TCMC in cooperation with Forum Civil Peace Service and finnantial support of the Council of Europe, Directorate of Democracy and Political Affairs, during the summer 2010 organized a summer camp named « Overcome ignorance – Get to know the others « . Young leaders, part of the Youth Leadership program had the opportunity to take part in a 7 day event  that strived to take students out of their micro surrounding and their daily challenges in order to support their personal growth and independent thinking. The summer camp was  organised in the periphery of the city of Struga close to the lake, where outdoor activities and learning were combined in a good way. In a mutual learning situation the participants compared their approaches and concerns in a dialogical way in an intercultural environment. Together with local artists, and experts they discoverd and developed new and creative ways to express themselves and their ideas. In a supportive atmosphere mutual respect was developed a long-term relationships and friendshipamong students. The course was designed to give participants the opportunity to experience and reflect upon the issues of intercultural dialogue and solidarity using the group of participants, their experiences and perceptions as the basis for learning together.

This project is part of a larger Balkan project implemented by the partenrs of the Council of Europe and as such strives towards oppening the windows of opportunities to young people to meet and share their commen concerns and look for possible solutions.

The project was designed in order to adress these problems concerning the youth :

  1. Segregation in the education system becomes a burden for state institutions because of lack of systematic approach to interethnic and violent behaviour;
  2. The creativity of high schools students is undermined and their potentials are never used to develop a positive spirit of tolerance and understanding among different ethnic communities;
  3. The frightening dynamic of violence in schools finds school teachers unprepared to deal with the conflicting issues. These  gaps are to be filled  with informal education processes such is the one we are presenting now with this summer camp; 
  4. Students are manipulated and misused for political and personal benefits of parents and politicians;
  5. As result of segregation students rarely have the possibility to meet with students from the other ethnic communities. Unfortunately the meeting points become battlefields in buses, court yards, streets, parks etc. 
  6. The interventions into the conflicting situations are usually done too late, when  violence already has reached its culmination and the hatred is hard to overcome because it has affected a lot students; once  this level is reached, students and parents are asking for more security by getting segregated i.e. the case of the Secondary school in Struga;

Main target group(s)

40 Young leaders carefully selected from the secondary schools in post conflict areas in Macedonia (Struga, Skopje, Kumanovo, Tetovo, Kicevo and Gostivar).

Specific objectives of the project were:

  1. Promotion of participation and inter-ethnic reconciliation among young people in Macedonia by strengthening leadership, conflict resolution and peace-building skills as well as through bringing to surface their creativity;     
  2. establishment and strengthening relationships between youth from different ethnic backgrounds  with leadership skills, enabling them to work well together now and in future;
  3. bridging the animosities among different ethnic communities through providing space and time for students to express their artistic potentials and easily find common interests that go beyond inter-ethnic boundaries.
  4. motivating and empowering youth with leadership skills in the promotion and implementation of intercultural initiatives in their schools/local communities;

Output 1: 40 young people that already have been trained in leadership and conflict resolution skills  and got awarded and further motivated to promote themselves intercultural initiatives;

Output 2: 40 young students were trained to express their stands and attitudes in a creative way through art;
Output 3: In the long-term, reduced violence among students and improved relationships and communication between youth across ethnic lines is established;
Output 4: 40 students delivered messaged to citizens of Struga that cooperation and understanding across ethnic boundaries is possible.

Programme of activities:

a) Selection of Participants

40 students from different schools in Macedonia were selected. All students have taken part in the YLC program. Candidates were selected through a competitive interview process and chosen based on their leadership activities, views on subjects such as leadership, community and ethnicity, communication skills and integrity, as well as their motivation shown in the previous program. Participation in the summer camp was seen as a reward. The selection of participants was balanced in terms of ethnic background, gender, religion, regional representation etc.  

b) Implementation of the summer camp 

A nine day summer camp was organized for 40 selected best students from the YLC program. The program was tailored in such a way that it met the needs of high school students by merging theory and practice in peace building, with art and sports. Every day was a mixture of workshops, sports and art.
The students had the opportunity during the first half of the day to follow lectures and presentation on intercultural learning (stereotypes, prejudices, conflict management, non-violence, dialogue, multiculturalism, human rights etc.). The other half day was organized in such a way that students whadchance to choose one of four workshops on: Modern dance, Photography, video production, and painting. 
During the whole summer camp had outdoor sports activities as well as visits to religious and cultural sites in the community in which the event will take place – Struga.

c) Presentation of the work in the city centre

A presentation of the results of the workshops on art and was organized in centre of the city of Struga. Here the students will had the chance to expose their paintings, their video materials, their dance performances. All these activities were done in the name of TOLERANCE. 

d) Follow up activities

The students from this group will be included in other programs of TCMC and programs of the other NGOs that do similar work.


Products of the summer camp:

1. Finnal video clip of the summer camp -

2. Video clip for the citz of Struga

3. Video clip - summary from the theatre workshop 

5. Video clip from the Street performance workshop at the summer camp   

6. Video clip from the Modern Dance Workshop

7. Video clip from the photograpy workshop (photo stories)

8. Video clip from one of the participants of the summer camp (Pasholli photo)         

1. Finnal narative report of the event

2. Media coverage

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 , 10, 11, 12






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Contact person:

Deniza Bundalevska - Project coordinator


1. Download the leaflet designed for the Summer camp

2. Download the agenda of the Summer camp

3. Download the Apllication form