Evgenija Milenkova
Evgenija MIlenkova, Graduated Philologist in Italian translation studies and international volunteer at Movement for decent work and welfare society

I came to Slovenia in September 2020 because I enrolled in postgraduate studies in Human Resources and I was very excited to start a new chapter in my life, to be part of a new environment that will bring me new experiences. Unfortunately, this lasted a very short time, and like everyone else due to the pandemic, my opportunities to get to know Slovenia and integrate better into society were limited. As a person with dynamic life and who loves to meet new people and face new challenges, my everyday life has become a routine. I attended college classes from home, while at the same time working as an Italian and English teacher and a translator. Studying, teaching, translating from home-that was my daily routine for four months. I returned to Macedonia in January, visiting my family for the Christmas holidays, and stayed for almost four months due to circumstances with Covid 19, and I kept wondering if my plans for a prosperous future in Slovenia would come true if the pandemic kept the world from functioning normally. My hope returned when my colleague Sara Velkovska, who is also a volunteer in the organization Movement for Decent Work and Welfare Society, asked me if I wanted to be part of the volunteering too. I immediately agreed to know that this would be an ideal opportunity for me to gain new knowledge and expand my acquaintances.

Before I got familiar with the organization, I had never heard of the term precariat, nor its deep meaning. While volunteering at the Red Cross of Skopje, I often met socially neglected families who had precarious jobs and who were at daily risk of losing them. Witnessing their insecurity, I kept wondering how they could be helped, whether the state was affected by their situation. In many conversations with them, I often heard the sentence: “I do not know if I will have the job tomorrow, but for me, the money must be coming at the moment.” I was going home with the question of how these families have secure existence without having reliable support behind them? Getting acquainted with the activities of the organization and what it stands for, I was immediately reminded of these moments, of these families, and realized that I got a chance to help people get informed with the term precariat and raise awareness of its danger.

My first meeting with Ljubljana

I am now at the beginning of my volunteering and to be able to act productively in the activities of the organization, I must first be educated about the precariat. So, I was provided with a lot of quality materials, books that helped me understand what this term means, what its history is, who is affected, what are its risks and consequences. I pass my days with the British Professor Guy Standing, who writes on economics and labor market policy, unemployment, social welfare, and especially highlights the emergence of the precarious class. Reading on this topic, I feel more and more affected by it, because I, as a literary translator, believe that I belong to this class, given the fact that translation contracts for books are not in the long term, and publishing houses do not guarantee that after one translated book will follow immediately another.

From this point of view, I hope that my volunteering in Movement for Decent Work and Welfare Society will contribute to even the slightest change towards precarious workers, that I will gain knowledge and experience on this topic and will be able to successfully transfer them to the community, as well as I am certain that the organization will help me develop my skills, which I am sure will be a plus in my personal and professional upgrade.

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