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Macedonians Promote Donations for Less Fortunate on Social Media

Written by Filip Stojanovski On 11 April 2014 @ 18:57 pm | 1 Comment

In Digital Activism, Eastern & Central Europe, Economics & Business, Food, Humanitarian Response, Macedonia, Macedonian, Photography, Women & Gender

Some local humanitarian organizations and grassroots initiatives in Macedonia are successfully using social media to encourage in-kind donations aimed at the country's poorest citizens.

The organization “Food for All – BHM” advocates for the creation of food banks [1] aimed directly at helping vulnerable people and families in Macedonia. The NGO recently posted a set of data [2] [mk] on their website regarding those living below the poverty line in Macedonia, which according to official statistics, is 30 percent of the Macedonian population.

The poorest seem to live mostly in large families, are often unemployed and uneducated. Part of the short study claims:

Анализирано по профили, најранливи групи се повеќечлените домаќинства имајќи го предвид фактот дека 47.3% од сиромашните живеат во домаќинства со 5 и повеќе членови. Стапката на сиромаштија кај невработените е 41.8%, односно 44.8% од сите сиромашни се невработени лица. Образованието на носителот на домаќинството, исто така влијае на бројот на сиромашни лица. Имено, 54.7% од сиромашните лица живеат во домаќинства во кои носителот на истото нема или има завршено најмногу основно образование, а најголем процент се домаќинствата каде носител на истото е самохрана мајка – родител и стари и изнемоштени лица.

По горе презентираните проценти можеме да извлчеме заклучок дека над 600.000 граѓани од Р. Македонија живеат во сиромаштво односно над 60.000 луѓе спаѓаат во категоријата на неухранети лица, од кои над 50% проценти се деца.

Analyzed by profiles, most vulnerable groups include large households, considering the fact that 47% of poor people live in families consisting of five or more members. Poverty rate among the unemployed is 41.8%, and 44.8% of the poor are unemployed. Education of the head of the household also affects poverty level. 54.7% of poor people live in families where the head has no education at all or has only finished primary education. Most of these families rely on a single parent (mother) or old and feeble persons.

This data calculates that over 600,000 citizens of the Republic of Macedonia live in poverty, and that over 60,000 people fall into the category of malnourished, with children making up over 50% of them.

While an estimated 60 percent of Macedonian citizens are online, the development of e-commerce is lagging in comparison to the rest of Europe, and providing financial donations through the Internet is not very common. But grassroots humanitarian initiatives primarily use social media to raise awareness of their campaigns to give basic provisions such as food and clothes to people in need.

Prominent examples include the initiative “Have a heart” (#имајсрце [3] in Macedonian) to help the children in the Goce Delchev shelter in the village of Ljubanci [4] [mk] in 2012, or blood donation campaigns [5] in 2013 and 2014.

One case in point of focusing on particular target groups, such as single-parent homes and children, is the association “A View on the Truth.” They use their blog [6] [mk] Real Acts of Kindness to call attention to problems as well as social media [7] [mk] to increase visibility and encourage people to donate the most necessary items. Visits to needy families are documented with photographs and short descriptions and posting them online, like this one [8] [mk]: 

Слаѓана В. живее со две малолетни дечиња, 3 год. и 1,5 год. Не е вработена и привремено е сместена во манастирот св. Илија над селото Бањани, Скопско. За да дојде во Скопје за здраствен преглед или друга потреба, мора со своите дечиња да пешачи 4 km до автобуската станица во с. Бањани.

Има потреба од храна, средства за чистење и средства за лична хигиена. Најголемиот проблем е што нема постојано место на живеење и што е невработена.

Освен нашето здружение, на самохраната мајка и помагаат жители од селото, Меѓаши, локалната самоуправа и поттикнати граѓани.

Бидете и вие дарежливи и помогнете и на Слаѓана со своите дарови.

Sladjana V. lives with two young children of 3 and 1.5 years. She is unemployed and is temporarily sheltered in the monastery St. Ilija above the village of Banjani near Skopje. To get to Skopje for medical exams or other needs, she and her kids have to walk 4 kilometers to the bus station in Banjani.

She needs food, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene supplies. Her biggest problem is unemployment and a lack of a permanent residence.

Besides our association, she receives help from the residents of the village, the non-government organization Children's Embassy Megjashi [9], the local municipality, and other citizens.

Please be generous and help Sladjana with your donations.

After donation drives, they also provide accountability to the donors by documenting the delivery of aid, displaying photographic evidence that the items indeed arrived at their intended destination in a follow-up report [10] [mk]. They also send these links to individual donors, when possible.

Donation delivery. Photo by A View on Truth, from their project Real Acts of Kindness. Used with permission. [11]

Donation delivery. Photo by A View on the Truth, from their project Real Acts of Kindness. Used with permission.

For single mothers in the Butel and Chair municipalities in Skopje, they first visited them and confirmed the need for children’s clothing and shoes, food and hygiene products. They issued a call via Facebook [12] [mk] and Twitter for donations to be gathered at an accessible location in the city center, where they also provided a round of weekly food donations to the homeless [13] [mk], accompanied by hot tea or soup. Photo [14] [mk, photo] galleries [15] [mk, photo] captured the delivery of donated items. These visits also included playtime between children and their less fortunate peers, teaching them to share some of their belongings or prepare gifts. Such donations drives also include aid to single fathers [16] [mk] and donating baby carriage [17] [mk] or home appliances [18].

Skopje street scene. Foreground share food box and person begging. Background election posters and new government building construction site. Photo by Share food.

Share Food Facebook cover photo, showing their box on Macedonia street in Skopje. A construction site of a new government building displays presidential elections posters.

Another grassroots initiative that recently took off on the streets of Skopje and on Facebook is Share Food (“Сподели храна” [19]). One of their primary means of advertising is a Facebook profile set up for the cause. Members of the initiative write [20] [mk]:

Сподели храна е мала иницијатива која се надеваме дека за некои луѓе ќе има големо значење. Ја очекуваме вашата поддршка за да оваа иницијатива биде успешна.

Сподели храна претставува (сега за сега) два пункта, кутии поставени низ центарот на градот каде едни луѓе ќе оставаат храна, а други ќе земаат. Идејата е овие кутии кои се поставени на места каде најчесто има бездомници а истовремено и голема фреквенција на луѓе, да се користат постојано-едни луѓе ќе остават нешто за јадење, други ќе се послужат. И така во круг.

Оваа иницијатива се заснова врз идејата за споделување и вербата во човекот и неговата севсност за другите.

Се надеваме дека со текот на времето на граѓаните на Скопје ќе им стане навика да поминуваат покрај кутиите и се почесто да оставаат храна, а луѓето кои се гладни ќе имаат каде да поминат за да се послужат со нешто да ја убијат гладтта.

Share Food is a small initiative which we hope could mean a lot for some people. We need your support to succeed.

For now, we have set two drop-off boxes in Skopje's city center where people can leave and take food items. We set the boxes at places that homeless people frequent, and which are also busy with traffic…

This initiative is based on the idea of sharing and on faith in human beings and their awareness of others.

We hope that in time the residents of Skopje will get into the habit of passing by the boxes and leaving food more often, so the hungry can have a spot to pass by and eat something to lessen their hunger.


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/04/11/macedonians-promote-donations-for-less-fortunate-on-social-media/

URLs in this post:

[1] food banks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_bank

[2] a set of data: http://www.bankazahrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51&Itemid=57&lang=mk

[3] #имајсрце: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%98%D1%81%D1%80%D1%86%D0%B5&src=typd

[4] children in the Goce Delchev shelter in the village of Ljubanci: http://dictatorofdreams.blogspot.com/2012/03/blog-post_12.html

[5] blood donation campaigns: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/04/macedonian-twitter-community-organizes-second-annual-blood-drive/

[6] blog: http://pogledkonvistinata.weebly.com/

[7] social media: https://twitter.com/Bajkerka/status/451041882651783168

[8] one: http://pogledkonvistinata.weebly.com/105710401052105410611056104010531040-10521040103210501040.html

[9] Children's Embassy Megjashi: http://www.childrensembassy.org.mk/

[10] follow-up report: http://pogledkonvistinata.weebly.com/105710451052104510321053104810581045-10521040103210501048-10421054-10551054105210541064-10531040-10571040105210541061105610401053104810581045.html

[11] Image: http://globalvoicesonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/998855_1413969368857966_771237275_n.jpg

[12] Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vistinskidelanaljubeznost?fref=ts

[13] weekly food donations to the homeless: http://pogledkonvistinata.weebly.com/1054105710521040-104010501062104810321040-10471040-1061105610401053104510341045-10531040-104110451047104410541052105310481062104810581045-10541044-1.html

[14] Photo: http://pogledkonvistinata.weebly.com/10551054104210581054105610531040-105510541057104510581040-10531040-10571040105210541061105610401053104010581040-10521040103210501040-10541044-104110.html

[15] galleries: http://pogledkonvistinata.weebly.com/10521040105610501054-1048-10441040104210481044-10421054-105510541057104510581040-10531040-1052105910571058104010601040-1048-104510561053104510571058.html

[16] aid to single fathers: http://pogledkonvistinata.weebly.com/105510541057104510581040-10531040-10571040105210541061105610401053104810541058-1056105410441048105810451051-10411054105610631045.html

[17] baby carriage: https://twitter.com/Bajkerka/status/447805967636656128

[18] home appliances: https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1.0-9/1620677_1408809492707287_76333494_n.jpg

[19] “Сподели храна”: https://www.facebook.com/podelihrana

[20] write: https://www.facebook.com/podelihrana/posts/1387565234857217?stream_ref=10

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