YOUth for EU Green Deal – “International” interview by Mariyana

Mariyana participated in the Youth Exchange “YOUth for EU Green Deal” in Serbia, from 24 June to 2 July.
To share the outcomes of the project, she has interviewed Miodrag, one of the Serbian participant.

Miodrag, it is good to see you again, even with a video call!
Thank you, Mariyana, I’m sending my best regards from Serbia to you and to everyone who will read the interview.

My goal with this interview is to summarize your experience and to provoke you to speak more about ecology and sustainability. So tell me, what knowledge and experience will you bring home after this youth exchange?
The best thing about the Erasmus + Youth Exchanges is that you can share your experience with people from different communities with totally different backgrounds.
The topic of this project was “YOUth for EU Green Deal” and by the end of the project I think that I have a better perspective of how important the local communities are in the whole process.
This project really inspired me to create a community in the area that I live in and to start talking with the people about the need for a new lifestyle in order to save our planet, because we really don’t have time for waiting.

How does this international environment affect your way of thinking and why, from your experience, was it different from your conversations with people from your county?
We are all Europeans, we are not that different.
But I was a host, because the exchange took place in Serbia, so the participants came to my county and made me see it from the eyes of a foreigner.
They came from countries with different lifestyles. For example, if you remember, you told me that we don’t recycle and we can reduce the amount of paper and plastic that we use in the kitchen. And you are not “zero waste”, you are just practical.

But how is it different if I tell you that, as a Bulgarian, and if a Serbian citizen tells you the same?
It is different because of the cultural difference.
You represent the average Bulgarian person with average, for your country, habits in your home in the field of ecology and sustainability.
I represent the average Serbian household, so, when I see your reaction to this situation, I will probably think how I can improve in this direction.
But if a person from my county tells me the same thing, my first thought would be that they are extreme in their daily life and I won’t rethink my way of being.

That is an interesting topic for future conversations. But I want to ask you, what are you doing now in the field of ecology and sustainability and did you get inspired from this Erasmus + exchange to create something good for your community?
Talking with the participants from other countries about their country’s ways to contribute to the EU green deal, I got the inspiration to start a project that has been in my mind for a very long time.
It is about building bird houses.

In a previous conversation, you mentioned that there is some special technology that you want to use.
At first I want to say that this project is still in the papyrology phase, if I can say it that way. We are now applying for a fund for improving the life in the villages, called “Sta Nam Tesko”.
And if they accept us, we are going to start the building process.

But why is this project for bird houses useful, how do they affect the environment, why should they give you that fund?
Many environmental factors have begun to make it hard for birds to survive and the nests that they created aren’t enough to protect them from the dangers to their species.
In my area in Serbia there is a need for that, because most of the birds go around the Danube river and the area becomes overpopulated with the species of some insects.
My team’s job will be to create bird nests with a technology to collect rain drops.

Wish you all the best with your project! And last question, would you recommend the Erasmus Plus program to a friend?
YES! I would recommend it to everyone in the age group. Every Erasmus Plus exchange is life-changing!

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This program is co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.

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YOUth for EU Green Deal – “International” interview by Mariyana