On May 28, 2019, more than 100 young people from Kumanovo organized a volunteer action for arranging one of the parks in the city, with the support of the Municipality of Kumanovo and the USAID Youth Ethnic Integration Project, in cooperation with Youth Educational Forum. The action brought together students from the “Pero Nakov” and “Kiro Burnaz” secondary schools, and it was also attended by the Acting Country Representative to the USAID Office in North Macedonia, Gretchen Birkle, U.S. Defense Attaché LTC Eric Rice and MAJ Patrick E. Enriquez, Office of Defense Cooperation, U.S. Embassy.
The youth cleaned up the trash in the park and placed garbage bins, cut the grass, planted flowers, replaced the damaged boards on the benches, painted the concrete and metal structures in the park and installed new lighting fixtures in the park.
The youth initiative is a result of a long-term process that began in April when students from different ethnic communities met for the first time and discussed the problems they face as young people in their city. Then the students gave concrete proposals for solving the problems and met with the mayor of the municipality to give him a letter with concrete recommendations for the beautification of the city.
“We felt that we want to contribute to the improvement of the local community and therefore we are sending a letter with recommendations that we believe will contribute to our goal to improve the situation in the city’s infrastructure and provide more suitable space for recreation and leisure for all citizens in our city. Since this park is located near the school, but also in the vicinity of several residential buildings, its renovation is of utmost importance for the city” reads the letter of the students through which they expressed their willingness to engage in volunteer action and requested support from the municipality for the realization of the action.
The USAID Youth Ethnic Integration Project is a five-year initiative to strengthen interethnic cohesion among young people and develop democratic and civic attitudes. Through creating opportunities for students to socialize and collaborate on various civic initiatives, the project fosters positive interactions between ethnically diverse youth at school and community level.
This school year, the municipality of Kumanovo in partnership with the USAID Youth Ethnic Integration Project, renovated two schools with financial support from the United States European Command. The windows in the classrooms and the floor in one classroom were changed in the “Pero Nakov” secondary school, while the “Kiril i Metodij” secondary school in the village of Romanovce, Kumanovo saw the replacement of the windows and doors in the school building of the central school.
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.