Second Regional Convention of MladiCe (YouthC, C-code for Cancer) „I want to know – 2story″ was held in Belgrade from 20–24th August 2014. Convention gathered 53 young cancer survivors from all ex-YU countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Also, convention gathered psychologists, parents, guardians, sociologists and volunteers, and for the first time even, some volunteers from abroad (Turkey).
First day passed in arrivals, accommodation setting and getting to know each other. We welcomed our guests with bread and salt as per tradition in Serbia. Meeting and socializing officially begun at the open in front of museum “25th May”, where there is quiet and nice nature surroundings with park. Dinner was in one of the most famous pizzerias in town “Eagle”,
and just before enjoying that taste from the oven, all Balkan MladiCe presented their groups and work in the past year.
Next day, as planned to be the goal of convention, was dedicated to workshops. They were interesting and related to gender, men and women behavior, power and relations as well as labeling and name-calling.
Through participation in those workshops and especially role play, we have learned something new, confirmed our present knowledge and totally lost any traces of stage fright jitters. And for the perfect ending of the day we played paintball after as team building activities. Those who skipped paintball for some reason used that time for the recess and to prepare for evening out, but later they really regretted not participating in this teambuilding game.
Evening in restaurant “Korchagin” was dedicated to collective music therapy and dance for chilling and building strength for new activities that awaited us tomorrow.
On the third day we had workshops for self-representation, relations with others, our and others perception, discrimination, prejudice, stereotypes. Day swept in
laughter and awesome fun cause concepts of the workshops was to role play and step by step discover what it is about. Some of the MladiCe didn’t like those workshops, but we, as their hosts from Serbia, and moderators from
Association Čika Boca encouraged them to speak out openly about their discontent.
And then, after hard day of work followed the ultimate best ever fun at the Convention prepared to raise our adrenalin levels – motorcycling from Ada to Avala (total of 50 km ride through the breezing air with professional bikers on Harley Davidson’s and similar). Impressive organized convoy with police escort of 60 motorcycles with us and our friends from Serbian Moto Clubs riding, left us all breathless and released us of various fears, as well as it gave us unique view on Belgrade itself.
On the last full day, Saturday, we spent forenoon to do evaluation of Convention. Than we dance tango on the grass in Therapy Garden at Ada Ciganlija resort, and we all pretty well
managed to learn tango basics. Dancing tango, we suddenly came up with the idea (and we did it!) to record video HAPPY MLADICE BALKAN.
After lunch, we trained American football with champions Wolfs (male team) and She-wolfs (female team) fully equipped, helmets and all. We learned throwing and catching ball as well as how to knock opponents. Those sport activities were delight both for MladiCe boys and girls. After football we had spare time to do whatever we wanted, swim in the lake, ride bikes, rollers, even some of them tattooing, coffee drinking and so on…
That evening, final one, appropriately we spent in the quarters of Association of Rock musicians of Serbia listening and actively singing with them ex-YU rock songs. We jumped, we sang, we danced, we even played instruments. Some of us are pretty good in all those things!
Before we knew, Sunday came, and we said goodbye to each other, already feeling how much we will all miss each other and looking forward to gather again in Zagreb next summer!
General impression after Second Regional Convention of MladiCe is that we all feel empowered, released from some of our “chains” and pressures, much more with positive attitude and certainly connected with each other. We bonded more this time, got close and came up with the great ideas which we will, I hope, realize in the near future.
Watch how MladiCe Balkan play some rock and our ride downtown Belgrade: