Today, the USAID and LCIF Children with Visual Impairments Project ran a public debate and promotional event at the Parliament’s club. The aim of the event was to promote the Project results to date, as well as promote the broad coalition of partners that the Project has developed over the past period, which will continue to support and sponsor the activities in the long run.
‘It has been an honor for the U.S. government to play a small part in the efforts of over 18 organizations in North Macedonia to provide services for the inclusion of visually impaired people. The range of organizations contributing to this effort is remarkable. I congratulate all of you for the tremendous results to date and for your commitment to continue to work together.’ – said U.S. Ambassador to North Macedonia, H.E. Jess Baily.
Project’s Chief of Party dr. Shpetim Latifi addressed the audience with gratitude for the demonstrated partnership and joint efforts, and then presented the 5 year results of the Project implementation, since 2014.
The Minister of Education and Science Mr. Arber Ademi said that it is his great pleasure to see the tremendous results of the Project. He is a fan and huge supporter of the Project and promised that will undertake all steps necessary to continue to support its activities after the official ending of the support by USAID and LCIF.
The Minister of Health Mr. Venko Filipche thanked the Project team and Mr. Shpetim Latifi as Chief of Party in his efforts to provide better health services and prevention of eye diseases for the children of ages 3-6, and promised that the Law on health protection will be amended with mandatory eye screenings for children of that age. Also the Ministry will support the implementation of screenings after 2019.
The Minister of Labor and Social Policies Ms. Mila Carovska pledged to improve the support for visually impaired, by providing more technical support and training for the beneficiaries of the Support Center for Visually Impaired.
Blagica Petreska, a visually impaired beneficiary of the Project shared her personal story with the audience, what she has gained, the knowledge and skills from the many workshops she and other beneficiaries have attended. She has completed the course for English language, arts workshops, and Braille literacy course.
The event was followed by a lively and open discussion of many questions and issues that the Project has helped address. More than 20 participants were involved in the discussion, and the minutes will be additionally distributed to all parties, with a specific plan of action by each Ministry.
Below are the links of all media that covered this event.