Annual Report 2021

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20ANNUAL 21REPORT Volunteers Centre Skopje

content 3. About us 4. Our team 6. VOICES magazine, podcast 8. Our projects 17. Erasmus+ projects 22. Our activities 24. Local actions & events 26. International Volunteer Day and 15th birthday of VCS 27. Partners

About us We are one of the leading organizations for youth in Macedonia when it comes to youth exchange, volunteerism, activism, a recognizable brand and a trusted partner through which over 8000 Macedonian and foreign volunteers and youth activists have passed. Our main goal as an organization is to give non-formal educational opportunities to young people in different fields, both locally and internationally. We take an active part in society by offering equal opportunities to youngsters and working to improve their living standards. Volunteerism is a big and important idea also promoted by us while connecting youngsters no matter their nationality, religion, gender, political, economic or social status.

Opportunities. For everyone. ANNUAL REPORT - 3

our team

Nikola Stankoski Director


Andrej Naumovski Project coordinator

Selina Niemi Multimedia coordinator

Goran Galabov VET & ESC coordinator



We hosted:

11 10 14 1

ESC volunteers from Germany, Poland, France and Turkey short-term volunteers:

2 volunteers from Finland 8 volunteers from Belgium

VET students from Spain

intern from Portugal

4 - Annual Report


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VOICES VOICES is our magazine, created by an international team of volunteers and young people interested in the field of journalism. It provides a wide range of topics, interesting points of view and current issues from all around the world. Our monthly magazine has a very simple, yet powerful mission - to be the voice of youth.

VOICES in numbers:

3 12 41 9 15 132

languages editions writers

translators designers articles 6 - Annual Report

VOICES to Hear is the monthly podcast of VOICES magazine. Our podcast provides the listeners with interesting content around the world. All the episodes are in English and available for everyone on Spotify and Google Podcast.

VOICES to Hear in numbers:

9 205 12

podcasts minutes



OUR PROJECTS KA3 project | European Youth at the frontlines of active citizenship: A Roadmap towards a collective South-North-East-West Momentum

5 5 25 25

partner countries: Macedonia, Romania, Cyprus, Spain, Denmark organizations future-shapers local projects

The project provided a platform to empower young people facing fewer opportunities to explore innovative ways for active civil participation in the democratic processes in our European societies. A selected network of youth multipliers was trained, mentored and received financial support for grassroots youthled outreach initiatives, with the objective to directly support the societies’ aspirations to achieve social and economic prosperity. In 2021, VCS hosted final conference of the project.

roadmap4youthactivism. info/ 8 - Annual Report

KA3 project | PeerAct - Upscaling peer-to-peer anti-bias education for promoting common values

8 7

partners: EPTO, Ofensiva Tinerilor, Youth On The Move, Par, Humanitas, VCS, Pomoc Deci, European Institute of Education and Social Policy countries: Belgium, Romania, Portugal, Slovenia, Macedonia, Serbia, France PeerAct is an international effort of 8 partners from 7 European countries to contribute substantially to building peaceful societies and to tackling all forms of discrimination, intolerance and inequality by involving youngsters and communities from different backgrounds and countries in the AWOD - A world of difference” training programme and by creating synergies between the formal and the non-formal education system. The general objective of the project is to equip 1300 young people across various communities with necessary social and civic competencies that will make them embrace the values of non-discrimination, tolerance, solidarity, and equality. Alongside this, the aim is also to provide 70 young people with the competencies and certification needed to facilitate the process that leads to these acquisitions and to develop a framework for cooperation. ANNUAL REPORT - 9

KA2 project | TWOST Training without Stereotypes

7 5

partners: CSCS, Asteri, Associacao Animam Viventem, Xeracion, Club Basquet Granollers, CGFS, VCS countries: Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Macedonia

Project is aimed at preventing gender-based discrimination towards youth. The project addresses in particular crosssectorial cooperation, allowing for greater synergies across all fields of actions concerning young people, with a special focus on access to rights, autonomy, (e)participation and the active citizenship of young people, avoiding gender self-segregation phenomena and promoting common values of mutual respect between genders and without prejudice to their sexuality. The primary outcome of TWOST is an online self-assessment tool to develop personalized guidance towards gender awareness, with a particular focus on analyzing strategic areas within the organization such as HR management, leadership, coaching, mentoring, youth animation, stereotypes in communication activities, gender-based violence, and participation, and also online database. 10 - Annual Report

KA2 project | SALT | “Shake a leg, together!”

5 5

partners: Saltes, Zavod Voluntariat, Pi Youth Association, Jovobarat Egyesulet, VCS countries: Macedonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovenia, Turkey

“Shake a leg, together!” is a project about healthy and active lifestyle. With this project we aim to reach as many people as possible in participating countries and encourage them to take up any sort of physical activity, to inform them about its benefits and to help making physical activity an attractive hobby.

KA2 project | Reinventing Community Radio in the Smartphone Era

5 5

partners: Stamp Media, Carpe Diem, Abrashevic, Aarhus Global Media, VCS countries: Belgium, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Macedonia

The project aims to enhance the capacities of the civil society youth organizations using digital radio as a tool for active citizenship and democracy. In October 2021, we attended the Transnational Project meeting that happened in Antwerp, Belgium, to discuss further development of the project. ANNUAL REPORT - 11

KA2 project | Young GEEKS | Get Empowered with Entrepreneurial minds, Knowledge and Strategies

5 5

partners: Bashkia Korce, Koinonia Ison Eukairion, Sistem ve Jenerasyon Dernegi, Associazione Culturale, Ambientale e del tempo libero Usamborgia, VCS countries: Albania, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Macedonia Young GEEKS was a project with innovative concept to empower youth entrepreneurs in the field of Agrotourism, Agribusiness, Tourism and ICT towards sustainable developments. It strived for a holistic approach that combines capacity building, mentorship and technical training, technological tools, including non-formal E-learning through a common ‘Collaboration Platform’ and cross-country collaboration/exchange experiences. There were 5 activities in Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Italy and Turkey, and VCS was represented by the students and teachers from the Technical High School "Gostivar" from Gostivar.

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KA2 project | Volunteering Connecting Communities (VCC & VCC 2.0)

5 5

partners: Mladi Volonteri, Beyond Barriers Association, Iuventa, Allons-y Association, VCS countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia, Romania, Macedonia

VCC aims at: increasing youth potential in civic education, especially in volunteerism, through capacity building actions targeting youth workers who work with young people with fewer opportunities in local and European level; increasing the quality of youth work through the exchange of experiences and building up sustainable partnerships among partners and other NGOs and institutions.

KA2 project | MUSICLING Social entrepreneurship with recycled instruments

4 4

partners: Xeracion Valencia, Euro-Net, Κ.Α.ΝΕ., VCS countries: Spain, Italy, Greece, Macedonia

The aim of this project is to get youth to develop key skills for their future through creativity and arts, specifically music and crafts, since they will be able to create recycled instruments from waste, and they will also learn how to play these instruments with basic notions of music theory so that they can get involved in projects related to music, arts and culture. ANNUAL REPORT - 13

KA2 project | #YouthToo


countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Greece VCS is part of the #YouthToo project, approved by EACEA in the frame of Erasmus+ program - Western Balkan Window, officially started at 7. December 2019. The main goal of the project is to learn about gender-based and sexual violence in the love affairs of young people and to open those issues that are, more or less, in all our societies related to shame, fear, guilt, in short - taboo. Strengthening the capacities and competencies for working with young people on the topic of gender and sexual violence in the love / relationships of young people, through trainings for volunteers and youth workers. The result and products of the project are an online and offline campaign for gender-based violence with posters, stickers and short videos. One of the final products of the project is a Manual for prevention of youth gender based violence . The manual is an educational material intended for young people and those who work with young people, both in institutions and in the civil sector.

14 - Annual Report

IPA | Youth Participation for Strong and Sustainable Community Development The project "Youth Participation for Strong and Sustainable Community Development" is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Coalition of Youth Organizations SEGA as the main implementer together with the partners SOS Children's Village North Macedonia, Volunteers Centre Skopje and Association Women's Forum Tetovo. The project aims to improve the quality of youth policy implementation based on structural cooperation and substantial participation of networked civil society, thus contributing to an independent and sustainable civil society supported by a supportive environment that encourages participatory and gender-sensitive youth policy-making processes. The implementation period is January 2021 - April 2024.


TEHV | Towards Effective Humanitarian Volunteering

3 7

EU partners: ADICE (France), ADRA Czechia (Czech Republic), ADRA Slovakia (Slovakia) non-EU organizations: IDEA CA (Kyrgyzstan), YIC (Armenia), WHR (Nepal), CYA (Cambodia), ADRA Lebanon (Lebanon), ADRA Serbia (Serbia), VCS (Macedonia) TEHV project aimed to prepare organizations for hosting EU Aid volunteers i.e. Humanitarian aid volunteers through multiple online trainings on safety and security, policies (e.g. safeguarding, data protection, equal opportunities), communication, volunteer management, mentoring, and DRR (disaster risk reduction).

Regional Project Cooperation-OEAD Austria | Project “School Meets Business”

80 2

school coordinators

offline trainings, several ZOOM trainings, networking workshop, Final Event

VCS continued its coordinating and logistical support role in 2021 on the project “School Meets Business” targeting VET school coordinators from Macedonia to be trained as a link between the schools and the companies where the students do their internship and practical work.

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Erasmus+ projects We sent:

6 10

volunteers for short term ESC projects Countries: Turkey, Sweden

volunteers for long term ESC projects Countries: Poland, Estonia, Spain, Turkey, Luxembourg, Croatia, France, Bulgaria, Czech Republic

242 32


projects: YE, TC and seminars Countries: Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Albania, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Slovenia, Macedonia


projects in Macedonia 1 in Skopje, 8 in Struga

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29.05 - 5.06.21 | Conference | “European Youth at the frontlines of active citizenship: A Roadmap towards a collective South-North-East-West Momentum” | Skopje

5 50 25

partner countries: Macedonia, Romania, Cyprus, Spain, Denmark participants


VCS hosted the final conference of the project: “European Youth at the frontlines of active citizenship” organized by VCS, and supported by the European Commission through the “Erasmus+” and “European Youth Together” programs. Representatives of the five partner countries learned how to become active citizens and how to take the initiative to oppose the apathy and disinterest that is present, especially among young people.

12.07 – 16.07.21 | TC | „Young GEEKS“ | ”Get Empowered with Entrepreneurial minds, Knowledge and Strategies” | Struga

45 5


countries: Albania, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Turkey

Young GEEKS project is an innovative concept designed to empower youth through boosting their capacities in startup businesses and increasing readiness to embrace sustainable cooperation and experience exchanges. 18 - Annual Report

10.08 - 18.08.21 | YE | “CUTE: Cooperate Understand Tolerate Empower” | Struga

24 4


countries: Macedonia, Hungary, Romania, Poland

The youth exchange aimed to improve young people’s personal and professional skills regarding intercultural cooperation and selfawareness.

12.08 - 18.08.2021 | Blended Mobility | “Shake a leg, together!” | Struga

26 5


countries: Hungary, Slovenia, Turkey, Lithuania, Macedonia

It was a project about a healthy and active lifestyle with an aim to reach as many people as possible in participating countries and encourage them to take up any sort of physical activity, to inform them about its benefits and to help make physical activity an attractive hobby.


23.09 - 29.09.21 | TC | “Get Eco, Stay Friendly!” | Struga

25 6


countries: Macedonia, Lithuania, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, Poland

The project was focused on raising awareness about waste, recycling and upcycling among people, to increase the organizational competencies of youth workers in the field of ecology and enhance the digital skills of youth workers.

07.10 - 14.10.21 | International Mobility | "PeerAct" | Struga

70 5


countries: Serbia, Macedonia, Portugal, Slovenia, Romania

Diversity & anti-discrimination was the main topic of the “PeerAct” training course in Struga. Each day was allocated to one of the program’s learning units, as follows: introduction to facilitation, planning a workshop, facilitation skills and techniques, assessing participant’s facilitation skills, evaluation and followup. The participants received the EPTO AWOD Manual for peer trainers and became “Peer Certified,” which allows them to facilitate longer workshops promoting non-discrimination, tolerance, solidarity, and equality in the youth environment back home. 20 - Annual Report

25.11 - 3.12.21 | TC | "Empathy through creativity" | "Imagine, Improvise, Integrate" | Struga

28 7


countries: Macedonia, Great Britain, Sweden, Greece, Turkey, Finland, Romania

This project aims to empower youth workers and educators to motivate and lead youth by using informal, non-formal, and artistic methods such as improvisation, theatre, storytelling, and creative writing to fight discrimination and promote integration.

25.11 - 3.12.21 | ТC | „Preventing radicalization of young people through youth work” | Struga

28 8


countries: Finland, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Spain, Estonia, Italy, Denmark, UK The topic of the project was the radicalization of young people and the need for more knowledge, competencies, and activities to prevent this malicious phenomenon.


Our activities VCS, besides sending and hosting, is also coordinating organization for volunteers. We provide logistical support for other local institutions and organizations for their ESC volunteers.

Daycare centre for street children In 2021 we continued our collaboration and support with Association for defense of children rights & Day care center for children from street. For our partner, we brought and hosted 2 Turkish volunteers. Belen and Muammer are successfully working on their ESC project entitled: “Roma children need care, too”.

Zlatan Sremec In 2021, we also brought and hosted 2 volunteers for the Dr. Zlatan Sremec, special school and resource center for children with atypical development. Anthonia and Annik are 2 young German volunteers that accepted the challenge to gain practical experience on the project:“See the human behind volunteering as a tool to support inclusion” in the school, and further develop their personal and professional skills. 22 - Annual Report

Our team supported local actions, initiatives and took part in various events: Together towards a cleaner environment We know that it is important to raise awareness about trashing and recycling. In 2021, VCS joined forces with the partner Za Pochista Makedonija and organized the eco-project “TrashTour” to aim for a cleaner environment and wake up the citizens to take action. In 6 days, there were organized cleanup actions in 6 different cities in Macedonia. VCS also regularly recycles trash in cooperation with Pakomak and Elkolekt.

Wizz Air Skopje Marathon Sunny weather, the spirit of friendly rivalry, motivated runners, and a unique and fun atmosphere – the 3rd of October was Marathon Day in Skopje. Our volunteers from VCS handed out water and bananas for the ambitious runners.

International Youth Day On the occasion of August 12th, International Youth Day, VCS was part of the event organized by the Agency for Youth and Sports in cooperation with the National Youth Council of Macedonia and the Union for Youth Work where we presented Erasmus+ possibilities to young people and promoted our Voices magazine.

NGO Fair In September, VCS took part in an NGO fair organized by Civica Mobilitas. About 90 organisations set up their stands, filled them with information about their activities and achievements and socialized with citizens. ANNUAL REPORT - 23

Local actions & events Our team organized in 2021:


online and offline public events

German conversation classes Karaoke Open stage Online workshops Workshops in schools Pub quiz Speedfriending Eco-cleaning actions Volunteer Library Walk and talk to Vodno Panel discussion Donations

24 - Annual Report


International Volunteer Day and 15th birthday of VCS December 5th is a special day for all the individuals and organizations engaged in voluntary work – International Volunteer Day. VCS organized several local events on the occasion of this day. VCS also celebrated its 15th birthday. On December 5th, the organization organized a Volunteering Day at Kisela Voda’s Culture Centre to inform local residents of the organizations’ activities and volunteering opportunities. The organization used this opportunity to collect clothes and food donations for Shuto Orizari Day Care Centre and humanitarian organization “Sveti Spas”, and run a cleaning action in Rasadnik.

A “Volunteer Library” event was coordinated by VCS to promote dialogue and exchanges about volunteering.

The EU Delegation in Macedonia hosted a panel discussion on the initiative of VCS. The objective was to promote the volunteer spirit among the public and virtual audience. The ESC volunteers also planned a karaoke night to bring together and entertain the youth. 26 - Annual Report


ANNUAL REPORT - 27 vcs.skopje vcs.skopje vcs.skopje contact_vcs +389 75 243 726 +389 75 243 726 Emil Zola 3/3-1, 1000, Skopje

March 2021 | Volunteers Centre Skopje Content creators: Andrej Naumovski Ewelina Chańska Goran Adamovski Goran Galabov Jolanta Ciopcińska Josip Gegaj Lucile Guéguen

Layout: Selina Niemi Director: Nikola Stankoski

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