We are both facing each other, and Maida has just completed her activity with the children of her village, Novi Pazar in Serbia. Maida has been described to me as a very shy girl but whose experience as a volunteer for Sport4Youth has been decisive for her openness to others. Indeed, after a few minutes, I realize that her experience as a volunteer with PLAY International has, in her own words, "changed her life." She tells me that she has been able to meet young people who live "next door" but of whom she had never heard about except through discriminating remarks. She realized that these young people are like her, that they have the same desires, the same interests. She had begun to understand the absurdity of the stereotypes and prejudices that exist between the different communities in the Balkans. She now had a conviction that it is the young people who will decide the future and who will allow all communities to live together in peace.
Conducting this interview with Maida, a volunteer girl from the Sport4Youth program, is one of my best memories during my internship at PLAY International in Kosovo.
Currently in 3rd year at Sciences Po Lille, I had the opportunity, as part of my studies, to do an internship at PLAY International in Pristina, Kosovo for a period of 5 months. From August to December 2018, I had the chance to discover the culture of the Balkans in a newborn country.
Working for PLAY International Kosovo allowed me to perform a wide variety of tasks and acquire many skills, particularly in terms of fund-raising and communication. I also had the opportunity to participate directly in the development of projects and to be part of their implementation in the field. It gave me the chance to see the direct impact of PLAY's programs on young people and children.
During my internship, the team gave me responsibilities and the opportunity to take ownership over areas of the projects I was supporting. It was very motivating to see the success of the projects I participated in.
My internship experience in Kosovo was also a human experience. Indeed, I discovered a new culture and learned a new language: Albanian. It was an opportunity to know a very moving society, meeting people from different communities, who for the most part had experienced trauma in their lives and continue to face a difficult daily existence.