By Nemanja Miltenovic, A-SMYLE Serbia ’13
For Global Youth Service Day, my friend Maja Pejcinovic (’13 A-SMYLE alumna) and I decided to do something that was much needed in our beloved city of Belgrade – a cleanup! We noticed that there has been a lot of trash lying around in parks, playgrounds and school grounds, and we decided to do something about it.
The first thing we needed were volunteers. Luckily, many of our friends were happy to help us out, because they also thought that something had to be done. For most of them, this was their first volunteer experience, so we had a task to make this project enjoyable for them.
We all gathered at the “Usce” shopping mall to hand out duties and talk about the day. From there, we went to the residence area in New Belgrade and started our project. We cleaned up three parks, a playground, and areas around three high schools (Tourism High School, Graphics High School, and the Ninth Belgrade High School). During our cleanup, we attracted many different people who were wondering what we were doing. After they found out, they were happy that the youth is taking care of the environment and some even helped us out.
At the end of the day, we filled up around 20 trash bags, which was big success for us, but it raises a big question for the community, since we cleaned up just a small part of the city. Is there something else we could do to keep our environment cleaner?