Macedonia & Italy: strong relationship, good exchange

Youth exchange always means: meeting, friendship, relationship, interculture. In Biella, from 26th September to 3rd October, it happened again. The relationship between Macedonia, especially SPPMD, and Italy is becoming strong. SPPMD has been to Biella already for the second time. The first visit took place in July 2011 for a quite unusual exchange organized by four little municipalities. Few weeks ago we hosted SPPMD again for an exchange organized by Christian Workers Movement, already involved in the first exchange and in some projects in Macedonia.

A new experience based this time on sport, some meetings and workshop but also a lot of practice because for youngsters talking about sport means especially playing. Italy, Macedonia, Ukraine and Turkey sent their youngsters to Biella, giving them the opportunity to get to know each other, share experiences and learn something. As usual in the beginning there were separated groups but in the end with some games, some energizers, some workshops and some visits in Biella and Turin the group united. New friends, new connections and many smiles, but at the end someone cried…

One week of meetings and visits and also a tournament to promote the project and to give a real experience about sport – about Italian soccer.
A tournament of five side soccer, futsal in British English to play in a real sport event with local youngsters and soccer teams, an opportunity to have fun and experiment with different sport habits.

There were many changes in the program to try to ameliorate the exchange and to give the participants the best experience. In the end during the final meeting with local authorities and the Vice Console of Ukraine a proposal arrived from a Macedonian boy (Timche): to repeat the exchange every year, continue to meet others participants this way and to discuss about sport and changes, to make new proposals.

It’s a good idea, especially because two of Macedonian delegations were in Italy one year before and if they came back, it means that it was a nice experience.

Italian people were searching an opportunity to share idea and learning from other experiences, Macedonians were bringing their friendly smiles, Turks were searching new experiences and were also getting to know a new country, Ukrainians were searching for new experience and communicating with other cultures. In the end everyone got something from the exchange and the feelings of the organizers were really good!

An interesting fact: another Macedonian girl from Switzerland was involved in the exchange. She had an internship in Biella at Christian Workers Movement. Aleksandra from SPPMD gave an extraordinary support to the activities and to the organization.

It was another example of the good cooperation between Macedonia and Italy.

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Marco Vigliocco

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