Mara, Mara (Makedonka prava)

Misli prostovoljke Marije iz Makedonije ob prihodu v Slovenijo:

I once saw a fb post. A girl had posted a picture of someone posting a picture of a guy writing to her: "Why are you"? was supposed to be funny, and the poor guy probably meant to say, HOW are you, but without knowing he asked one of the deepest questions i have ever came across.


- "Why am I"? Am I something random, am I something more? What am I going to tell my children when they ask me what my youth was like?

- Did I do enough, did I smiled enough, did i sang enough?

Ok, lets put it on paper, what, how and why am I...

I am a girl from the capital city of this small country in the south of the Balkans. We come from a long traditions of looking for self identity, working hard, warm hearts and the best rakija in the area.

My family was not traditional at all, my parents are higly educated people, often encouraging following the rules, so imagine their surprise when they got a daughter that had problems with rules ever since she was born and decided that the day was for sleeping and the night for crying.

I spent my whole child life just like that, living in my world, and me and my parents both had one thought that we never told out loud: Soon, she will grow up, and become more mature.

While going to university, the Macedonian government tried to interfere with the student Autonomy, something that the Marshall himself guaranteed that we will always have. I was nothing going to let that happen! I am never more proud when I tell people that I was one of the first founders of the first ever Student Plenum of Macedonia! We gave our hearts and soul to the cause, because we worked on something that we believed in, something that was right. We fought for our rights and we fought for the truth.

While in this process, I realised that i want to be as active in the society as I can.

I realised that life has treated me well, I always had more than I needed, and that while I have strength in my I will help those who need it. Soon, I become overwhelmed with this, because there were so many people to start with...homeless people? Roma children? Victims of abuse? Refugees? People living beneath the poverty line?

I had a talk with myself and started doing slowly, but surely a bit of work everywhere...As much as I can, at homeless centres, SOS villages, I am a part of an amazing Social Center called Dunja, but ...

...I wanted more. I wanted to devote at least one year with no destructions to one cause. I will not be telling the truth if I say that I searched far and wide to accomplish this, rather I did nothing, it just fell from the sky. My mother always said that best things in life simply come to you when you earn them...

So, I found this EVS Internship in Ljubljana, at centre that works with youngsters with special needs. Imagine, they work on their inclusion in the society and without being direct about it, they help more in making people “without” disability realise, that we are all the same, and no person should be more included in something than somebody else.

I am now here in Ljubljana, as a volunteer for the upcoming festival “Igraj se zmano”. We will work on activates for children who need help with social inclusion, we will be the link between them and the world around them. This festival has been going on for several years now, every year with different volunteers, from different countries, religions, interests and passions. Every year Ive been told it gets better and better, with more love put in to it, every musical play is better than the last one. My soul fills with joy when I think about the smiles they have when we share a joke, or play some games, or learn something together while getting ready for the festival.

These children are not the ones who have special needs, but its us...they do not know how to be mean, lazy or annoying . They do have this special technique to crow up in your heart and stay there forever!


o far, I love my stay here, I am glad I found home away from home, I feel accepted, motivated and calm. I want to wake up every morning and rush to start my job because its fun and noble.

No job is easy, and this may be a bit different than you imagined, but when you close your eyes at the end of the day and you know you made a child smile, believe me its easier to sleep.

So, to wrap it up, I still do not know WHY am I. I do know tho WHERE am I, and WHY am I here in Ljubljana on EVS volunteering.

I will meet people from everywhere, I will have millions of new, exciting experiences, and I will make a child smile at least once a day.

Is this something you must do? No, you must not do something you do not want!

Is this something that helps both yourself to be fine, and helps a person in need? Yes.

Is this something you will be able to tell your children with a pride in your eyes? Absolutely...