At the beginning of June 2019, about 30 students from the primary schools in the Municipality of Butel organized a youth action in the City Park in Skopje. The students placed message boards at several locations in the park, which, according to the young people, will contribute to raising the awareness for the preservation of the environment and the harmful consequences of the careless littering of the ponds and the green areas of the park, while encouraging the visitors from different ethnic communities, especially the youngest ones, to engage in recreational activities together and to respect each other.
Daniela Adamova, the Head of the Education Department within the City of Skopje, joined the youth during the initiative and pointed out that the City of Skopje will continue to pay great attention and hear the needs of the youth. She also emphasized the need for cooperation between the institutions and the civil sector for the purpose of achieving positive and long-term changes.
This initiative is the final product of the long-term process which involved the students within the USAID Youth Ethnic Integration Project, supported by the City of Skopje and organized in cooperation with the Youth Educational Forum. At the beginning of September 2018, students from different ethnic backgrounds jointly celebrated the International Day of Peace in the City Park in Skopje, identifying several flaws in the park.
Afterwards, during the critical thinking, argumentative speech and student initiatives workshop organized in October 2018, the students provided specific suggestions for addressing the flaws. At the beginning of February 2019, in order to communicate their ideas and initiatives to the responsible institutions, the youth met with the Mayor of the City of Skopje, Petre Silegov, and handed him a letter with concrete proposals.
During the next school year, the City of Skopje, in cooperation with the Project, will support at least two youth initiatives and will continue to support the schools to organize activities to improve the integration of young people from different ethnic backgrounds and strengthen their civic values.
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.