Tijs de Dus





Gvozd allows foreign volunteers to get in contact with a beautiful part of Croatia. Nature alone is so pure and breathtaking in a way that is strange for citizen people in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium which I come from. There, free nature is an exception. Not only the cities but also the ‘rural’ environment is build up with houses, industry and transport accommodations. Yet, the southern part of Belgium has more similarities with Gvozd and his environment. Sporadic villages in a green space, soft hills at the skyline and an amazing silence. So don’t let us be to negative about Belgium. When you know the places where to go, it is a great place to live.

Of all the work that must be done, the one I liked the most was cleaning up the lake. Because we were with so many people, you saw the changes every hour. It used to be a nice place and this work was a great step to renew this beauty. I believe that this place will be finished and I truly hope some people will take care of it. I must be honest: painting the fence around the football field near the playground was a hell; the result, however, was great. The amount of salt water on our backs was the same as the amount of paint we used. Again, with the support of so many people, this job moved one. This, for sure, couldn’t be done without our sponsor of rice milk and our friend Karlo.

Activities with kids were very exhausting. The first day we arrived, a mass of young energy flow over the volunteers so that no one was able to do anything at all at the end. And we didn’t even visit the playground yet! I was very impressed by the total mix of young and old people, boys and girls who played all together in the evenings. On this moments, I felt myself the most far away from Belgium. As far as I know smaller villages, like Gvozd, in Belgium, none of them has such a tolerance among his population. It deserves a great respect and should be an example in regions where neighbours are strangers.

It was really thankful to play with the children. They appreciated everything that was organised by volunteers, as there were for example the treasure hunt and the Olympic games, and enjoyed it in such a way that it gave us to a warm feeling.

It is a pleasure for me to felicitate all people from the village who organised and participated in this summer camp. In the first place Pega and Maya, who gives all foreign volunteers a great place to stay during 14 days and gives us a very nice experience with the local community. Ramazan, Patric, Chiara, Elena, Lauren, Hanna, Sara and Joanna, you were great persons to make fun and work with. I will also thank every single person in the community who all gives the best of themselves during some hard, dirty and hot work. All this work was possible thanks to the donations and felicitations of many people who believed in the strength of volunteer work and gives me in person the courage to move on in difficult times.