The grantees of the Civil Society Resource Center have been working tirelessly on advocacy at the local level in the past period. They represented the interests of completely different groups of citizens and strengthened the links and mechanisms for cooperation with seven municipalities.
Angelche Gushev from the Scouts’ Association Dimitar Vlahov said that thanks to the created Local Action Plan for Youth covering the next two years, now the young people from Caska will be able to have guaranteed activities that are of educational nature. This is a huge achievement if we take into account that rural municipalities are facing migrations, and it is the young people who do not see opportunities and interest to stay in an environment that does not offer them development and entertainment.
Innova Lab from Bitola also worked on strengthening youth activism, only in the municipality of Novaci. According to Elizabeta Toseva from the association, young people will not feel part of the community if they do not become active. The association conducted a survey for the needs of the youth and based on that they prepared recommendations which they submitted to the mayor of the municipality. The trainings they conducted with the local organisation Youth Council met with more interest than they hoped and they think that there is still a lot of work to be done in this field.
One of the topics that were mostly discussed, directly and indirectly, was the environment. The Initiative for Civic Integration (IGI) from Gostivar, among other activities, prepared an eco-video that kindergartens can use in educational programs in the field of ecology. Suncica Gjurcinoska from IGI says that it is easiest to influence young children and that she hopes that when they grow up they will continue to demand a clean environment, especially from the public utility services.
Bright Future from Kocani founded a Local Action Group for Advocacy of the Roma Community and the most priority requests they submitted to the municipality were to clean two large landfills and to provide a garbage truck that will pass once a week on a street with 100 houses where no collection of the garbage has been made so far.
The case is similar to the Women’s Civic Initiative from Sveti Nikole, who prioritized the problems of women from Amzabegovo, Kadrifakovo, and Gorobinci. One of the main requirements was to set up rubbish bins and more often collect garbage from certain locations.
The NGO Hyatt helped vaccinate 51 children in Strumica and advised 50 parents on protecting their children’s health and the importance of vaccination. It should be congratulated on their commitment to vaccinate 10 children without personal documentation.
The coronavirus crisis has hampered the activities of organizations and forced them to postpone or change some of the planned activities. For example, although Ajde Makedonija collected 800 signatures on a petition for proposed measures and policies regarding the treatment of surplus food, they did not receive a response from the City of Skopje due to the closure of the municipal offices. Viktor from Ajde Makedonija emphasized that their lobbying will continue until they receive support from the local self-government.
The grantees assessed this process as positive and said that more such projects are needed that will address issues on the local level. The Civil Society Resource Centre awarded seven grants for local advocacy, in a total value of MKD 1,224,883.