Introductory meeting of the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija 2”
The successfully implemented project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija”, with a duration of one year led by Pro Local, resulted in another new project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija 2”, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Macedonia. The implementation of this project started on 01.11.2022 and will last for the next 24 months, with the aim of increasing the motivation of young people from the rural areas of Pelagonija, with their active involvement in decision-making in their local areas.
On 27.12.2022, the first (introductory) meeting was held between the representatives of Pro Local and the eight partners from eight civil organizations from the Pelagonian region, i.e. Eco Gerila – Prespa, European Viewpoint, Center for Creative Industries – NEBO, Volvox Bitola, Youth Council Prilep , Debrešte Youth Association and two more informal groups of citizens from the municipalities of Krushevo and Krivogastani. In addition to these organizations, nine municipalities are included: Bitola, Prilep, Resen, Mogila, Novaci, Krivogashtani, Krushevo, Dolneni and Demir Hisar, with their representatives.
The president of Pro Local, Emilia Gjeroska, presented the project to the partners and explained all the activities that should be carried out in the next two years within the framework of this project, while the project coordinator Kristina Talevska explained in detail the responsibilities and tasks that all project coordinators will have with their participants, during the implementation of the activities. Elena Gjeroska spoke about the promotion of all the activities and results of the project in the next two years, which will be published on social media, and pointed out that social media is one of the fastest ways to spread information that should reach as many young people as possible and the general public in Pelagonija.
Published on December 2022
7 NEW INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS FOR RURAL PELAGONIA
Young people from seven rural municipalities of the Pelagonia region took the “administrative road” to the realization of their ideas. On the initiative of about 50 young people who were part of the activities “Empowering the people of Pelagonia” in the past 12 months, two outdoor gyms were built in Novaci and Mogila, two parks were arranged in Demir Hisar and Krivogashtani, an outdoor cinema was equipped in Krushevo , a Youth Hub is established in Resen and sports fields are arranged in Dolneni. The facilities have been put together with joint funding from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and general budgets.
The apathy and passivity of young people from rural areas in Pelagonia, the trend of rural-urban migration and mistrust of institutions was the reason why the Pro Local organized an intensive process of involving young people in public life.
The project “Empowering the people of Pelagonia” functioned as an open Academy for leaders, the activities were carried out in a language understandable to young people – digitally and in extraordinary locations, such as the island of Golem Grad, the adrenaline park in Krushevo, the hiking trails of Galichica and Pelister, and fitness gyms. Through innovative workshops, motivational debates with successful people, simulations of the operation of public institutions, meetings with mayors and councillors from the region, the capacities of young people have been built to acquire knowledge and practical skills to change the environment in which they live.
At the closing conference that was held in Bitola, the Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands in the country, Mr. Robert Dekker told young people to use this knowledge and act – because the obligation to change the place in which they live remains with them.
The mayors of the region also signed a Memorandum for the establishment of the first regional platform for youth, through which the municipalities together with Pro Local and local organizations will work to solve problems and improve the situation of young people in Pelagonija.
Published on November 2022
Responsible local government
The 12th and last workshop, which rounded the 12 principles of Good Governance, was held in Prespa, where we demonstrated and also learned how to be proactive and prompt in given situations.
In particular, we practiced the “Responsiveness” principle on the island of Golem Grad, where by simulating different situations, the young people from Pelagonia together offered solutions that should be prompt and efficient.
Together with our expert Kostantin Ciriviri, we learned what “Responsiveness” means on a desert island!
We heard his advice on responsibility and proactivity in different circumstances or infrequent challenges.
In the second half of the day, we continued with the theoretical part. We worked in groups, i.e. we discussed the principle of “Responsiveness” in local self-government and how much our municipalities have the capacity to respond promptly and appropriately to the challenges faced by young people from rural Pelagonia.
All in all, in an exciting and interesting way, the last topic of the total of 12 principles of Good Governance was learned.
Published on June 2022
Mosaics were made from easily accessible materials
“HOPE” is a project in which 10 people with fewer opportunities learned how to make a mosaic.
In the yard of Villa Dihovo, under the mentorship of the artist Sandra Kotevska, these people, the past 5 days from 20-24.06.2022 were part of the training for artistic skills.
The project “HOPE” – „Help to people empowerment” implemented by Pro Local, aims to transfer knowledge and skills to people who have fewer opportunities for development or are facing difficulties in everyday living.
The Mayor of Bitola, Toni Konjanovski visited the participants, discussed their challenges, and supported their efforts to improve their current situation.
The President of Pro Local, Emilia Gjeroska expressed significant gratitude to the Municipality of Bitola and the local companies: Grafoprom, Kolmak, Metal Com, and Merve who supported the project by providing materials for the training.
Nikola Dimkovski from the Regional Chamber of Commerce said that such projects are the connection with business in order to create socially responsible companies.
The project is implemented with financial support from the ERASMUS + program through the National Agency for European Educational Programs and Mobility by Pro Local in partnership with IN VIVO from Skopje and two other organizations from Italy and Greece.
Published on June, 2022
How to manage a project cycle?
“Training for project cycle management” was held within the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija “.
At the four-day training held in Bitola, trainers Hari Shutoski and Monika Markovska shared their knowledge and experiences on “Project Cycle Management”, in order for participants to gain theoretical knowledge for project cycle management, practical application of tools and practical methods of tools for developing project proposals/applications.
Published on June, 2022
Second international „HOPE” meeting in Turin
The second two-day partnership meeting in Turin, Italy was attended by all four organizations and partners of the HOPE project, Pro Local from Bitola, IN VIVO from Skopje, Challedu from Greece, and Liberitutti Societa from Italy.
The first day was intended for the presentation of the activities done by all organizations individually, i.e. a more detailed analysis of the completed five-day training for vulnerable people in Skopje, Greece, and Italy. The organizers explained the atmosphere of these training and the final products made by the project participants.
On the second day of the international meeting, the future activities that should be implemented by the end of the project were discussed. Creative educator, Sandra Kotevska, presented the training methodology that will be organized by Pro Local in June, where 10 people from vulnerable categories will have the opportunity to turn their creative potential into a specific skill. Specifically, during this 5-day training, we will work on creating a creative product – a mosaic of materials that will be usable after the project. In this way, in cooperation with socially responsible companies from the Pelagonija region, Pro Local creates sustainability of the final project outcomes.
Published on June, 2022
Cultural diversity and openness to change as a basis for a better society
The weekend from 13 to 15 May in Ohrid, three new workshops were held along with the last, third in a row, motivational debate.
We talked with the expert Fatma Bajram Azemovska on the topic “Human rights, cultural diversity, and social cohesion”. Through an interesting quiz question, we discussed human rights in Macedonia, cultural elements of all the nations in our country, as well as what are the factors for the sustainability of social cohesion.
On Saturday morning we started a great topic “Innovation and openness to change”, with Kosta Petrov, while in the second half of the day we heard an interesting story about the personal life success of the professional Macedonian football player Nikolce Noveski.
We finished the weekend with the eleventh workshop in a row, held by Slagjan Penev. Through a series of positive and negative examples, we talked about openness and transparency in the work of local self-government in our country.
Published on May, 2022
Certificates for participation for the youth in creating local policies
50 young people from rural Pelagonija received International Certificates for non-formal education for civic participation. The young people from the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija” had an exceptional opportunity to participate in the training for civic participation, which was held by experts from the highly acclaimed Academy of Local Government in The Hague, Kingdom of the Netherlands.
In addition to the main organizers of the civil society organization Pro Local – Bitola, the training was attended by seven other local civil society organizations from rural Pelagonija, as well as the partner municipalities of the project. International coaches through interactive sessions, discussions and exercises transferred practical knowledge to young people on how to get involved in creating their local community.
The focus was also on the methods for building the capacity of youth organizations in cooperation with the local self-government and how to provide a high degree of youth participation and motivating space for the development of youth policies at the local level.
At this four-day training in Ohrid, the young people from Pelagonija had the opportunity to talk with a councilor from a Dutch municipality, Myrte Hesselberth, who at the age of 22 already has an enviable political career and is a fighter for youth participation in policy making in the Netherlands.
Practical knowledge on youth exchange through the ERASMUS + program was also transferred, as well as on civic activism that is happening online today.
An official ceremony was held at the end to mark the successfully completed training and more than 70 participants were given certificates for their participation.
The certificates were awarded by the Deputy Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in our country, Mr. Robert Dekker together with the Mayors of Resen, Mr. Jovan Tozievski and the Mayor of Municipality of Novaci, Mr. Stevce Stevanovski.
Published on April, 2022
Unlawful decisions – unethical decisions?
The eighth workshop on “Ethical Conduct” in Krushevo was held in a great ambiance.
Accompanied by the Deputy Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Robert Dekker we started the day with a walk through the city of Krushevo and finalized with the visit to the Krushevo High School, where the young people from the catering school greeted us with meringues, baked by them. They also shared with us their plans on why and how they are planning to become world-famous chefs!
Dimitar Atanasovski explained the types of leadership, while Aleksandar Kambovski explained in detail the codes of ethics and the “conflict” between principles and legal standards in making ethical decisions.
The crown of the end of the day was the visit to the Adrenaline Park in Krushevo, where we all hung out until sunset.
Published on April, 2022
A local-level action – a supreme mechanism for accomplishing sustainable development goals!
The second half of the implementation of the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija” started with the topic “Sustainable development and long-term orientation”
The workshop on this seventh topic in a row took place in Prilep. Our expert Petra Pop Ristova – scientist for aquatic microbial ecology and expert on the environment and sustainable development, brought the subject closer to the young people of Pelagonija.
Sustainable development means that while planning our daily actions we should be thinking about the future generations, whereas long-term orientation means creating policies and implementing activities that will benefit the future.
How and to what extent are these principles implemented in our country?
Is sustainable development procrastinated?
The objectives for sustainable development have yet to be incorporated within the domestic regime and the Municipalities role in the direction of achieving this goal for sustainable development in one country is of significant importance.
Municipalities are the bearers of local community development, and they operate in every aspect of our lives.
In the context of the above and additional inquiries related to the work of the local self-government, mainly about the strategy of how young people can reach out to the councilors and the Mayor with their project ideas, we acquired new information during the visit to the Municipality of Prilep. With a cordial welcome from Mayor Borce Jovceski, the young people from Pelagonija received knowledge on what and how the Municipality of Prilep is doing to increase civic participation in creating public policies.
Additionally, the President of the Council of the Municipality of Prilep, Dejan Prodanoski, introduced the young people to the work of the councilors and their encounters with young people in the council hall.
In Prilep, each councilor covers one topic/sector of the social processes for which they are responsible for regular communication with the citizens.
Perhaps the most remarkable part of this day was the visit to the Tobacco Museum in Prilep, where we admired all the historical presences and once again understood that the principle of sustainability and long-term orientation is applicable everywhere!
Published on April, 2022
Seven new small-scale projects for Pelagonija
The project “Strengthening the people of Pelagonija”, even though it is halfway to the final realization, can boast of visible results!
The young people of Pelagonija with the support of Pro Local and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the country as well as in partnership with the Pelagonija municipalities and 9 local organizations turned their ideas for the promotion of the local communities into concrete projects!
Namely, by the end of September this year, in Pelagonija, with additional financial support from the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija” will be opened two “Fitness Zones” for outdoor recreation, in Mogila and Novaci, will be arranged 2 parks in Demir Hisar and Krivogashtani, the sports playground in Lazani, municipality of Dolneni will be arranged, an “Outdoor Cinema” will be equipped in Krushevo, and a “Youth Hub” will be established in Prespa to promote tourism.
Intensive and participatory workshops, debates and motivation games are just some of the tools through which the project trains young people for active participation in policy making at the local level. The aim is for young people to learn through practical examples, through participation in the work of Municipalities and Councils, how their ideas can be realized. In the past six months, six workshops were held, out of a total of twelve, on topics covering the twelve principles of good governance, and two motivational debates were also held, out of a total of three provided for this project.
Published on March, 2022
How to develop a transparent and civic local budget?
Seemingly boring topic, and yet in practice it was another exciting and motivating training for the young people from Pelagonija!
Last weekend in Ohrid were held the 5th and 6th workshop of the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija” bringing together 50 young people and 10 local organizations in one place with one mission: how to be active agents for positive change in the place where we live?
Or as Katerina Angelovska, the motivational speaker who held the second empowering debate, would say: Be the change you want! Katerina guided the young people through a journey through their imagination and ideas to find the courage to take the first steps to change their lives, and thus change the opportunities in the places where they live. For many, this was their first experience with a professional motivational speaker and a real inspiration to keep working on themselves to “grow” in every aspect.
Kire Milovski and Adrijana Bulevska-Zaric through practical examples explained the concept of transparent and participatory municipal budget, informed the youth how and with what tools to monitor the spending of municipalities, but also to actively propose projects in the annual development plans of local communities. They clearly emphasized that our obligation to pay taxes also means the right to monitor the planning and spending of public money.
The most dynamic part of the training was certainly reserved for Dimitar Atanasovski, who by his personal example, showed how important communication skills are, both live and online. Today, when the biggest judges for someone’s attitude are the emoticons on social media, all of us, and especially young people, are in a race for more interestingly presented personal content. Dimitar explained that the real changes in the places where we live happen with real work and real cooperation with like-minded people, and not with online tools that collect likes. That in order to inspire someone to follow you in the realization of your vision you need communication skills and motivation!
In fact, our young people are already an inspiration for 7 municipalities throughout Pelagonija! 7 Municipal Councils and 7 Mayors voted “YES” for two Fitness Zones for outdoor recreation, in Mogila and Novaci, for arranging 2 parks in Demir Hisar and Kriviogashtani, for a new sports playground in Lazani in the municipality of Dolneni, for “Outdoor Cinema In Krushevo and for the Youth Hub for the promotion of tourism in Prespa.
Published on March, 2022
Developing local politics through civil participation / youth participation in decision making
In the period from 18 to 20 February assembled the third and the fourth workshop and the first motivational debate within the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija“ led by Pro Local from Bitola in partnership with 7 Municipalities and 9 Civil оrganizations. The event was opened and led by the President of the Organization, Emilia Geroska, emphasizing the importance of the broad coalition among the municipalities, civil organizations and the target group – young people of Pelagonija.
The young people of these municipalities elaborated their projects for development through video presentations, being given the chance to finalize the preparations for their implementation.
Debate skills were acquired through active participation in the first motivational debate following the inspirational motivation speech of Marina Trajkovska, while the social media expert, Angela Hristovska presented the latest social media trends. In the spirit of the online community, attendees enjoyed the live zoom meeting with the influencers Dimitar Atanasovski and Sara Mace on the topic “Influencers promoting social issues“.
Host of the third workshop “Competence and capacity“ was the international expert for local self-government, Jadranka Kungulovska. Participants took active part by competing in a quiz showing their newly acquired knowledge. The fourth workshop, Rule of Law, was the last in this three-day-event led by the legal expert, Nikola Glavince.
Published on February, 2022
The fourth coordination meeting between Pro Local and partner organizations was held within the project “Empowering the people of Pelagonija” supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
At this meeting the further project activities were also discussed, which should cover another 10 of the 12 principles of Good Governance.
All 9 organizations gave their proposals for the implementation methodology and the way to greater involvement of young people in the work of local self-government.
Published on January, 2022
PROLOCAL Team is happy to announce the award of ERASMUS KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices; KA227 – Partnerships for Creativity project HOPE.
ProLocal partnered with In VIVO from Skopje, Challedu from Greece and LIBERITUTTI SOCIETA from Italy to jointly develop and organize social inclusion activities. EmPOWERing people with fewer opportunities to meet their full potentials through creativity and social farming is the main focus of HOPE project.
In North Macedonia, we will work in Skopje and Pelagonija region, identifying the needs and opportunities for the primary target living out of the urban centers thus facing lack of community social activities.
Creative outputs will be disseminated exchanging among final beneficiaries of the three countries as well online availability for the wider audience.