses; when the situation improved, we worked in Karatasou Park.
There was a plan to make a garden where I would organize courses, but because of the corona, the gathering of people was not allowed, so we worked on arranging one part of the park. We made a small theatre, set a table that I previously engraved, and painted one part of a nearby building that was abandoned. The idea was to turn the building into a place for young people and volunteers, but the request we sent to the municipality was rejected, so we gave up.
I also created flyers and materials needed for the organization, completed mentoring and leadership courses, and painted the office. In the school for children with special needs, I volunteered, teaching drawing and painting. My main project was a map, which I created for the primary school children. I created a map of Karatasou Park, which could be used in primary schools for education and for future projects that could be implemented in the park.
I met wonderful people, it was beautiful for me and I would like everyone to apply for one of these projects — in addition to learning about another culture, people, food, tradition, you learn a lot about yourself. A wonderful experience! Thank you, Milos (Svitac) and Eleni (Esai en Roi Cultural Organization) for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this project.