My volunteering at Svitac – Hajra Makda, UK
Having visited the Balkans in the summer I saw a beautiful and varied landscape. Unfortunately there are still deep divisions amongst the various nationalities in these countries along with racial prejudice and segregation within many communities.
However, there are initiatives working towards bridging these gaps. After some research “Through Love volunteers” I learnt about an NGO called Svitac .
Svitac, based in Brcko, provides an environment which enables young people from multi- ethnic backgrounds to come together and participate in various programmes in order to build relationships and break down barriers.
Upon arrival I immediately felt part of the team. The existing staff and volunteers gave me the opportunity to share my ideas and welcomed any new suggestions or feedback I had.
Even though there was a language barrier, I was overwhelmed by the curiosity and enthusiasm of the youth. My highlight was the “Exploring Culture and Diversity workshops”. It was fantastic to see the children so interested in learning about different cultures and especially to see the 11-16 year olds asking questions and wanting to engage in explorative dialogue.
If you are thinking of spending a few weeks on a worthwhile project I would highly recommend this kind of placement. If you have an open mind, enjoy being part of a group and have independent initiative Svitac is the perfect project for you. You are guaranteed the feeling of satisfaction from assisting the local children and will be welcomed within their community.
Hajra Makda, UK
Svitac Volunteer, October 2016