The Republic of Macedonia gained its independence in 1991, after the Yugoslavian federation came apart.
It is a small Country (2,022,547 inhabitants, 467,257 of whom living in Skopje) with a rich cultural and spiritual legacy, and a meeting point for several nationalities, cultures and beliefs.
The religious structure is closely related to the national one, made up of 7 ethnic groups.
The most represented communities are orthodox Christians (Macedonians, Walachs, Serbs) and Muslims (Albanians, Turks, Bosnians, gypsies).
The long period under the rule of Communism, characterized by great political and economic changes, brought about spiritual and material poverty.
The unemployment rate amounts to 36.1%, and 29.6% of the population live below poverty threshold.
The Civil Association “Il Sole”, whose members belong to different ethnic groups and share the ideal of overcoming religious, national and social differences in the Republic of Macedonia, fosters solidarity initiatives and projects in the social, familiar, scientific and economic sectors.
The Association aims at recovering civil society values as well as at promoting a culture of welcome.
Therefore, in cooperation with the Pedagogy Faculty of Skopje, it launched the Project called “Multiethnic school for children”, which is open to Macedonian, Albanian and Turk children and which also involves parents, students, teachers and the wider society.
The project’s main goals are an overall education, intercultural knowledge, family support and youth education.
The intercultural education activities aim at reaching an interethnic coexistence of children, youth and families through mutual knowledge, respect and the establishment of new relations among everybody.
Thanks to Sportmeet’s support and the funds of the International Solidarity Service of the Autonomous Province Trient, the gym (60 m sq) was equipped, as was the inner yard (300 m sq) next to it, thus allowing an important education process.
Thanks to the cooperation of Italian experts in the fields of education-schooling and of social activities, and also to the intercultural exchange among university students from the Universities of Skopje, Stip and Bitola (Macedonia), as well as to the expertise of the responsibles for education of the School for Children “Raggio di Sole” (Sunshine) in Krizevci (Croatia) and of some teachers, several physical activities for the 50 children attending the school were carried out.
Their goal was the development of psychomotor skills, and great focus was brought onto school physical education in the primary school, so as to foster socialization through play activities.
Special children-parents labs were held too (with 130 participants), with the purpose of fostering friendship, socialization, mutual knowledge and dialogue among children, youth and adults belonging to different ethnic groups.
Around 200 students and 15 professors and assistants at the Pedagogy Department of the Skopje State University, some of whom did their apprenticeship there, took active part in the project.