USAID Launches Youth Ethnic Integration Project

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

YEI Launch
Fostering interethnic cohesion among youth

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 24, 2017
Biljana Velichkovska

Today, November 24, 2017 at Hotel Alexander Palace, Skopje, USAID officially launched its Youth Ethnic Integration Project. The project will be implemented by the Macedonian Civic Education Center, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science, other Macedonian educational institutions, and U.S. European Command. In attendance were U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Jess Baily, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, and Minister of Education and Science Renata Deskoska, all of whom emphasized the importance of empowering young people to become active participants in their communities, and building strong relationships with their peers from different backgrounds.

Ambassador Baily noted, “The goal of this project is for young people to experience firsthand the importance of tolerance, respect for others, collaboration, individual rights, and doing their part to create positive change. We hope to empower the youth of Macedonia to become responsible and active citizens who work together to create a prosperous, vibrant, inclusive future for all. It especially important that young people understand that civic engagement is about our responsibility to be active in our communities every day, to participate in decision making, and to bridge our differences so that we can face challenges together.”

The Youth Ethnic Integration project is a five-year initiative to foster interethnic cohesion among youth and develop democratic and civic behaviors. It will build on the accomplishments its predecessor, the Interethnic Integration in Education project that over five years worked closely with the Government of Macedonia, and all primary and secondary schools and built 400 partnerships between schools across the country, organized cross-cultural activities involving thousands of students, and renovated sixty-three schools. The Youth Ethnic Integration project will also partner with every municipality and primary and secondary school in Macedonia to provide opportunities for young people from different backgrounds to learn about civic rights and responsibilities by carrying out simple initiatives to improve their schools and communities. Schools that demonstrate exceptional dedication and active participation in strengthening interethnic integration and civic values will be rewarded with additional support for school renovations from U.S. European Command.

In order to provide stakeholders with regular information on educational opportunities, school activities, and best practices, the project developed a new educational application -- EduMobMK that was launched at the event. The free application, available on Android and iOS operating systems, will enable schools and communities to stay up to date on the latest educational news and successes, as well as provide notifications for calls for application for different types of school and community support.