Difference between pages "Bulgaria" and "Macedonia"

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In 1991, a year after the first free elections following the collapse of the Communist government, [http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=117822], the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Bulgaria to partner with the people and government of Bulgaria. These first Volunteers focused on teaching English. Since the late 1990s, Bulgaria has made exceptional progress in its transition to a decentralized, market-oriented economic system.
 
  
This rapid development, however, has also exacerbated a host of socioeconomic problems. Positive news about the economy is tempered by extremely high unemployment, particularly in rural areas of the country and gripping poverty among the elderly, minorities, and other groups. Environmental degradation is prevalent, as concern for economic recovery and growth outpaced efforts to protect and restore the environment.
+
The Republic of Macedonia is making significant efforts to develop a society based on democratic principles, establish a viable market economy, and explore new forms of governance that respect diversity and human rights. Although progress has been made, both inflation and unemployment rates remain high, while industrial production continues to fall.
 
+
In March 2004, Bulgaria became a member state of the NATO alliance and on January 1, 2007 Bulgaria joined the European Union. Although, many observers question whether Bulgaria will achieve all of the steps required within this timeframe. The development of civil society institutions such as NGOs, rule of law, and a shared sense of economic justice remain important challenges for Bulgaria to overcome as it pursues further integration into Europe.
+
 
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In response to Bulgaria's expressed needs, Peace Corps Volunteers work in the areas of English language education, youth development, and community and organizational development. As Bulgaria and local capacity have evolved, Peace Corps/Bulgaria has responded by focusing on grassroots community development, particularly in underserved and remote communities.
+
 
+
All Peace Corps Volunteers in Bulgaria serve as community development workers. All are highly encouraged to help youth learn life skills. Most Volunteers who are not focused on English language education still actively help community members improve their English language skills.
+
 
+
Bulgaria is at a stage in its rapid development where Peace Corps Volunteers can have a significant and rewarding impact, as many local organizations and youth are eager for new ideas. Peace Corps Volunteers are excellent role models for Bulgarian youth and catalysts for organizational change. As Bulgaria prepares to accede to the European Union, Peace Corps/Bulgaria continues to evolve and respond to Bulgaria's rapid social and economic change.  
+
  
 +
Currently, Volunteers serve in small towns, villages, and regional centers throughout the country. They assist Macedonia in its challenging transition by working in English language education serving in primary and secondary schools, and assisting and serving in nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and local governments to improve their organizational, managerial skills, and practices. Volunteers work in education and community development.
  
  
 
==Peace Corps History==
 
==Peace Corps History==
  
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Bulgaria]]''
+
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Macedonia]]''
  
In 1991, a year after peaceful public protest led to changes in Bulgaria’s political structure and direction, the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Bulgaria to teach English at secondary schools and universities. The first group of economic development Volunteers arrived the following year. Environmental Volunteers started assignments throughout the country in September 1995, and in 2003, the youth development program (YD) was initiated. In 2004, the community and economic development (CED) and environmental programs were merged to create a community and organizational development program (COD), with the goal of providing a comprehensive approach to assisting with community development at the local level.
+
The Peace Corps received an invitation from the government of Macedonia in March 1996 to initiate and develop a program. By the beginning of June 1996, the first group of seven trainees arrived. They completed training in August and were assigned to the Ministry of Education’s secondary school English education program. Over the next three years, Peace Corps/Macedonia grew to include programs in business, environmental education, and municipal development.
  
As of November 2006, almost 800 Volunteers have served in Bulgaria. Currently, 165 Volunteers are in-country; approximately half of them teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) in primary and secondary schools, the other half are in the COD and YD programs.  
+
Because of the political unrest in neighboring Kosovo, the Peace Corps program in Macedonia was suspended in 1999. The confusion and tension resulting from the sudden influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Macedonia were simply too great to safely continue Peace Corps operations. The surprisingly quick return of these refugees to Kosovo meant that the Peace Corps was able to resume operations after only a six-month suspension.  
  
  
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
+
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles==
  
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Bulgaria]]''
+
''Main article: [[Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles in Macedonia]]''
 
+
Housing is generally provided by a Volunteer’s sponsoring organization. Most Volunteers live in a modest studio or one-bedroom apartment with plumbing, heating, and electricity. The range of available housing may vary greatly between Volunteers and sites. If you live in a town or city, you will likely live in an apartment in a communist-style housing “block,” that, from the exterior, resembles the high-rises in public housing projects in U.S. cities.
+
 
+
Volunteers assigned to smaller communities should be prepared for the possibility that they may live in a private room in the home of a Bulgarian family. This can offer huge advantages in terms of being accepted into a local family and being “taken care of.” Note that Bulgarian standards of privacy differ from those in the U.S. It is also common that landlords may leave some of their personal items in an apartment that they are renting out.
+
 
+
Your heat source could be either one or more portable heaters, central heat, or wood-burning stoves in some rural areas. Heat and electricity are very expensive, and Bulgarians usually only heat the room they are currently in. They usually only turn on their hot water boiler when they are planning to take a shower. Expect for it to be cold inside during the winter, and for it to be very hot during the summer. Indoor climate control concepts differ from what you are likely used to in the U.S.
+
  
 +
Housing must adhere to Peace Corps-defined standards and the Peace Corps staff visits all proposed living arrangements to evaluate their suitability. Most Volunteers live with host families. Some still live in small, modest apartments, either a studio or a one-bedroom with a kitchen, with basic furniture and provisions for security. Volunteers should be prepared to serve in any region of Macedonia.
  
 
==Training==
 
==Training==
  
''Main article: [[Training in Bulgaria]]''
+
''Main article: [[Training in Macedonia]]''
  
Prior to being sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will participate in an intensive 11-week training program. The training is conducted in Bulgaria and is based on adult learning principles. The training focuses on Bulgarian language study, cross-cultural adjustment and adaptation, health and personal safety, and development of technical skills.
+
Before you are sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will participate in an intensive 11-week training program. The training uses a community-based approach, which means that you will live in villages and small towns surrounding a larger hub town. During training, Trainees live with Macedonian or Albanian families. The training focuses on studying the Macedonian language and, for some, the Albanian and Macedonian languages, in addition to cross-cultural adaptation, health and personal safety, and technical skills development. This period is a time for you to reexamine your commitment to be a Volunteer in Macedonia. It is also a time for the Peace Corps staff members to get to know you and be assured that your skills and attitude are a good match for the program in Macedonia. Throughout the training period, self-assessment as well as assessment by the Peace Corps staff will measure your progress toward meeting training objectives.
  
Training will take place in a small community, where you will live with a host family and study the Bulgarian language with four or five other trainees. This community-based training involves a lot of experiential learning in which community members are called upon to cooperate in the training process. Periodically, you will join other trainees from your group at a hub site, where you will receive training in administrative, technical, medical, and safety matters.
+
==Your Health Care and Safety==
  
 +
''Main article: [[Health Care and Safety in Macedonia]]''
  
==Health Care and Safety==
+
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Macedonia maintains a clinic with one full-time Peace Corps medical officer (PCMO) and one part-time medical officer, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs.
  
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in Bulgaria]]''
+
Additional medical services, such as testing and some treatment, are also available in Macedonia at local hospitals. If a Volunteer becomes seriously ill, he or she will be transported to either a more advanced medical facility in the region or to the United States.  
 
+
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Bulgaria maintains a health unit with three full-time medical officers (Bulgarian physicians), a medical assistant, and a medical secretary. The medical staff takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs as a team.
+
 
+
Additional medical services, such as laboratory testing, imaging diagnostics, and evaluation by specialists are also available in Bulgaria at local facilities. Usually the complete medical evaluation and treatment is done in country by the medical officers. If you become seriously ill or injured, you will be transported either to the closest regional medical facility or to the capital for emergency care and treatment. If your condition requires further evaluation or treatment that is unavailable in Bulgaria, then the Office of Medical Services (OMS), Peace Corps, Washington, D.C., approves medevac to a country with better medical standards in the Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia (EMA) region (regional medevac) or to the United States (most frequently to your home of record). If your condition requires more than 45 days for complete resolution or has a long-term effect on your health, OMS will determine whether you are able to complete your Peace Corps service.  
+
  
  
 
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
 
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
  
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Bulgaria]]''
+
''Main article: [[Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Macedonia]]''
  
In Bulgaria, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Bulgaria.
+
In Macedonia, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Macedonia.
  
Outside of Bulgaria’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Bulgaria are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.  
+
Outside of Macedonia’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Macedonia are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.  
  
 
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
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* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
* Possible Issues for Married Volunteers
 
  
  
==Frequently Asked Questions==
+
==Frequently Asked questions==
  
 
{{Volunteersurvey2008
 
{{Volunteersurvey2008
|H1r=  61
+
|H1r=  38
|H1s=  66
+
|H1s=  72.2
|H2r=  49
+
|H2r=  12
|H2s=  80.3
+
|H2s=  87.8
|H3r=  55
+
|H3r=  7
|H3s=  80.3
+
|H3s=  89.5
|H4r=  51
+
|H4r=  14
|H4s=  102.5
+
|H4s=  110.5
|H5r=  58
+
|H5r=  37
|H5s=  44.9
+
|H5s=  53
|H6r=  62
+
|H6r=  59
|H6s=  67
+
|H6s=  69.7
 
}}
 
}}
  
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Bulgaria]]''
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''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Macedonia]]''
  
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Bulgaria?
+
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Macedonia?
* What is the electric current in Bulgaria?
+
* What is the electric current in Macedonia?
 
* How much money should I bring?
 
* How much money should I bring?
 
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
 
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
 
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
 
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
* What should I bring as gifts for Bulgarian friends and my host family?
+
* What should I bring as gifts for Macedonian friends and my host family?
 
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
 
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
 
* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
 
* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
* Can I call home from Bulgaria?
+
* Can I call home from Macedonia?
 
* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
 
* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
 
  
  
 
==Packing List==
 
==Packing List==
  
''Main article: [[Packing list for Bulgaria]]''
+
''Main article: [[Packing List for Macedonia]]''
  
The following recommendations are based on the experiences of Volunteers who have served in Bulgaria. Use them as an informal guide, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything that is mentioned, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. Many past and current Volunteers wish they had not brought so many clothes and toiletries and had instead focused on specialty items. You should not hesitate to bring items of sentimental value that will help you feel content at your site, but you can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 100-pound weight limit on checked luggage; you will be responsible for any fees for overweight baggage. Except where otherwise indicated, all the following items are available in Bulgaria; they are listed here as items to bring because the quality of the items may be inferior, their price may be significantly higher, or they may not be regularly available in Bulgaria.
+
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Macedonia and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 102pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Macedonia.
  
 
* General Clothing
 
* General Clothing
 +
* Shoes
 
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 
* Kitchen
 
* Kitchen
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Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
 
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
  
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22bulgaria%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
+
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22macedonia%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
  
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/bu/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
+
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/mk/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
  
 
==Country Fund==
 
==Country Fund==
  
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=313-CFD Bulgaria Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Bulgaria. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
+
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=249-CFD Macedonia Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Macedonia. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
 +
 
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
* [[Volunteers who served in Bulgaria]]
+
* [[Volunteers who served in Macedonia]]
* [[Bulgaria sites|Sites where volunteers have served in Bulgaria]]
+
* [[Friends of Macedonia]]
* [[Friends of Bulgaria]]
+
* [[List of resources for Bulgaria]]
+
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
+
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 +
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 +
* [[List of resources for Macedonia]]
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/bu.html Peace Corps Journals - Bulgaria]
+
* One PCV's blog: http://takingchancesapeacecorpsjourney.blogspot.com
 +
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/mk.html Peace Corps Journals - Macedonia]
  
[[Category:Bulgaria]] [[Category:Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
+
[[Category:Macedonia]] [[Category:Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
 +
[[Category:open]]
 
[[Category:Country]]
 
[[Category:Country]]

Latest revision as of 11:46, 22 May 2014


The Republic of Macedonia is making significant efforts to develop a society based on democratic principles, establish a viable market economy, and explore new forms of governance that respect diversity and human rights. Although progress has been made, both inflation and unemployment rates remain high, while industrial production continues to fall.

Currently, Volunteers serve in small towns, villages, and regional centers throughout the country. They assist Macedonia in its challenging transition by working in English language education serving in primary and secondary schools, and assisting and serving in nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and local governments to improve their organizational, managerial skills, and practices. Volunteers work in education and community development.


Peace Corps History[edit]

Main article: History of the Peace Corps in Macedonia

The Peace Corps received an invitation from the government of Macedonia in March 1996 to initiate and develop a program. By the beginning of June 1996, the first group of seven trainees arrived. They completed training in August and were assigned to the Ministry of Education’s secondary school English education program. Over the next three years, Peace Corps/Macedonia grew to include programs in business, environmental education, and municipal development.

Because of the political unrest in neighboring Kosovo, the Peace Corps program in Macedonia was suspended in 1999. The confusion and tension resulting from the sudden influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Macedonia were simply too great to safely continue Peace Corps operations. The surprisingly quick return of these refugees to Kosovo meant that the Peace Corps was able to resume operations after only a six-month suspension.


Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles[edit]

Main article: Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles in Macedonia

Housing must adhere to Peace Corps-defined standards and the Peace Corps staff visits all proposed living arrangements to evaluate their suitability. Most Volunteers live with host families. Some still live in small, modest apartments, either a studio or a one-bedroom with a kitchen, with basic furniture and provisions for security. Volunteers should be prepared to serve in any region of Macedonia.

Training[edit]

Main article: Training in Macedonia

Before you are sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will participate in an intensive 11-week training program. The training uses a community-based approach, which means that you will live in villages and small towns surrounding a larger hub town. During training, Trainees live with Macedonian or Albanian families. The training focuses on studying the Macedonian language and, for some, the Albanian and Macedonian languages, in addition to cross-cultural adaptation, health and personal safety, and technical skills development. This period is a time for you to reexamine your commitment to be a Volunteer in Macedonia. It is also a time for the Peace Corps staff members to get to know you and be assured that your skills and attitude are a good match for the program in Macedonia. Throughout the training period, self-assessment as well as assessment by the Peace Corps staff will measure your progress toward meeting training objectives.

Your Health Care and Safety[edit]

Main article: Health Care and Safety in Macedonia

The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Macedonia maintains a clinic with one full-time Peace Corps medical officer (PCMO) and one part-time medical officer, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs.

Additional medical services, such as testing and some treatment, are also available in Macedonia at local hospitals. If a Volunteer becomes seriously ill, he or she will be transported to either a more advanced medical facility in the region or to the United States.


Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues[edit]

Main article: Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Macedonia

In Macedonia, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Macedonia.

Outside of Macedonia’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Macedonia are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.

  • Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
  • Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
  • Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities


Frequently Asked questions[edit]

Macedonia
2008 Volunteer Survey Results

How personally rewarding is your overall Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H1r::38|}}
Score:
2008 H1s::72.2|}}
Today would you make the same decision to join the Peace Corps?|}} Rank:
2008 H2r::12|}}
Score:
2008 H2s::87.8|}}
Would you recommend Peace Corps service to others you think are qualified?|}} Rank:
2008 H3r::7|}}
Score:
2008 H3s::89.5|}}
Do you intend to complete your Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H4r::14|}}
Score:
2008 H4s::110.5|}}
How well do your Peace Corps experiences match the expectations you had before you became a Volunteer?|}} Rank:
2008 H5r::37|}}
Score:
2008 H5s::53|}}
Would your host country benefit the most if the Peace Corps program were---?|}} Rank:
2008 H6r::59|}}
Score:
2008 H6s::69.7|}}
2008BVS::Macedonia


Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in Macedonia

  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Macedonia?
  • What is the electric current in Macedonia?
  • How much money should I bring?
  • When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
  • Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
  • Do I need an international driver’s license?
  • What should I bring as gifts for Macedonian friends and my host family?
  • Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
  • How can my family contact me in an emergency?
  • Can I call home from Macedonia?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?


Packing List[edit]

Main article: Packing List for Macedonia

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Macedonia and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 102pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Macedonia.

  • General Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
  • Kitchen
  • Miscellaneous

Peace Corps News[edit]

Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by country of service or your home state

The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.
<rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22macedonia%22&output=rss%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cdate=M d</rss>


PEACE CORPS JOURNALS
( As of Wednesday September 3, 2014 )<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/mk/blog/50.xml%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cmax=10</rss>

Country Fund[edit]

Contributions to the Macedonia Country Fund will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Macedonia. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]