ALBANIA/NORTH MACEDONIA – Within the third RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals, supported by the Federal Republic of Germany, the SOU “Koco Racin” Sveti Nikole from North Macedonia in partnership with Shkolla Internacional (International School Vlora) from Albania implemented the project “Fighting the ethnocentrism – healing the wounds” which took place from January 2020 to March 2021.
The project focused on tackling ethnocentrism as well as all the prejudices and stereotypes that originate from this phenomenon by bringing together youth from Albania and North Macedonia. Young people learned about appreciating cultural diversity and raising awareness on accepting differences and the opportunities of meeting and exploring different cultures.
“I found this project of great importance not only for the community but for myself as well. It was an extraordinary experience that gave us an amazing opportunity to be aware of ethnocentrism which is present in every aspect of our life, but it was even much better to learn how to cope with it,” Mr Ace Atanasov, one of the English teachers in the project, stated.
“It was a great opportunity and such an experience to participate in a project like this. I have never worked with a topic like this one before and I wasn’t really familiar with it. I have learnt many new things and I have gained skills that I can use in the future. Projects like this are helping me to improve myself as a person and encourage me to take on more challenges,” Ms Ana Marija Dushanovska, one of the students in the project, added.
Speaking of their key takeaways from the project and its importance, another student in the project, Ms Ana Arsova, highlighted that: “It was a great pleasure to be part of this project. We had the opportunity to learn many new things and meet new people. I was not familiar with the term ethnocentrism until this project which broadened my horizons.”
Young project participants and students in the project, the real carrier of changes within the society, embraced the new knowledge and skills gained during the project and helped raise awareness with one another.
“This project was of great importance for my own personal well-being, as for every single one of us who took part in it. It was a life-changing experience that taught us more about prejudice, stereotypes and how to recognize ethnocentrism, which affects every aspect of our lives, as well as how to overcome it. Despite the fact that it was an online workshop, we met a lot of new people and had a lot of fun,” Mr Baze Blazevski, one of the students in the project, concluded.
“Fighting the ethnocentrism – healing the wounds” project helped young students connect with their peers and exchange ideas and experiences that will enable them to strengthen their cooperation at the local and regional level.