At the start of the 2019/2020 school year, students from the secondary school “Kole Nehtenin” from Stip organized a humanitarian action for donating funds to the State Secondary School for Education and Rehabilitation “Iskra”. They raised the funds by selling various food products that they themselves prepared and sold during the play that they performed at the end of the previous school year. The play “Together in the Future” was the final result of the several months’ participation of around thirty students from “Kole Nehtenin” in creative workshops, supported by the USAID Youth Ethnic Integration Project.
“Students from SSS “Iskra” participated in the play together with us. We called it “Together in the Future” because we wanted to send a message that we are all equal. Unfortunately, students with special educational needs are rejected and discriminated in our society. There were more than 100 guests in the audience – parents, teachers and students from all schools in Stip. Our parents were especially proud and satisfied”, said Slavica Ivanovska, a student in the secondary school “Kole Nehtenin” from Stip.
Slavica Ivanovska, a student in the secondary school “Kole Nehtenin” from Stip
Julijana Atanasova, a special educator in SSS “Iskra” believes that these initiatives have a very positive influence on young people.
“We have an excellent cooperation with the secondary school “Kole Nehtenin”, regardless of whether we work as part of a project’s activity or something else. Very often, they come to our school and the children spend time together. It is very important for the students in our school to feel accepted”, says Atanasova.
A scene from the play “Together in the Future”
The humanitarian character of the play strengthened the closeness and partnership of both schools. Supported by the guests present at the play, the students succeeded to realize their idea.
“We decided to donate the funds to the SSS “Iskra”, because we believed that they needed them the most. It is important for young people to participate in these activities, to help other children and people that need help, to volunteer”, said Slavica.
Young people from SS “Kole Nehtenin” from Stip in a humanitarian action
The importance of youth activism was also emphasized during the creative workshops. The students discussed the real problems in their city and the possible manners to overcome them.
“In my opinion, there are many things that need improvement in our city, but I would like to emphasize the problem with the environment. We need to raise the environmental awareness both in young and older people. We choose the society in which we will live, we should be responsible and aware of that“, said Slavica.
Soon, they plan a similar initiative that will bring together a higher number of students and it will be aimed at resolving the problem with the environment and cleanliness in the city.
“Together with the students, we will organize a walk along the river quay, we will analyze what is missing and see which areas need to be cleaned. Immediately after that we will visit the Mayor and ask for support from the Municipality and, together with their assistance, we will try to organize a concrete action“, added the teachers Zaklina Atova and Vilma Ilievska.
The creative workshops were also a place where the students had fun by learning how to make real changes in their surroundings. They encouraged many joint activities and cooperation among the schools.
Awarding certificates to the students from DSU “Iskra” for their participation in the play
“I have a very positive experience from the creative workshops. I had fun – at the beginning we played games in order to get to know each other better and become friends, and then, we focused more on the play. Often we stayed after later because we had fun, we all built strong friendships. This was my first time participating in such an activity and I would like to have more such activities in the school in the future”, said Slavica.
This activity is part of the Youth Ethnic Integration Project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
This article is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of MCEC and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.