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was born in a small town in North Macedonia, where I was raised by a single mother, without job due to health and other issues. I was taught how to survive without anything and live on the edge as there’s no tomorrow from a very young age. We had rather miserable life, based on living with small savings for very long periods of time. It could happen to be without electricity & water quite often. No Electricity became so normal and not even a big deal for most of the seasons of the year (since we didn’t have any electrical devices). Water was cheaper than electricity so she would try to have it and we would always take a cold shower. It was the winter time that was the hardest. We used to use baskets with hot water boiled on small gas cylinder and try to manage from there (only the winter months). We would try to manage and have electricity at least one month during the winter so that we can sometimes open an old - good for nothing heater that a friend of mum’s gave us. Most of the time, on every day life basis we will wear out warm clothes, stay under blankets and warm one another by exhaling hot breath to each other’s back. As of diet we used to eat margarine, tea and bread (my mum was making 4 of them once in a month) for breakfast and onion potato salad or eggs and tomatoes for lunch almost every day. I don’t have any siblings and as there wasn’t much of a family I definitely grew up not only without father figure but also without even knowing what’s like to be part of some sort of togetherness. There was mostly loneliness and a try of presenting joy, possible happiness and giving love that was done by my mother. We would spend all the holidays, birthdays or any other days on our own. Going further about this matter will make it sound more dramatical, so I won’t go on any longer about all the things we or I was lacking. One thing I constantly managed to do since childhood and when I was a teenager is to be member of the small library we had in town. I used to read most of the time. Going in one of the two high schools that we had didn’t really bring me much of a knowledge as all the kids were not interested in learning anything, therefore the teachers didn’t bother to teach and were never some role models or an example of a grounded individuals that have an authority over the class. As I really wanted to study and learn things that was really frustrating to me, so I didn’t get along with them well and was considered as a black sheep (who wanna do what is supposed to be done in schools). I finished high school when I was 18 and obviously couldn’t afford university (but with our bad educational system) I wasn’t even willing to go for it so much. During the last year in high school I was already writing down ideas and making future plans, therefore have managed to find a basic job in Germany (the only country that easily accepted non EU citizens to work) and applied for visa, so when I was finishing high school I already got the visa and went. The story of Germany is rather full of content, as I was the youngest person and the only one who went to work in that place alone, so everyone was giving me compliments and was admiring - how brave and courageous I am. The living and working places were both located on a highway, so it was super hard to do anything expect for working and being in the room of the B&B I was living in at the time. As the working environment wasn’t pleasant and I was aspiring for education I saved all that I earned and went to Austria in order to study. I had a friend from there who was willing to help me by letting me stay in her house so I’d have free accommodation and can cover my studying fees and living expenses. Another long story short-after spending a lot on document translation, paper works, language certificate etc, I couldn’t succeed with enrolling in an Austrian university and they denied me for missing 1-2 words of information on one document. As my permit was expiring I had to return in my country and a month after I did that COVID-19 came out. It left me stuck living on the rest of my savings for some months and while having no clue where to go I got a random ticket to Turkey (cause it’s a cheap country) and came here in search for a better life. In the constant trial of getting some sort of education, managed to get TEFL course certification, as well as trying to learn programming but I don’t have any laptop so it’s very difficult. I’m here with a tourist visa, so I can’t legally work but I’m doing some online gigs to cover small life expenses and provide for my mum (her health issues are increased rapidly and in need of surgeries). There’s probably much more to say but the words are limited here, I gotta come to an end.

Thanks for taking time to read and if you decide to support me, please know that is highly appreciated and will be used to cover my mum’s huge upcoming health expenses, buy a laptop, simply make something of myself and grow up in this world. Bless you.

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Manasieva Jovana