A-SMYLE Alumni Volunteer in Djerdap Nation Park

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By Teodora Milojevic, A-SMYLE Serbia ‘13

A-SMYLE alumni get to working cleaning the park.

A-SMYLE alumni get to working cleaning the park.

What makes us humans is not our physiology or the ability to think and make decisions, but the feeling of empathy and readiness to help, improve, and do good.  Led by that, on September 21, twelve A-SMYLE alumni dedicated a couple of hours to help the environment and show the importance of preserving our natural beauties.

On Saturday morning, we went to one of the Serbia’s biggest treasures: Djerdap National Park, which is full of beautiful lakes, sights, and wildlife.  However the whole picture was ruined by an immense quantity of plastic bottles, bags, and similar leftovers.  What we saw motivated us even more to do the clean-up and to make Djerdap look as it is supposed to.

Just a few of the bags full of PET packaging.

Volunteers picked up garbage and separated it into different bags for trash and recycling.  The amount of trash that was found there was surprising, but we worked without any falter.  We took care of the walking path and Boljetinska river, which was a real challenge.  From it we filled 50 bags full of PET packaging.

The clean-up was very successful and there was an obvious difference after our volunteer action.  Later in the day, we went to the visitor center where we got a chance to learn more about the park.  The group of people who worked there was wonderful, and with good company, you can barely notice the time passing by.

The whole day was hard-working, but fun and inspiring.  We hope that people will follow our lead and realize the importance of taking care of all the natural beauties that Serbia has.