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MCIC has presented the awards for civil society and democracy and sustainable development

It depends on us

On 9 June this year, for the fifth time, the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation presented the Award for civil society and democracy and the Award for sustainable development “Gert Jan van Apeldoorn”. At the celebration in the Alexander Palace Hotel in Skopje, the number of laureates increased to eight, in comparison with the previous years.

“There are two reasons why MCIC has decided to establish and present these two awards”, said Saso Klekovski, MCIC executive manager in his address. ”It took us a long time to realize that things depend on us and that “we” starts with I. The second reason is our relation towards good and bad things. In spite of the fact that the latter exist, it should not disable us to see good ones and emphasize them more”, added Klekovski.

MCIC presented the Award for civil society and democracy to: the Ecological Association Vila Zora from Veles, for long-time achievements; the Women Organization of Sveti Nikole and the University of Southeast Europe for achievements in the previous year and the Macedonian Association for Fight against children’s cancer and leukemia “Peperutka” for transparency and informing.

MCIC presented the Award for sustainable development “Gert Jan van Apeldoorn” to: the Humanitarian Organization El Hilal and the Union of Macedonian Women Organizations, for long-time achievements; the Foundation for development of small and medium enterprises from Bitola and Mile Stojkoski, for achievements in the previous year.


Award for civil society and democracy for long-time contribution

Ecological association Vila Zora from Veles was presented the award for strengthening people’s participation in decisions, referring to them.

Vila Zora has initiated and carried out many tribunes, public appearances, lobbying, rallies, demonstrations directed towards protection and advancement of the environment and nature in the municipality of Veles. Thus Vila Zora has involved citizens and public opinion in the process of deciding upon their future.

“This award is not only an award for the members of Vila Zora”, said in his address D-r Nenad Kocic, president of Vila Zora, “we dedicate this award to our citizens who supported our association’s activities all these years. This is an award for the hundreds of citizens of Veles who in 2003 blocked the work of the biggest polluter in the town, for the journalists from the local and national media, who have always reported about our initiatives and activities. I would like to express my respect and thankfulness to the members of the associations, for their love and they giving a part of their soul for the association, dedicating many hours of work, sharing happiness and sadness, they have deserved this award”, added Kocic.

Award for sustainable development Gert Jan van Apeldoorn for long-time contribution

The Union of Macedonian Women Organizations was presented the award for promoting people’s development, with local and national initiatives in sectors such as education, health and social care and promotion of the right for equal opportunity and approach.

UMWO’s main achievements are in the area of women’s participation in political and public life, through proposals and lobbying for introducing quotas for bigger women representation on candidate lists for local and parliamentarian elections (as acts in laws on local and parliamentarian elections), lobbying and supporting strengthening of institutional mechanisms for gender equality (on national and local level); lobbying and changes and amendments in the Law on family (amendment related to family violence).

“We have been presented this prestigious award because the ones that proposed us believed in us, the ones that chose us believed in us and in the results we achieve and because we believe in us, too”, said Savka Todorovska, UMWO president, being presented the award. “We believe because for 15 years we have known how, why, we have our own vision, we have our objectives and we know there will not be any progress and democracy unless we work together”, she added.

Award for civil society and democracy for achievement in the previous year

The University of Southeast Europe
was presented this award for promotion of measures for building trust and respect.

The University of Southeast Europe is the first university that has used the possibility for use of languages of ethnic communities (Albanian) and has simultaneously kept non-Albanian communities’ trust (both students and teachers’). An indicator for this is the percentage of non-Albanian students at the University, more than 20%. The Southeast Europe University is consistently implementing the Bologna document.

“Exactly on this place four years ago his Excellency Max van der Schtul gathered a great number of media and people from the political and social life in order to announce the University’s opening,” said in his address Dzevair Memedi, general secretary of the University of Southeast Europe. Thanking on behalf of the Rector, Memedi expressed his conviction that “The University of Southeast Europe successfully bears the task to advance this country even more and to contribute for success in its joining EU”.

Award for civil society and democracy for transparency and informing

The Macedonian association for fight against children’s cancer and leukemia “Peperutka” was presented the award for building relations, networks, exchanges and communication between the organizations in the civil society sector with the state and private sector. In 2004 the organization had intensive public appearance pointing out problems with lack of cytostatics for children cancer and leukemia sufferers. Their public appearance made state institutions react in accordance with their obligations and medicaments for children sufferers were provided. It also influenced raising public awareness. All printed and electronic media supported and helped children cancer sufferers. Television tribunes were organized with institutions, as well as presenting many life stories of children sufferers. Over 50 appearances in electronic media were realized. Over 40 children were given financial help. The Oncology department at the Children’s clinic was partly reconstructed.

“We intent to turn to the society and announce that we are the ones who carry changes”, said Natasha Kotlar-Trajkovska, president of Peperutka. “We really started from ourselves. We wanted to show how much we can contribute by ourselves and not to wait for someone else to do something we can do on our own. I would like to thank you and call for you to direct your great energy towards all of us, towards this society that we all love, called Macedonia”, ended Kotlar-Trajkovska.

Award for sustainable development Gert Jan van Apeldoorn for achievements in the previous year

Mile Stojkoski
was presented the award for promotion and support of the right for equal opportunity and access.

During the Olympics in Greece, Mile Stojkoski went all the way from Prilep to Athens in his wheelchair, 704 km. Mile Stojkovski showed that handicapped people are not behind others and can give excellent results.

“What made me do this was to prove that we are also a part of that society and we are able to and we want to take part together with you in building our country”, said Mile Stojkoski. “See you in Beijing”, Stojkovski greeted the audience. 

Award for sustainable development Gert Jan van Apeldoorn for long-time contribution

The humanitarian organization El Hill
was presented the award for promotion and support of the right of individuals, groups and people to take part and enjoy continuous economic, social, cultural and political development where everyone will fully realize his human rights and fundamental freedoms.

El Hilal has been carrying out activities directed towards strengthening citizens’ solidarity for 14 years. In the socially-humanitarian sphere, El Hilal was active in support of refugees and poor citizens of Macedonia.

El Hilal also supports education of children from poorer families, especially in rural areas.

“At the moment I am having pleasant feelings that after many years of work dedicated to humanity and solidarity with this prestigious award named after a famous humanist Jan van Apeldoorn, El Hilal has climbed the pedestal of the organizations in the civil society sector in Macedonia, a place that this organization deserves”, said Behidzudin Shehapi, president of El Hilal, being awarded.

Award for sustainable development Gert Jan van Apeldoorn for achievements in the previous year

The Foundation for development of small and medium enterprises from Bitola was presented the award for promotion of economic and material development.

The Foundation for development of small and medium enterprises has initiated cross-border cooperation in the region, Prespa – Ohrid – Korca – Kozani, an activity that sums all activities from the area of: development of small businesses sector, entrepreneurship, common investments, regional development, development of all forms of tourism and environmental protection.

“When we started working, we realized that if we close ourselves in the area of Bitola, we will not do a lot, therefore we started regional cooperation with Greece and Albania”, said Dragan Damjanovski, Foundation’s executive manager. “I would like to thank everyone who believed in regional cooperation and MCIC for awarding us for these activities”, added Damjanovski.

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