The third working meeting of "Include with ICF" project consortium with teachers and special educators from primary schools in Gazi Baba municipality was held on September 12, 2023, at the seat of the municipality.
The representatives of three of the Macedonian partners - the Association "Education for All" Skopje, Association of Special Educators and Rehabilitators of RNM, and Municipality of Gazi Baba - heard about the experiences from the piloting of the project results. The discussion centered on key aspects such as the Inclusion Checklist and the development of long-term Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF).
The participants engaged in a productive exchange of ideas and experiences, contributing to the ongoing refinement of practical tools that will assist primary education teachers in planning and delivering effective instruction for children with disabilities. This collaborative effort brings us closer to achieving more inclusive and accessible education for all students. www.icf-inclusion.net
In number 197 of the newspaper "Skopsko Eho" (18.5.2023, p. 13) an article was published about the activities and goals of the Association "Education for All" Skopje.
We extend our sincerest appreciation to the Editorial Board of "Skopsko Echo" for providing us with this valuable platform to share our mission. We remain committed to pushing the boundaries of educational inclusivity and working towards a brighter future for all.
We are excited to share that the recently published Bulletin (Issue no. 12) by the Macedonian-American Alumni Association (MAAA) includes an article on the work of “Education for All” Skopje . This article presents the goals and objectives undertaken by the Association.
We extend our gratitude to the Editorial Board of the MAAA Newsletter. We are dedicated to advancing the cause of inclusive education and fostering transformative change within our community and beyond.
In the period from 21 to 25 August 2023, the European Conference on Research in Education (ECER 2023) was held at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Representatives of the DigIn project partner organizations presented the results of the research conducted during the course of the project in an inclusive education scientific symposium organised in the conference frames.
The team of presenters included Rozita Petrinska-Labudović, M.A., M.Sc. from the Association "Education for All" Skopje, Milica Timchevska, M.A. from "Hristijan Karposh" Kumanovo, Anna Frizzarin from the Free University of Bolzano - Italy and Katerina Todorova from the University College of Teacher Education - Graz, Austria.
Research data are available on the project website: www.digin-education.at, as well as in the publication: Inklusive Bildung – regionale, nationale und internationale Forschung und Entwicklungslinien (Vienna, 2023), whose editors are Edvina Bešić, Andrea Holzinger, Silvia Kopp-Sixt and Mathias Krammer. The book is available at the following link: https://uni.leykamverlag.at/produkt/inclusive-bildung/?fbclid=IwAR1mf -Ah6EkfdMTRJ323GryVGqU4MTZYYfJS13do38zOyIfm1NjuItSuvfM#local_4
All papers are open access, and the case study on inclusive education in North Macedonia, made within the "DigIn" project, is located on page 305(-314).
On August 31 and September 1, 2023, the 4th meeting of the partners in the NATINE project (www.naturalisticteaching.com) was held at the Hamburg Medical School (MSH) in Germany.
The working meeting was attended by representatives of the Anatolian University from Eskisehir, Turkey, as a coordinator, and representatives of the partners: Association "Education for All" Skopje; Dr. Pretis S.I.N.N., Graz; Tohum Autism Foundation, Istanbul; MSH-Medical School Hamburg; and Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest.
We are happy to share that the creation of the educational portal and teaching materials for children with disabilities for preschool teachers and educators are in the final stages!
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje unveiled a remarkable exhibition on May 15, 2023. It showcased an array of splendid artworks crafted by schoolchildren who enthusiastically engaged in activities aimed at fostering Inclusive Creative Spaces. It was made possible through the Spanish project INARTdis, which you can learn more about at www.inartdis.eu.
The immense joy felt by both the young participants, who served as creators, and us, the organizers and project partners, knows no bounds. We extend heartfelt gratitude to all individuals and institutions whose invaluable contributions made this project a resounding success!
The drive to establish inclusive creative spaces through the INARTdis project remains unwavering. Recently, an inclusive art workshop took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, drawing inspiration from the current exhibition—the Biennale of Young Artists.
This collaborative effort brought together students from "Dr. Zlatan Sremec" and "Idnina," along with students from "Zdravko Cvetkovski" secondary school in Skopje. Together, they crafted captivating artworks, set to be showcased on May 15, 2023, at the Museum — an exhibition you won't want to miss.
In a pleasant atmosphere, on May 5, 2023, at the "Dr. Zlatan Sremec" Primary school with a resource centre in Skopje, children from this school, along with their peers from the "Idnina" Primary school with a resource centre in Skopje and "Zdravko Cvetkovski" high school in Skopje, came together for an engaging art workshop centered around the theme of "Prints."
This workshop is a significant part of our efforts to create inclusive and creative spaces. Guided by curator Bojana Janeva and Julia Manojloska from the education department of the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje, this event showcased the power of collaboration and creativity.
Within the Erasmus+ INARTdis project, “Education for All” Skopje took the initiative to organize a course that would bridge the realms of art and inclusion. Titled "Creating Inclusive Cultural Spaces," this course aimed to equip cultural professionals and teachers in inclusive schools with the tools and insights necessary for fostering inclusive environments.
The course was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje and online, and was led by Silvana Borizovski, M.A., expert in the field of inclusion and art. The cohort consisted of 17 enthusiastic individuals, representing various institutions including NI City Library "Braka Miladinovci" Skopje, Kumanovo Theater, NI Cultural Centre "Trajko Prokopiev" Kumanovo, NI Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje, Primary school with a resource centre "Idnina" Skopje, Primary school with a resource centre "dr. Zlatan Sremec" Skopje, and Primary school "Krste Misirkov" Kumanovo.
Over the course of 30 hours, participants engaged in a vibrant exchange of knowledge and ideas. The focus was on the art of creating spaces within cultural and educational institutions that are inclusive and welcoming. This training served as a crucial preparation phase for the upcoming stage of the INARTdis project: the establishment of an inclusive creative space tailored for a diverse group of students.
On May 10, 2023, the primary school “Hristijan Karposh” from Kumanovo organized a multiplier event promoting the results of the Erasmus+ project: "Digitalization and Inclusive Education" (DigIn). The event intended for teachers, professional associates and educational assistants from the primary schools in the municipality was held in the premises of “Zanaetchiski dom in Kumanovo. On behalf of the organizer, Milica Timchevska, MA presented the products that resulted from the DigIn project, a project coordinated by the University college for teacher education Styria (Graz, Austria).
Rozita Petrinska Labudović, M.A., M.Sc., president of the Association "Education for All" from Skopje, a partner in the project, and Milena Ilic Pešić, Ph.D., a special educator at the primary school "Braka Miladinovci" Kumanovo held their presentations related to the topic of the event.
On April 27 and 28, 2023, "Education for All" Skopje participated in the fourth transnational meeting within the framework of the Erasmus+ project: "DigIn: Digitization and inclusion – Leaving no one behind in the digital era" which was held in Kumanovo, in organization of OOU "Hristian Karposh" Kumanovo.
During this fourth and final transnational meeting, representatives from Austria, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia convened to discuss the project's outcomes and the practical application of inclusive teaching methods. Additionally, participants had the opportunity to witness inclusive education in action by visiting Kumanovo's "Kristian Karposh" school. This event marked a significant step toward ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital age.
Centar Municipality's "Maticno" Youth Center hosted a multiplier event on April 7, 2023, showcasing the achievements of the Erasmus project "Digitalization and Inclusive Education" (DigIn: www.digin-education.at).
In the presence of teachers and special educators from schools in Centar Municipality, “Education for All” Skopje’s president, Rozita Petrinska Labudovic, MA, MSc. presented the innovative outcomes arising from the DigIn project, a project coordinated by the University College of Teacher Education Styria, Graz, Austria.
Milica Timchevska, M.Sc., representing the project partner OOU "Hristian Karposh" from Kumanovo, and Prof. Dr. Branislav Gerazov from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies - Skopje (UKIM), took center stage to discuss project achievements and use of assistive technologies.
The third meeting of the representatives of the eight partner organizations working on the "Include with ICF" Erasmus+ project was held on February 28 and March 1, 2023 in Skopje.
On February 27, 2023, the first official meeting of the partners in the "Implementation of the International Classification of Functioning (ICF)" project was held in Skopje. Improvement of training and processes for quality assurance of inter-sectoral support of persons with disabilities" or, for short, "Implementation of ICF".
A total of 10 organizations from Macedonia, Austria, Germany and Turkey will work together to support the implementation of the ICF in the educational, health and social sectors.
The Kick-Off meeting of the „Planning additional school support needs using the ICF (ICF-Plan)” project was held on 4 October 2022 at the University College of Teacher Education Styria in Graz, Austria.
The project coordinator Dr. Pretis and the partner representatives discussed their ideas on the implementation of the project and set the strategy towards achieving the project goals.
The 1st October 2022 marked the start of the Erasmus+ project „Planning additional school support needs using the ICF (ICF-Plan)”, with project no. 2022-1-AT01-KA220-SCH-000085006. The two-year long “ICF-Plan” project aims at improving the learning opportunities of students with developmental difficulties through the adoption of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a common language in school resource planning processes.
The project is coordinated by Dr. Pretis S.I.N.N. from Graz, Austria and gathers 9 organizations from 3 countries:
The “Include with ICF” Erasmus+ project partners held their second project meeting on 30 September and 1 October in Graz. Organised in coordination between the Austrian partners Dr. Pretis and University College of Teacher Education Styria, the meeting was focused on the development of the three project results.
Project partners’ representatives discussed the development of the project products, discussed the beta-versions of the products, and provided feedback on the conceptual steps performed.
From 31 August to 2 September 2022, “Education for All” Skopje had the honour to host of the second face-to-face meeting of the INARTdis project consortium, coordinated by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).
The INARTdis project partners from Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, and North Macedonia shared the experiences lived during this first year and a half of the project and presented the results obtained in the first phases of the project. Looking into the future work, the partner representatives analysed and planed together the line of research to be followed to develop the last phase of the project, the "WP5 - Inclusive Creative Spaces Project".
The 2-year long Erasmus+ project “Project Naturalistic Instruction: Exploding and Transferring Evidence-Based Strategies for Early Childhood Inclusion Professionals”, abbreviated as “Project Naturalistic Instruction” or NATINE, started officially on 28.2.2022. The Coordinator, Anadolu University located in Eskisehir, Turkey, organised the Kick-Off meeting in its seat on the 28th and 29th May 2022. The consortium includes the following partner organisations:
1. Anadolu University (Eskisehir, Turkey)
2. Association for Promotion of Education, Culture, and Sport EDUCATION FOR ALL Skopje (Skopje, The Republic of North Macedonia)
3. Tohum Autism Foundation (Istanbul, Turkey)
4. MSH Medical School of Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany)
5. Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary)
6. S.I.N.N. Dr. Pretis (Graz, Austria)
The purpose of the NATINE project is to explode and transfer a multi “how-to-teach” tools for early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals. More information on the project and the results will be presented at the project web-site: https://www.naturalisticteaching.com/
The project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
The second meeting of the partner organisations in the Erasmus+ project “Digitalisation and Inclusive Education: Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era” – DigIn took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 11 and 12 April 2022.
The partners, coordinated by the University College for Teacher Education Styria (PHSt), discussed the progress of project activities and results and defined the future steps towards reaching the project goals and objectives.
The Kick-Off Meeting in frames of the Erasmus+ project “Inclusion-Friendly Classroom: The ICF as a problem-solving tool for the team around the child in educational settings” (or simply: "Include with ICF") took place in Skopje, on 28 & 29 March! Education for All Skopje and the partners from North Macedonia, Austria, Germany, and Turkey started to work with great enthusiasm on three useful tools for educators, aimed at promoting inclusion in preschool and school setting.
Arts bring joy! An amazing group of students and teachers from the Primary school with a resource center "Idnina" in Skopje and representatives of "Education for All" Skopje visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje. In a welcoming atmosphere and toured by professional and kind curators, we enjoyed the Telecom Art Collection exhibiting works by the most representative artists from Southeastern Europe entitled "See me moving placeless", curated by Mira Gakjina and Jovanka Popova.
We are truly honored to have the Special Primary School "Idnina" and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje as our associated partners in the INARTdis project ( www.inartdis.eu )!
A wonderful group of patrons of the Regional Center for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities Poraka nasha from Kumanovo, North Macedonia, together with representatives of Education for All Skopje visited the exhibition of paintings from the cycle "Colorful Vibrations" by Andrijana Maciev at the Trajko Prokopiev Cultural Center in Kumanovo.
From 26 to 28 July 2021, representatives of Education for All Skopje took an active part in the first face-to-face meeting of the INARTdis project consortium partners (Macedonia, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Germany) which took place in Barcelona, Spain. Following all the health protocols, the partners’ representatives discussed the current project activities and made a more detailed work plan for the upcoming months. All the meeting aims were achieved, and the participants returned to their home countries even more motivated to work on achieving the ultimate goals INARTdis project. We are now several steps closer to bringing cultural institutions closer to people with disabilities!
We invite you to work with us and contribute to improving the quality of digital education for students with special educational needs. Please find more information on what we are doing and how you can take part in the Erasmus+ project “DigIn - Digitalization and Inclusive Education: Let no one lag behind in the digital age”.
It is with a great pleasure that we announce the official start of Digitalisation and Inclusive Education: Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era - DigIn, an EU-funded project designed to improve the quality of digital education for students with disabilities by strengthening teachers’ profiles.
DigIn started on 1.6.2021 and will end on 31.5.2023. This project is designed to improve the quality of digital education for students with disabilities by strengthening the profile of teachers. In the course of the next two years, we will be working on strengthening the skills teachers currently working in compulsory education in the fields of both digital education and inclusive education.
With international project partners from four countries – Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Italy – three universities, a comprehensive school, and two NGOs working in the field of (inclusive) education – we’ll uncover effective digital education practices that are already being used by teachers in inclusive settings in Europe and make these more widely available. Working with these teachers, we’ll also create new, innovative inclusive strategies that will ensure digital education is accessible and conducive to participation for all students, regardless of ability.
INARTdis Kick-off-Meeting was held online on 21 December 2020. The partners in this project: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain), Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa (Portugal), University College of Teacher Education Styria (Austria), Education for All Skopje (Macedonia), Universidad de Cantabria (Spain) and Thikwa (Werkstatt für Theater und Kunst Berlin, Germany) have joined forces towards bringing arts and culture closer to people with disabilities.
Education for All Skopje is now a partner in the Erasmus+ KA3 project titled: Fostering Social Inclusion for All Through Artistic Education by Developing Support for Students with Disabilities (INART-dis). Together with prominent universities, museums and educational and cultural institutions, Education for All will work on bringing art and culture closer to persons with disabilities and increasing social inclusion. The project coordinator is Professor Josep Maria Sanahuja Galvada, PhD, from the Universitat Autonoma de Barselona (UAB) as a coordinating institution, and the project consortium is consisted of the following partners:
Besides these institutions, numerous associated partners, such as museums and organizations of persons with disabilities will take an active part in the project. The star date is 1 December 2020, and the project will last for 3 years.
The third consortium meeting was held combining physical attendance of the Macedonian and Austrian partners and online presence of the German and Turkish partners. Despite the restrictions resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic, the activities needed for smooth running of the project have been performed continuously. Communication in the consortium has remained great, and this meeting, titled Piloting Meeting, has been used to confirm and detail the necessary steps regarding the upcoming piloting and multiplier events.
The consortium of the ICF@School (A Common Language in School) project has prepared the Newsletter 3 to inform the public about the products we have been working on since the beginning of the project in September 2018. You are most welcome to contact us and get more information from us directly or from our web-site: www.icf-school.eu.
The second consortium meeting, originally planned to be held in Hamburg, Germany, was organized online. The pandemic has influenced the manner of holding the meeting, but not its quality. The project coordinator Rozita Petrinska Labudovikj shared information on the project progress, mostly regarding management and implementation of the project and the partners reported their activities. All the needed decisions regarding the outcomes were brought, and all the partners expressed their willingness to keep up the good work. Dr. Pretis gave presentations on the ECVET and European Quality Framework and their implementation in the project.
The Erasmus+ KA202 Project “A Common Language for the First 1000 Days” has officially started! The Kick-off meeting of the project “A Common Language for the First 1000 Days” was held in Skopje on 11 and 12 November, 2019. It was held at the INNOFEIT center of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies – Skopje, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. The representatives of the project partners introduced themselves. The representatives presented their institutions and the coordinator explained the project timeline in details. She reminded the partners about the WP and the respected activities. The working atmosphere was very constructive. Tasks were scheduled for the following months. The tasks are in accordance with the project plan. All the partners expressed their high motivation for working on the project!
"Education for All" received a grant from the National Agency for European Educational Programs and Mobility for the "A Common Language for the First 1000 Days" project of the EU's Erasmus + programme. The project consortium also includes the Association of Nurses, Technicians, and Midwives of the Republic of Macedonia (ZMSTAM), Dr. Pretis from Austria, MSH Medical School Hamburg from Germany, and Dudu Melek Sabuncuoglu (Melek Akademy) from Turkey. The project will last for 20 months, and it promotes the use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health - ICF (WHO, 2001) as a tool for improving communication between professionals in the team-around-the-child in his/her first 1000 days of life. Midwives, nurses in health care facilities and kindergartens, educators, early intervention specialists, and early support professionals, as well as pediatricians will be able to use the project's intellectual products to plan the necessary support measures for infants and small children (0-3 years), using a common language with parents.
On 15 November, 2019 the Association for Promotion of Education, Culture, and Sport ‘Education for All’ Skopje organized a conference titled “Education for All - a Language for All in School” (E3). The Conference was held at the INNOFEIT Center of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje.
The main theme of the conference was the practical implementation of the ICF in schools, and it gathered more than 80 professionals (teachers, psychologists, school pedagogues, special educators and rehabilitators, parents and school administration representatives) from 30 different institutions. The presentations of professor Manfred Pretis, PhD (Dr. Pretis SINN), professor Silvia Kopp-Sixt, MA (The University College of Teacher Education Styria), professor Dudu Melek Er-Sabuncuoglu, PhD (Istinye University Istanbul/CGEDER), and Goran Petrushev (Macedonian Association of Special Educators and Rehabilitators) and the workshops held by professor Manfred Pretis, PhD and Katerina Todorova, MA (Medical School Hamburg) were evaluated as very interesting and useful for the participants. “Education for All - a Language for All in School” conference was organized in the frames of the ’Common Language in Schools’ project.
The Association for Promotion of Education, Culture, and Sport ‘Education for All’ Skopje cordially invites you to the “Education for All - a Language for All in School” Conference to be held in Skopje, on 15 November, 2019. The conference will take place at the INNOFEIT Center of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje.
The main theme of the conference is the practical implementation of the ICF in schools. “Education for All - a Language for All in School” conference is organized in the frames of the Erasmus+ KA201 project ’Common Language in Schools’, which provides concrete tools for professionals who work with pupils with developmental difficulties in schools. It introduces the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a common language to describe a child’s individual learning situation, and to enable ability-based, holistic, transdisciplinary assessments and planning processes. More detailed information on the project and its products can be found at: www.icf-school.eu
The conference is free-of-charge, and it will be conducted in English and Macedonian, with a consecutive translation provided by the consortium partners.
The conference Agenda is provided below and all the interested individuals can register for participationusing this form: https://forms.gle/ajwaqU21jNnzs9K77 or by sending an e-mail to: email@example.com.
The deadline for registration is 5 November, 2019. All participants receive attendance certificates.
We are looking forward to your positive response to the conference!
The second meeting of the ‘A Common Language in School’ project partners was held in Hamburg on the 21 and 22 May, 2019. In the presence of the representatives of all of the institutions which take part in the project, the coordinator professor Pretis summarized the activities performed so far and informed on the progress of the project. In a pleasant and collaborative working environment, the partners determined the guidelines for the future tasks and agreed on the activities to be completed by the next meeting in Skopje.
On 11 April 2019, members of “Education for All” from Skopje presented the idea of the ‘A Common Language in School’ project to the teachers and administration representatives of the Goce Delchev High School in Kumanovo, North Macedonia. After the presentation, the teachers asked questions and gave feed-back on the disseminated information.
On March 22, 2019, a representative of "Education for All" from Skopje had a meeting with the Mayor of the Municipality of Centar, Mr. Sasa Bogdanovic, where he informed about the idea and the goals behind the project ‘A Common Language in School’. The Mayor expressed his support for the project on behalf of the Municipality, and agreed on future cooperation on project activities.
On November 12th and 13th, the ‘A Common Language in School’ project kickoff meeting was held in Graz, and was hosted by the PH Steiermark (University for Teacher Education). All of the partners were represented by at least one representative. The project coordinator, Prof. Pretis, guided the consortium through the work programme, the rough features of the planned outputs, as well as the administrative and management issues of the project. Lots of ideas on the outputs and dissemination possibilities have been exchanged and discussed in a very intense and constructive manner. The overall spirit and motivation of the partnership and the combined expertise of the consortium gives reason for optimism regarding the expected results!
The Association for promotion of education, culture, and sport “Education for All” from Skopje participates in the Erasmus+ project titled “A common language in schools”, which started on September 1, 2018. The coordinator of the project is Prof. Dr. Manfred Pretis (www.sinn-evaluation.at, Austria) and the consortium of partners includes organizations and institutions from Germany, Austria, Macedonia, and Turkey.
“A common language in schools” (www.icf-school.eu) deals with implementation of ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, WHO 2001) in schools and it provides concrete tools for professionals who work with pupils with developmental difficulties in schools.
If your school, your pupils, parent representatives, school psychologists or school administration wish to participate in the project (e.g. in terms of piloting the products in German, English, Turkish, or Macedonian), please contact Prof. Dr. Manfred Pretis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNICEF launched #EarlyMomentsMatter, a new campaign supported by the LEGO Foundation to drive increased awareness about the importance of the first 1,000 days of a child’s life and the impact of early experiences on the developing brain.
During this critical window of opportunity, brain cells can make up to 1,000 new connections every second – a once-in-a-lifetime speed. These connections contribute to children’s brain function and learning, and lay the foundation for their future health and happiness. A lack of nurturing care – which includes adequate nutrition, stimulation, love and protection from stress and violence – can impede the development of these critical connections.
The campaign kicks off with #EatPlayLove – a digital and print initiative aimed at parents and caregivers that shares the neuroscience on how babies’ brains develop. #EatPlayLove assets explain the science in a straightforward, visually interesting way to encourage parents and caregivers to continue to make the most of this unrivaled opportunity to provide their children with the best possible start in life.
(Students at Hadew primary school in Jijiga, Ethiopia. Photo: UNICEF/UN043870/Lister)
United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare.
November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Since 1990, Universal Children's Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children's rights.
Mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate moguls and media professionals as well as young people and children themselves can play an important part in making Universal Children's Day relevant for their societies, communities and nations.
Universal Children's Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for Children.
Around 150 parents, professionals, students, policy-makers, journalists and other stakeholders attended the third multiplier event “ Helping parents to support their children with autism”, held on November 1 in the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle in Skopje, in the framework of the European project “Equity and Social Inclusion through Positive Parenting” (ESIPP).
Hosted by the Macedonian Scientific Society for Autism (MSSA), the conference raised awareness about the importance of parent education in autism and shared the work and expertise of the project partners to a wider audience. The ESIPP Parent Education Programme, developed in collaboration with partners from across Europe, was also introduced.
One of the most stirring moments of the day was the speech given by Zoran Giev, parent of a child with autism and participant on one of the ESIPP parent training sessions delivered in Skopje. Giev talked about early diagnosis, education and the lack of information, support and understanding as being among the greatest problems faced by parents of children with autism in the FYR of Macedonia. He also stressed the importance of raising awareness and being truly supported by the community in order to foster the inclusion of autistic people.
Furthermore, attendees took part in the workshops “Managing Sensory Sensitivities in Autism” and “Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour”, given by ESIPP partners from Target Autism (UK), MSSA and the Autism Assessment Support Practice Center (Cyprus).
Prior to this one-day conference, Zoran Giev and ESIPP partners from MSSA and the University of Northampton had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with Lidija Krstevska Dojchonovska, State advisor at the Office of the Prime Minister of the FYR of Macedonia, as well as a representative from the Ministry of Education, Mirjana Zlatanova, and from the Ministry of Science, Emilija Jovanovska. A discussion was held to highlight the importance of continuing to provide ESIPP training after the project’s completion, and how to ensure its sustainability.
The conference was largely covered by local and national media.
(Source: Text written by Cristina Fernández, http://esipp.eu/uncategorized/150-participants-learn-positive-approaches-autism-skopje/)
SKOPJE, 11 September 2017 – At an event to launch the Macedonian language version of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, the Government, UNICEF and partners united on the need for systematic reforms and attitudinal change to end exclusion, isolation and institutionalisation of children with disability.
The event was opened by the Prime Minister, Mr. Zoran Zaev and UNICEF Representative, Mr. Benjamin Perks. It brought together hundreds from all sections of society – government, civil society, children with disabilities and their families – who pledged their support for the rights of persons - particularly children - with disability.
“We are here today to discuss how to make a society without barriers for children with disabilities. This is fair. But above all this is our duty as people. Because this world belongs to all of us and it will function well when we accept that we are not supposed to create a place for someone, because everyone has a place already. All we should do is to respect the right of everyone to a place in a society that belongs to all,” said the Prime Minister, Mr. Zoran Zaev.
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health – a tool to change the way we see and respond to the needs of children with disability – was presented. It promises to accelerate much needed reforms to ensure optimum inclusion, fulfilment of potential and quality of life for children with disability. It puts emphasis on ability rather than the barrier of the impairment alone and will serve as a tool to introduce inclusive practices in health, education and social protection.
“Many countries, through systematic reforms and attitudinal campaigns have become places where exclusion, isolation and institutionalisation of children with disability are no longer acceptable. Building on these lessons, we intend to continue our work with government, civil society and media to make sure there is not a single corner of this country where children with disability remain invisible, isolated or excluded,” said UNICEF Representative, Mr. Benjamin Perks.
The event marked the beginning of a new phase of the “Be Fair. For a childhood without barriers” campaign. Initially launched in March with support from the European Union, the campaign has been making a fundamental shift in how society understands disability and in attitudes towards children with disabilities. The new phases “See the child, not the disability” puts emphasis on the need to unleash the potential in every child.
During the event, a panel of children and youth with disabilities gave compelling accounts of the challenges they’ve experienced; and inspired audiences with their abilities, leaving them with a feeling of hope for change. Among the guests were celebrities and influencers who joined the “See the child, not the disability” campaign with messages of support. A children’s choir from the Primary School “Kuzman Josifovki Pitu” accompanied by Ema Ananievska on piano, united all in the room with an inclusive performance of Tose Proeski’ “This World”.
(Source: UNICEF: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.