Together with ARNO as the main project partner in N. Macedonia, Social Integration & Empowerment Centre organised an international study visit and a conference on social entrepreneurship. Within this project activity, a group of international guests coming from Poland and Czech Republic and comprising of NGO activists, local mayors and regional city council members visited North Macedonia with the aim to exchange good practices related to the topic of social entrepreneurship development in the country.

Polish and Czech colleagues visited several various social enterprise projects in Skopje such as Esnaf that produce hand-made jewelry, a 2nd hand shop Kopce run by the Red Cross, NGO Solem that offer handy-crafts created by the mentally challenged citizens and the NGO Humanost who offer care-taking services to the elderly. In addition, the group visited the municipality of Suto Orizari, whereby they met Mr. Kurto Dudus, the current mayor who, together with his team, presented a vision of contributing to the social and economic empowerment of the Suto Orizari municipality and hopefully positively influencing the lives of Roma and other S.O. citizens.

The “Power of Collaboration” was a message that Social Integration & Empowerment Centre – SIEC conveyed during the SIEC presented own current and envisaged projects on Romani integration, social entrepreneurship, gender equity and parental and children empowerment.

The recommendations offered by the Macedonian NGO partners were that there needs to be more collaboration between the institutions, NGOs and companies in order to reduce the exclusion of marginalized groups while social economy and economy of solidarity could contribute to reducing poverty and contribute to the self-empowerment of local communities.

The coming study visit will be organised by the Salvation Army in Czech Republic while other project partners such as the Barka Foundation and Krobia municipality from Poland and the Revfolup municipality from Hungary will attend the planned conference, together with the Macedonian NGO colleagues.

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