The volunteer sector is working hard to prepare everything for the upcoming 5th EUG 2021 which will be held in Belgrade between July 14 and 27.
Having said that, apart from domestic, Belgrade will host 150 international volunteers. Jelisaveta Obradović is a part of the team that works with both domestic and international volunteers. Her job is to carry out interviews and training courses, and it is so dynamic and interesting.
Where are our international volunteers from?
They come from all around the world, although Serbia is a small and not so known country. Young people from Africa and Asia are especially interested in participating. They show great knowledge about Serbia during interviews.
How is it to work with international volunteers and could you draw a parallel with domestic?
Great, and the reason for that is their rich previous experiences that include humanitarian work, sports events, etc. What stands out is a fact that volunteers that applied are not only students and, in particular, young folks, but also fully employed seniors above 60 years old.
If we draw a parallel between domestic and international volunteers the difference is that international volunteers have rich experience in traveling and volunteering, in general, around the world, while on the other hand, we are still developing in that field. Their consciousness, when it comes to volunteering, is on a higher level.
What are the most common questions you get?
These are mostly about the pandemic situation, as it affects the whole world. Other than that, they like to know details regarding their involvement during the games, accommodation, food and if there will be an opportunity to attend matches as spectators. We often laugh together during interviewing, while sharing previous similar experiences.
Is it fun to work in a multicultural environment?
Every day i learn something new. On the other hand, each volunteer thinks it is important to promote the country and culture they come from in the best possible way. I had an interview recently with people from Israel and they told me their main motive to join EUG 2021 is to change the global picture shown on tv and in media about their country.
Also, being a part of a multicultural environment, domestic volunteers have the opportunity to learn so much from them and their previous experiences, they can improve speaking foreign languages, make friendships… All in all, international volunteers are our window to the world.
What do you think the future of your team/this project will be?
First of all, i would really like that all the volunteers, as well as competitors, meet their expectations on EUG 2021. We hope that EUG 2021 will be a huge step forward in building volunteers’ spirit in our country and that the achievements and efforts made by each volunteer are recognized and accepted in their future careers.