My week with Rural Youth Europe and MIJARC

In the period between 4th and 11th of October, in European Youth Center in Strasbourg, France, was held Study Session under name Unveiling rural realities – unlocking youth potential. This event was product of joint cooperation between Rural Youth Europe and MIJARC Europe, supported by the Council of Europe.
As representative of my organisation from Republic of Macedonia, BUJRUM-Center for rural development, me, Magdalena Rapeshovska, had this  one-of-a-kind opportunity to be part of  this amazing event.
This was my first Rural Youth Europe event, and even now, a few days later when writing this, I am still overwhelmed not only by the Study Session, but by the whole positive  atmosphere and friendly people as well.
From where should I begin? Let me start with our prep-team. Each and every one of them well prepared and fully dedicated, yet friendly, always available to discuss and share ideas, not only on the topic, but also about everyday matters. Always trying to pull out the best from us and hold the group together in times while doing the sessions, and in our free time too.
What I absolutely loved about this Study Session are the interactive discussions that always made me think about myself, my skills, my passions and the society I live in, in general. Working in smaller groups was an excellent way to learn more about each other and the countries we came from. We truly unveiled our rural realities, and everyone was sharing their own experience in the field of youth unemployment and the problems and challenges that exist in our countries. What is really amazing that after every session we became closer to each other, beside our different life-styles and culture. Now I feel  like Ive enriched  my knowledge about the daily practices of the young people all across the Europe. Every person had a different story to share and different opinion to say, but in the end we all learned more about the situation in rural areas in Europe and found out not only the differences,  but the similarities that exist as well.
I have to say that MIJARC and Rural Youth Europe did an amazing job bringing this Study Session as joint event, since more or less every part of Europe was present, so it was easier to realise the realities about north and the south, east and west.
Now, I really become more open to new ideas and I am willing to be engaged in as many projects as possible, on local level, as volunteer in my organisation, but also be involved in international events, so I can broaden my experience and knowledge about the other cultures .
The Study Session ‘Unveiling rural realities-unlocking youth potential’  helped me to learn from other people’s experiences, deeply explore the topic about the rural opportunities and youth unemployment, to gain new perspectives, increase my confidence and speak up, but above all meet new young people that share similar interests and have tones of fun and wonderful memories with my new friends from all over Europe.
Keep bringing smiles on our faces! I do hope this was my first of many, many events that will follow.
Warm greetings from Macedonia,
Magdalena Rapeshovska