Volunteer experiences

The great refugee wave of 2015-2016 that happened in the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, as a transit country on the final destination route for the refugees, represents a major historical movement of people that the world has not seen since the Second World War as such.  Not only the Republic of Macedonia, but also all the countries on the Balkan refugee route to the most developed countries in the European Union, found themselves unprepared to deal with such a large number of people moving through state borderlines.  Therefore, the receiving and transit countries had no other choice in the beginning than to rely on humane citizens, humanitarian volunteers, and charity non-governmental organizations that offered assistance to the unfortunate refugees.

The NGO Legis volunteers started their activities to help refugees who transited the Republic of Macedonia in October 2014.  Thus, we were ready and organized to deal with the great refugee wave of 2015.  In addition to its volunteers and donors, NGO Legis also relied on foreign volunteers and donors, coordinating all assistance intended for refugees among domestic and foreign volunteers, in cooperation with state institutions involved in the field.  The trust shown to NGO Legis by all the volunteers, regardless of whether they were individuals or groups, locals or foreigners, regardless of their national, ethnic, religious, political or ideological affiliation, suggests that the single humane goal - helping people in distress, unites individuals of different background and emphasizes only their positive values and similarities, and that is, above all, empathy and philanthropy.

In context of this electronic magazine that is part of the project "Youths acting for solidarity" funded by the Foundation Open Society - Macedonia, we briefly present the experiences of volunteers who were or are still involved in helping refugees, have worked or collaborated with NGO Legis.  Each of them tells his or her story about the engagement, the motive, and the interaction with other volunteers in the teams, eventually giving their advice and recommendations to current and future volunteers, based on their positive experiences.  Although the number of volunteers who assisted the refugees was higher in late 2015 and early 2016, we singled out just a part of these stories, for the sake of time and resources, as an initial motivation for all who are interested in this topic.

These are the stories as told by some of the best humanitarian volunteers.  Please, do read them.

To download the electronic magazine, click here