Hey everyone! I am Maria, a 23 year-old Greek IVY Volunteer. My volunteer experience is based in my hometown Thessaloniki, Greece where I volunteer for the Managing Authority (MA) INTERREG 2021-2027, as an Interreg Reporter. Let me walk you through my first month of volunteering.
So, for starters, The Managing Authority (MA) INTERREG 2021-2027, based in Thessaloniki – Greece, manages and monitors European Territorial Cooperation (INTERREG) Programmes. The Programmes aim to address common cross-border and transnational challenges, support synergies through joint partnerships and consolidate strong cooperation with a view to enable a balanced, economic, social and spatial development at European level. It is involved with projects including North Macedonia, Albania, Italy, Cyprus, Bulgaria and is included in bigger ones concerning the Adriatic, Mediterranean, Black Sea and European regions.
My role in this is to help with communication activities, such as email and social media marketing, photo and video editing as well as to assist with events. I would like to believe that my background in political science and communications has made me a contributing member of the team that is able to assist in multiple activities. I am, certainly, thankful to get to experience an intensive and versatile work environment, where I can be creative and free to suggest alternatives to already established practices. Thankfully my mentor is a great professional, who gives me the opportunity to be involved in everything I like, provides me with flexibility and is interested in my views and feedback.
It happens so, that I have been added as a member of the Authority’s team for its representation at the Thessaloniki International Fair. The Thessaloniki Internationl Fair (TIF) is an annual trade fair held in Thessaloniki, Greece. It is the largest and most important trade fair in Greece, and it attracts exhibitors from over 50 countries. The fair showcases the latest products and technologies from a wide range of industries, including food and beverages, agriculture, machinery, tourism, and energy. The 87th TIF is being held from September 9 to 17, 2023, and the honored country is Bulgaria. You would find us in Pavillion 15, alongside other authorities and institutions from Ministry of Economics, informing beneficiaries regarding various opportunities provided by the National Strategic Reference Framework, a funding program from the European Union that supports Greece’s economic development and social cohesion. As someone, who has been living in Thessaloniki the last 6 years and has been in the fair multiple times, it has been extremely interesting experiencing it from another point of view.
My overall experience has been fulfilling and with each passing day, my enthusiasm grows, and I eagerly anticipate inventing ways to make a positive impact in the months to come. As an individual interested in my region, I am grateful that I can witness projects being made from scratch and experience the hard work and dedication, something extremely simple and unimportant to a participant, requires. Becoming a part of this project has proven to be an immensely purposeful choice. It not only grants me the opportunity to attain fresh practical skills but also engrosses me within an entirely novel setting, featuring new coworkers, an unfamiliar environment, and distinct working culture. All in all, I sense a profound enrichment both in my professional and personal capabilities. I get to learn new things everyday and that is the highest reward.
– Maria-Parthena, IVY Reporter at the Managing Authority “Interreg Greece 2021-2027”