2. You graduated in Macedonia, but for the past several years you have been living abroad. What keeps you motivated to change your life and destination of living, even the work you are doing?
I am a passionate globe-trotter, as I believe that the world is out there to be experienced. I began traveling as I was very young and was always fascinated by the diversity of people finding that it is only when I am facing different people and cultures that I become aware of whom I am and challenge my beliefs, attitudes and values. The diversity of this world is a beautiful and enriching experience that can be a great source of knowledge and life wisdom. On the other hand, the exposure to different lifestyles, cultures and working environments have given me the opportunity to recognize not only these differences but also the traits that make us human, both the positive and negative ones, such as love, kindness, compassion, but also greed, corruption, injustice etc. For one to get to know the local cultural values and knowledge of a community, a touristic visit may not be enough. Living in a different country allows you to learn much more not only about the others that surround you, but about yourself too. How do I react to this culture and value system, how do I manage in this working or communication style etc. – all of that can be a great process of self discovery and personal mastery. That’s why my journey continues.
3. You are coming back to Macedonia often, but not only to see your family, but because you are still active in the civil society sector. Where does Nina transfer her knowledge and experience from abroad?
Macedonia is where I started my social activism and youth work and where I learned my basics. I am a founder and former president of the civil society organization Youth Can which started about 4 years ago with only five extraordinary people, and today is a well established youth organization which counts over 350 members from all over the country. I strongly believe in the potential of the young people in Macedonia. I am thankful to all of those who have contributed to make this happen. However, not being physically present in the country does limit my possibility to join and help these people in their missions. Never the less, when we have a chance to fundraise or work for a project, I am happy to help with sharing my experience, my ideas, knowledge or networks and contacts. There are many innovative projects I have learned about through my experience abroad that have high potential to be put in practice in Macedonia and help the development of the country. Through Youth Can, as well as another great organization I am involved with called Lucca Leadership Macedonia – we try to realize some of them. Nowadays, I am very proud to witness that the youth organizations in Macedonia organize themselves to set up a common platform that will represent the voice of the youth in the country. I am grateful to all of the people that put their honest efforts to contribute towards the Macedonian society and I feel ready to support them as much as I can, where ever I am.