PS “Panajot Ginovski” from Butel organises activities for multiethnic cooperation

This is the third year since the Primary School “Panajot Ginovski” from Butel has been actively involved in the activities of the Strengthening Multiethnic Cooperation in Municipalities Project, supported by the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation. This school year, the “Blacksmiths of Learning” school club has been actively working in the school, where the students, working together, will revive the old crafts, learn about the old architecture of Skopje, and also be encouraged to research and create creative products.

One of the first activities of the school club was the visit to the Skopje Old Bazaar, where the students visited the old craft shops. They visited a blacksmith workshop, a woodworking workshop, as well as a goldsmith, а shоеmаkеr and а weaving workshop for authentic folk costumes and related products.

A parent of one of the students, who was encouraged by such an initiative, taught them the creative technique of Decoupage – the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper onto an object, in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and other decorative elements. The students jointly produced their first creative handcrafts made of well-processed chipboard and various decorative napkins.

The teachers find big motivation in their students’ creative ideas and proposals, and that is why they are more than happy to assist them in realizing all their ideas.

“The great interest of the students is the reason why we unselfishly invest ourselves in the extracurricular activities where they have the main say. The cheerful conversations, the interesting discussions and the workshops are additional motives for us to make extra efforts. All of this is the source of our creativity, but the creativity of the students plays a large part, too. They are an inexhaustible source of ideas and opportunities. At times, it seems that the creativity of the students has no limits. All of this is the driving force behind our creativity and our commitment that enabled the school club to function for three years now”, say the teachers.

The students also believe that the extracurricular activities are interesting and that they result in change and improvement of their integration.

“I have been part of the project for two years. I can say that, first, I feel the changes in myself, and then in the other students, regardless as to whether they are from my class or from the other classes. The positive examples I can point out are the facts that we spend more time together and we cooperate more. At the beginnings of the school club, when we would enter the classroom where we were supposed to work we did not mingle, but now we have a great time together, not only during the school club, but also during the recesses and in other activities. We even walk home from school together”, says the student Jana Sotirov.

“In this school club we have realized that we need to be together regardless of our physical appearance, religion, race and nationality. We spend each class together trying to learn the mother tongue of the others, sometimes we mix up the words, sometimes we explain using our hands, but in the end we understand each other”, adds Hana Ramani.

In the coming period, this group of students will continue to work within the “Blacksmiths of Learning” school club, creatively developing all the foreseen activities.

This activity is part of the Strengthening Multiethnic Cooperation in Municipalities Project, funded by the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation. The main goal of the project is to increase interethnic integration in the society, promoting multiculturalism and actively involving the students of different ethnic backgrounds in various activities.