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MIHAIL DIVJAKOSKI: Youth activism is kind of a lifestyle!


1. Dear Mihail, would you, please, introduce yourself to the Bellspiration readers?

Hello to everyone! My name is Mihail Divjakoski, and I live in a small village called
Krusheani, which is between Prilep and Krushevo, the south-western part of North
Macedonia. I am a 4th-year student at the Faculty of Economics- Prilep.
 
2. You are coming from North Macedonia, but you also lived in Split, Croatia, for a
few months during your student exchange. Tell us more about that experience!
Did you like it and would you like to move somewhere else?
 
Omg yes! The fact that the Faculty where I study is just around 20km away from my
home and in my whole bachelor studies I didn’t really get the chance to experience the
real student life was part of the reason why I decided to do Erasmus Studies.
I applied, and everything went by so fast, and the next thing I knew was me getting on the
bus to Croatia. I love traveling so much, I have been to 9 short Erasmus projects all
around Europe and the fact that our Faculty was a registered institution that provides
Erasmus studies to its students was simply an opportunity I had to take, so I just did it.
I went to Split this year on the 19th of February and everything was so great, and I was
super excited. Apparently, as we all know the Covid pandemic happened, and along with
it many changes and adaptations and god knows what else, so there was a period of
a time where I found myself in the middle of a new country, all alone, new culture, new
people, new everything, which I took on very positively and I think it had an enormous
impact of me growing as a more independent and mature person. 

I had a really lovely 5 months, Split is just amazing and all of its beauties just leave you
breathless. Apparently, we did a bit of traveling even though Covid, so we got to see
many of the amazing islands nearby and other cities on the Dalmatian coast, and I
enjoyed every second of it.
I was also very positively surprised by the devotion of the University and the Faculty and
all of the professors did their best to make sure, us, the Erasmus students had as
much good stay as possible, so everything was just great, besides the whole situation.
When it comes to moving somewhere else, yes that option takes the biggest part of the
table with my plans for the future, and something that I have in mind is signing up for my
Master studies in Slovenia, so I’ll probably end up living there starting the next Academic
year, but we will see what the future holds, and now things turn out.

3. You are a youth activist. What do you think about how much a big influence youth
activism has? How important is it?
 
I have been a Youth activist since I was fourteen, aka, since I started studying High
school. Actually, now that I remember, I also did Youth Activism since primary School, I
just didn’t know it was called that back then. I remember, going to the theatre classes,
choir classes, I was in competitions organized by schools for their Patron holidays
(because back then Mihail was writing poetry haha), and I volunteered in total
reorganizing the school library. Gosh, time goes by so fast!
Anyhow, when I started High School, I started participating in the Local Youth
Organization at my school called “Young Economists” and we did tons of activities, from
organizing sports events, to school Christmas fair, market, charitable activities, and many
more, but the biggest happening that got the whole organization up and working was the
National Competition in many categories between all a vocational high school in the
country.
Starting from that, another amazing thing that we did was the winter when I was the first year
in high school, we did workshops with the kids from the Center for kids with special needs
from our city and we drew tons of Christmas cards, from which came up with the idea of
printing them and multiplying them and selling them. So, that same winter on
st. Nicholas day, me and like 9 other kids, got out and divided ourselves into groups and
sold out 500 Christmas cards all around the city.
I think that that day was when I realized that there are people here that are willing to help
and to be included and contribute to a better society, better future for everyone. Seeing
the kids at the center during those workshops, their laugh and happiness was the kickoff
start for me and gave me a motivation to do what I do up until this day.
That initiative continued, we founded our own so-called NGO and we started baking
cookies, selling them to coffee bars so that they would serve them with coffee, organized
charitable parties made snowmen out of socks and cotton (I remember up until the day
when we asked for the 10kg cotton sponsorship form a local textile factory, and no taxi
wanted to pick us up because the bag with cotton was too big to fit in the cars hahah).

Another kickoff to continue with working was when we managed to organize a musical
concert in just 10 days, for a girl that needed to do a surgery as soon as possible, and
every musician we contacted agreed, and we contacted some big names, and that
Easter, we managed to collect 1500 euros in just 3 and a half hours. This world is full of
kind and selfless people!
Apparently, this NGO still exists up until this day and now it’s a part of one of the biggest
charitable organizations in the world called “Lions Clubs International”
Ever since then, I did professional practicing of Macedonian Traditional dances for
almost 10 years, I started including myself in more and more activities, like practicing
debate, volunteering in many other NGOs like Youth Council- Prilep, where I was mostly
mentoring EVS volunteers that were coming to Prilep for projects, I was a member of
AIESEC for one and a half year did many projects and seminars, and workshops,
organized many of the same kind, and currently, I am occupied as a vice-president at the
Faculty Student Assembly at my Faculty, and Finance Coordinator at the University
Student Assembly. I am also working on a project with the British Council about the
influence Covid19 had on everyone and another project about Eco Entrepreneurship
between our University, and other Universities from Bulgaria, Greece, and Cyprus.
Following in my grandfather's footsteps, I have donated blood 10 times so far, and I
decided on being a vegetarian two and a half years ago. 

I guess youth activism is kind of like a lifestyle, something that you grow out to be, not
just do. I mean, all those amazing people you get to meet, all those great things you can
learn, life-useful skills, many lifelong friends and an enormous network of people from all
around the world, not just the Balkans or Europe. That is something that none of the
certificates (and I have like 50 of them) you get, can fulfill. I mean, the fact that I am
doing this interview, and the fact that I got to meet Belma is a result of Youth Activism
itself.
 
4. What motivates you in life? What inspires you the most?

Well, I would say the thought that we can always do better and be better, that we can all
take small actions, baby steps, and make our local communities a much better place to
live in every sense of that word, which would contribute to make the world a better 
place to live. I like to think that everything starts individually, and we all bear
responsibility for what we do or don’t do.
When it comes to what inspires me the most, it would be peers, and people that I know
from all around the world that is doing the same thing as I and even more, so from time
to time we chit chat, we cross paths, we discuss, give each other ideas, share plans,
make plans together, and that’s the fuel that keeps me moving forward.
 
5. Do you have an inspiring message for all young people in our region, but also
around the world?

If there's one thing that I would like to tell everyone it would be to not overthink things.
Just apply for that seminar, apply for that job, go to that conference, go donate blood,
help someone, don’t overthink it, there is nothing, literally nothing you can lose. In fact,
you are losing much more by not doing it, and by just sitting and overthinking things. Be
an opportunist, just take what’s there and make a miracle out of it.





This post first appeared on Bellspiration, please read the originial post: here

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MIHAIL DIVJAKOSKI: Youth activism is kind of a lifestyle!

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