Staff exchange review by Sandrine from AECHF (Palestine) visiting CID (Macedonia)

Sandrine, project coordinator at Association d’Echanges Culturels Hébron-France (AECHF) in Palestine is happy to share with us her experience of visiting Center for Interncultural Dialogue (CID) in Macedonia for potential future partnerships between the two International Voluntary Service Organisation.

“My staff exchange was organized by the Center for Intercultural Dialogue (CID) in Kamanovo (Macedonia). I spent the week with the team and volunteers…I experimented with them different activities with Youth and events organized for the Youth European Week. It was very important to see how the team is managed a huge number of volunteers from different countries. The social networking seems to be very important for the Youth exchange and IVS. The volunteers organize language courses for other volunteers and Youth, specific workshops (management of NGO, etc.) are planned for them.

I didn’t have time to visit other part of Macedonia but I was so happy to stay in Kumanovo and spent my staff exchange with amazing people. Despite the lack of exchange with children in the Center due to different languages, the communication between Youth and volunteers is very important through games, etc.

I’m working for the Association d’Echanges Culturels Hébron-France (AECHF) in Hebron (Palestine). We want to develop the Youth exchange and want to be part of the IVS. I can adapt the work of CID for the reason that we have same activities: Cultural center for Youth, IVS volunteers, organization of Work camps, etc. CID organizes a lot of workshops, seminars on different issues; AECHF has to elaborate the same with collaboration of International and local volunteers. In Palestine to involve local volunteers is a difficulty. Presence of more international volunteers for short or long term will be an opportunity for Hebronite Youth to participate in activities.

The staff exchange was an opportunity for me and my organization to understand more the methodologies and aims of Youth exchange and IVS.

Unfortunately I experimented also a dramatic situation…a terrorist group of around 50 people are fighting against the Macedonian police in the Divo Seliste residential quarter since Saturday 9th at 4am. Shootings, helicopters, ambulances during 36 hours. The residents of Divo Seliste quarter in Kumanovo were evacuated…Whole families leaved Divo Seliste quarter of Kumanovo and moved with luggage to the other side of town. Divo Seliste is the quarter of the culture center for children (MultiKulti – CID project) where I spent the week…I’m so sad for the children and their families. My heart stays with all of them !”

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