jueves, 30 de junio de 2016

Me and my blog

I have recently acquired Master of Science with merits in Development Studies MSc at London South Bank University.

As part of my MSc course we are studding relevant disciplines to understand and appreciate the problems related to development issues and fully understand and contribute to the most important debates in development economics.

As part of the course I am working on a dissertation topic related to Youth Unemployment and Social Exclusion in Macedonia. Research and policy design is my main focus and I am using different methodologies related to research in social science. When discussing unemployment, it's always from a very personal angle and explains why I am so passionate about this particular subject. 

Employment is important for our personal and professional fulfilment. The countries socio-economic development can be measured according the open employment opportunities. These opportunities give people chances to feel happy in their own country, but also keeps the country  relevant in the economy not only through the economic growth but also the level of social stability. 

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in International Economics (Macedonia), Master´s degree in Foreign Trade (Spain) and Cambridge International Diploma in Business. As part of my Master´s degree final project elaborated an International Marketing Plan for a Spanish company. That is why I love to engage in debates related to foreign trade. It has been my main interest before trying to get my way into International Development.

In Spain I was working for an important international consulting company based in Madrid. Together with my supervisor we were responsible for the creation of this new Business Unit focused on economic cooperation projects in developing countries. Used my language skills in my everyday work for contacting consultants worldwide, offering them a collaboration for the selected project and international organisations for additional information. Did a market research for the department, took active involvement in the proposal writing, analysis of the terms of reference.

In UK worked for Starbucks as barista on minimum wage while doing my Master's degree in International Development. 

Currently I work with projects related to Strategic Partnership in the field of Adult Education and Vocational Education and Training. Very proud to be part of it, as it gives me the opportunity to work with projects funded by the European Commission and give my support to the values of our European Society to develop skills and knowledge within the European Union and partner countries. 

I am multilingual and confident speaker that can fully express in written and spoken English, Macedonian and Spanish as my second language. Also, I can communicate at a certain level and fully understand written and spoken Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian. I have a basic knowledge of French and Bulgarian.

As born Macedonian, and nationalized Spanish and now living in the UK I can produce high quality reports in all three languages.

Since 2011 regularly I am submitting blog-posts ( and @euroagent) related to different subjects in International Development. Advocacy and campaigning is an important part to raise awareness and engage all parties to improve community lives.

Passionate about different cultures and constant studying and improving, the things I am writing about can be very broad and varied.. I feel deeply convinced that my interest, skills and knowledge can make a real difference in todays debates.

That's why Euroagent is constantly searching new ways to everything and new people to work on the best ideas in International Development.

Key Skills

- Excellent oral and written communication skills in several languages (multilingual)
- Knowledge and understanding of international donor work (through qualifications and work experience);
- Able to work effectively across a wide variety of cultural contexts;
- Display of solution oriented approaches in innovative and high pressure environment;
- Knowledge of Research Methodologies in Social Science;
- Significant technical expertise in data collection and analysis e.g. qualitative methods; survey design; survey sampling; quantitative statistical analysis using SPSS and Atlas.ti
- Excellent research, analytical and writing skills;
- International Marketing Plan;
- Implementation of market research in national and international contexts;
- Creative thinker and entrepreneurial skills; 
- Fully familiar with use of social media in networking activities; 
- Strong numeracy and analytical skills, business/commercial awareness.

Hope you'll enjoy my blog.

Thank for your visit!

viernes, 24 de junio de 2016

On "Brexit": Just go, Just leave!

Born in Macedonia, the country has not made a progress since.Went to live in Spain and two years later (2008) the country was hit by recession and huge unemployment. And now that I am out it's slowly recovering.Came to UK, they leave EU and the value of pound immediately hits its lowest, Cameron resigns... we are expecting more of this to come... Well, where should I go now?Which country really goes to your nerve? I can deal with any.Should I put in a CV my apocalyptic abilities?
That was my first comment on Brexit the day I received the news. I could have been talking about the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the Balkan wars or any other major disaster, because it looks like I've have seen them all.  
Today I lost every little hope I had in a new and better Europe.
Going through all the media news I got across a lot of despair and sadness of what just happened.
Macedonia is deeply saddened that UK is "leaving" as it gained it's candidate status while the UK presidency back in 2005. It has been an important ally and hoping that this will not end by any means.
The Macedonian newspapers translated what they could from foreign news media (nothing new there). The dullness of Macedonian journalism is famously known among the Macedonian intellectuals that drives them constantly to look for a source of information elsewhere.
Macedonian MP teasing the British ambassador in Macedonia after Brexit on his twitter account was one of the articles I could find. Macedonians and their sense of humor is so extraordinary, that even Macedonian MPs find it hard to control themselves. And their sense of humor can be seen in the last 25 years of independence with disastrous results.
Another article mocks Macedonians that declared themselves Bulgarians just to get a passport to EU and now they are have to share the same despair with the rest of Europe.
In vane Macedonia was defending Europe from migrants influx nor Greece's sacrifice to keep them on it's territory was enough to please the UK.
At the end, we are sharing a common space weather as a member of the EU, accession country or a country about to leave. The questions is where they think they are going: maybe UK wants to become a NAFTA member or one of the Asian Tigers is unknown as it's territory is highly unlikely to move anywhere.
Spain rushed to have it say on Gibraltar. With all the problems the country is facing with right now and the number of people that perish outside it's borders all we do care is a rock?!
The story about "the importance of a rock" got a new shift. Now Spain got worried that Catalonia might find a strong argument toward an independence especially when Scotland seems quite determined to do whatever it takes to stay in EU, even if that means a new referendum and independence.
The Spanish Ministry of External Affairs quickly issued a calming statement to many of us working and living here.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on "Brexit"

It was said not to panic as things wont change for us is near future, or at least in the next two years. They will continue working together with the EU on new favorable terms so we can stay and work here. That is very thoughtful from a country that send us to exile because there was no opportunity for us back home.
The newspapers rushed with their article of what happens now and how much it will affect us. People were suggesting that now more than ever is important to apply for residency. Another article was suggesting that our European driving licence will not be valid anymore so we need to start thing all over again.
Got away from a great uncertainty back home just to find an equally hostile place here, it was not what we were barging for.
As for EU goes, it's just another heartbreaking story to share. They failed greatly and sadly we all lose. It not about UK "leaving" but European Union getting completely lost.
You know Brexit is a bad news and bad idea when Trump is celebrating the results and the extreme right in UK is winning it's arguments. ISIS joins the celebration by sending message out to keep bombing Brussels and Berlin. That says a lot more than I could.
It might seems like I am into this brexit thing too much, but I can´t get over the arguments that led many people to vote one way or another.
i will repeat the thing I´ve said commenting on Martin Schulz hours before. and what this professor (University of Liverpool Law School’s Professor Michael Dougan) is trying to say here. It's so different when you are a rich country in Europe. You are acting such a baby using the arguments of the Europe poorest when they don't apply to you. The statement: they don't listen to us, they try to impose things, they don't understand what we need simply doesn't applies to UK. They've listened that from the Europe poorest and applied to them as if that was true.
UK arguments to brexit are funny and insulting for the Europe poor (when I say poor, need to bear in mind in European sense). EU is not perfect, nor Europe poorest are doing the right thing. But that's another story.
You just see what this professor has to say. It's brilliant.

University of Liverpool Law School’s Professor Michael Dougan

We might disagree with EU, but what UK did is so dumb. Now they are know as " the sick racists" and because of it they believed all the lies.
European countries should educate more on the idea of the EU, if not you'll end up doing something stupid as UK did. 
I understand some EU member that are voiceless or powerless within the Union, but UK has always had it's way. 
"The arrogance, xenophobia and the disagreement have won now", wrote another Spanish immigrant in UK.
As you can see we are all lost and in despair. We certainly need a new Europeland and even a new planet if we continue the way we are acting now.

As students, we praise and love diversity. Especially those  ones that want to learn about other cultures might find UK universities very attractive. That is why I understand the turbulence created by the referendum results. They are worried that they will lose attractiveness and funding. Their fears are right. If my university has been long delaying changes, now it's the time to speed up things and get to work. Some of the brightest students come from Europe and you don't want less than that. In defence to other students (non-European) we might say that they are not less important. It's the diversity that counts.  That's just adds up to the whole quality of teaching and research.

For us, working migrants there are a lot of good place left in Europe to go now. I have never considered this to be the Europe I wanted for myself.

I will suggest leaving as they spoke out against working migrants that contributed greatly in the development of this country and pay for their benefits and pensions. The ones that work hard are welcomed everywhere, and the ones that live on benefits would not be able to leave.
Those jobs held by migrants jobs that are unskilled and very unattractive for locals. I can hardly imagine they would come and work in my place on a minimum wage.

UK might have been the fastest and easiest way to job and learning English, but there is still opportunity in the rest of Europe for us. I am happy to be European from birth and EU citizen by adoption.

"Brexit is UK problem, not mine". I said that while wiping my tears off my face and thinking about the 4 mounts left from finishing my studies and completing my dissertation on Youth Unemployment. It has been a very though year for me, as Brexit would have made any difference.

jueves, 16 de junio de 2016

Update on my survey: Young, bright... but hopeless

Last time I spoke to my supervisor I told him I am planning to get around 100 participants for my survey. Just one week and I need to set a new goal. Young people are responding the questions and leaving long comments. It´s so heart-breaking to read all of them, that I feel the necessity to stop and take a deep breath. I am deeply affected and reminds me of all the headship I´ve been through. And I am not even there yet.
And I am not even "young". People are brutally honest with me, saying that people at my age and education have been managing huge projects. I have certainly failed, but even if I am not "young" anymore I am still fighting like one.
They go as far as saying what they would like to read and hear more of my opinion. Just with their comments I have half of my work done.
There is such an interest in my survey and people got it so serious (to my surprise and satisfaction) that I can´t understand why they get so upset because of some reason they were unable to finish the survey. There is a huge, burning desire somebody to hear them and blindly believing that somebody may solve their problem when the rest of Europe can´t even find Macedonia on the map.
We are not talking about highly educated people that have a lot to say and they are using every bit of my survey (the last part is to give their opinion) to do that.
Looks like I have nailed it with my chosen methodology knowing that people would feel more motivated in the comfort of their home instead of chasing them around Macedonia. I get participants from all over the country. Macedonia has a very good coverage and high speed internet connection. Young people use phone and computer to connect. Anyway, I was too scared to walk houses and be bitten by dogs.
We are hearing about initiatives regarding Europe's  youth unemployment, but that is nothing compared to Macedonian youth. They don´t need to be more educated or skilled, just to build up their self-confidence and take the initiative in their own hands. No initiative can be that important if they don´t include Macedonia, where there is a rampant unemployment and very low employment rate overall. The youth unemployment is among the highest, more than 50 percent. No youth initiative can call itself European (and it´s not even worth looking at) if it doesn´t include Macedonia and maybe the rest of Europe that we are not so proud off.
Unfortunately, this is just a Msc Development studies dissertation in some university, where all my professors think I am a complete idiot and the rest that I should just kill myself for being useless to find a job in what I am studding for ages.
I chose to study something not only what I am passionate about but also something I can speak my mind and hoping that somebody can use my ideas.
Not "young" and not "smart" but still believing that my dissertation can reach far beyond the University board and touch people hearts the way they touched mine.
I got so emotional when I read all the comments Macedonian youth leaves for me, and I know that I am doing a great thing choosing to tackle a problem that really matters and share it with the public.
That is my motivation to do great on my dissertation and believing if it´s too good I might be able to share my suggestion to solving the problem with relevant institutions and they might do something about that.
We all know I am not getting the best mark for my work, but that wont´t discourage me. I have better motivation than that. In fact I got the best motivation. And I have had great marks in the past, but that nothing changed. Why bother to impress few when I can do more than that.
The world of international development is itself full of contradictions and injustice. And than, there is the rest of the world equally unjust and scary, to say at least.
Let´s just brace ourselves and leave it to the rich kids to get us out of the misery. Unfortunately, being poor is missing on all the good chances.

jueves, 2 de junio de 2016

Светски Организации, двојни аршини и непропорционална застапеност

Овие што се мафтаат низ Македонија и ви држат лекции од Европска Унија, Фондот за развој од Обединетите Нации, се сите странци од развиените земји. И не дека се попаметни туку дека се од богати семејства можат да си дозволат скапи универзитети и пракса да работат без пари во седиштата на овие организации и потоа да најдат работа таму или на друго место.
Многу пати сум укажувала на ова дека ние кои сами се финансираме не можиме да си дозволиме да плаќаме да работиме.
Исто така има доста суденти чие студирање е финансирано од фондови на Агенции за Развој што имаат посебни интереси (политички) за развој на тие подрачја.
Со сите напори, материјални и човечки ресурси кои ги фрлаат по Африка и Блискиот Исток чиниш сите проблеми ќе се решат. Но не е така. На крај, застапеноста на вработените од развиените земји е далеку поголема. Се губи врската со реалноста во државата и се предлагаат комични решенија.
Заради оваа и други причини напорот да се решат сите светски проблеми е бизнис како и секој друг. Во некои случаеви остваруваме добивка од економската активност, но во случајот на невладините организации „добивката„ се остварува само доколку има човечки страдања да ја оправдаат нивната „активност„.
Често се критикуваат дека се јавуваат само во ситуации кога најлошото се случило, дека се нетранспаретни како ги трошат средствата или дека не може да се земат одговорни за лошите резултати.
Причината, поради која што сум на студии по Развојни Науки, за потоа да работам во доменот на Меѓународниот развој, е доказ дека верувам во работата што ја работат во невладиниот сектор. Проблемот е што не можам да замижам пред она што е се повеќе очигледно и дека разбирам зошто е така.
И јас сум се прашувала зошто низ Македонија некој друг треба да дојди да ни кажи што да правиме. И тогаш и сега сакам да има поголема застапеност на кадар кој произлегува од земјата на интерес.
Во меѓународен контекст секогаш било така.
Непропорционална застапеност во меѓународните организации е една од основните критики за слабата корист што ја имаат средно развиените и неразвиените земји.
Еве неколку примери.
Седиштето на Светската Трговска Организација е во Женева. Претставниците од неразвиените земји и оние кои како нив не можат да си платат луѓе да ги претставува таму во преговорите или да им плаќа престој е очигледна дури и на страницата на Организацијата. Женева е скап град за живот и многу од нивните членки не можат да си дозволат свои претставници. Помалку развиените земји се непропорционално претсавени во однос на другите, побогатите и заради тоа се често немоќни да влијаат на одлуките кои се носат во корист на Меѓународните компании.
Друг пример е со Светската Организација за Фер Трговија. Верувам во таа идеја. Знам дека во пракса не функционира, но сепак замислата е прекрасна. Да им платиме фер цени на малите земјоделци за одржлив развој а при тоа добиваме висококвалитетни производи е идеал кон кој се работи.
Седиштето на Светската Организација за Фер Трговија во Лондон е во едно од најесклузивните населби во центарот каде се плаќа висока кирија. И не, не е една канцеларија, туку цела зграда која прекрасно изгледа. Додека земјоделците во светот работат за една мизерна заработувачка, овие се распослале на  сред Лондон.
Лично толку бев воодушевена од идејата за Фер Трговија, така што кога еден професор од Универзитетот во Манчестер ми укажа на овој факт се почувствував како идиот.
Ова е доказ дека зад секоја добра идеја се крие банда на бирократи чиј шеф ја загубил врската со останатиот свет и идејата за подобро утре.