Miracles Happen by Marko Pejovic

Context of Author

I am a teacher trainee and Project Manager/Education/Passionate educator and traveller and permanent learner. I enjoy working with young people and share positive energy.

Country :Montenegro

Learning so much from so many amazing experiences. I am trying to put so much of what I have received back into my community.

Story in Full

I come from small place in Montenegro and as a high school pupil I didn't have a lot of opportunities outside of formal education to improve myself. As a pupil I wanted something new, something different from the formal education experience that I and everyone else was used to. I wanted something that would improve me and encourage me to be creative, open mind and to get new skills and knowledge.

I started my youth engagement and youth work when I was 14. I was meeting new young people from my city who were also interested to explore more and to improve themselves more than other pupils. A lot of young people from our community didn't understand us and they thought that we were doing something without sense. We believed however that it would help us for our personal development, but sincerely I couldn't perceive the scale of the impact this youth work would have on me.

Today, when I am 25 years of age, I can say youth work has had a lot different impacts on my professional and personal life and it is incredible when I think of all the achievements I have made as a direct result of youth work. Today, 12 years after my first youth work engagement, I can say it is thanks to youth work – all that I have received as well as given – that I met all these friends from all around Europe, from more than 20 countries. Thank you dear trainers and educators that have taught me about social inclusion, the importance of youth activism, active citizenship, environmental issues, and a lot other things besides. These things I could not have learnt through formal education and thank you to the European Union and Council of Europe respective youth programmes for giving me a chance to experience it and for my professional and personal development.

The aim of what I am saying is to share what can happen if you dedicate yourself and are active, in that way you can accomplish your life goals and get new perspectives of living.

So what specifically have been the impacts for me? I am going to write, just a couple of them. Firstly I learned the English language, which I couldn't learn in school, even after many years of lessons. I finished the Faculty of Economics, my thesis was on ‘Programmes of the European Union for Youth’. I have had the opportunity to travel to many different countries and I became so much more open minded, respecting and enjoying other cultures and working with people from different nations and indeed people from the whole of Europe. Also, I became more aware of environmental issues and I try to upcycle trash from my home.

One interesting aspect of my life now is that I have become a connection between an institution and the civil society sector. I work in the formal education institution of the Agricultural High School and I work in the NGO Svetionik (Lighthouse). Every day I share experiences and the importance of youth engagement and youth work in both places. Last but not the least, I now live with my girlfriend here in Montenegro, not anything unusual about that, except that we met on a youth exchange and she is from Albania. It was two years ago. On the youth exchange itself nothing happened, but the last hug said everything. We kept in touch and just one week after youth exchange we met each other in Tirana. In Montenegro, and generally in the Balkan countries, it is not so common to have a partner from another country, especially from a country where the language and culture are so different. Over time we have got to know each other better and better while at the same time getting to know each other’s cultures and different points of view. I have never thought I will meet women of my life on youth exchange and that beautiful lady will be my wife. But I said MIRACLES HAPPEN!