Activist and humanist Lence Zdravkin, at the Conference “Between Hopes and Reality”, which is part of the activities for celebrating CIVIL’s 20th anniversary, spoke about the power of civil society over the past years.
“I will not comment much the civil sector in the last 20 years, but looking at it from today’s perspective, the civil sector has already firmly established its foundations, on which foundations the state should rely on.
In the area I was focused on many for many years, and that being the refugee crisis that consumed our country, the citizens were the first to help, the civil sector, and not the state.
If it wasn’t for the civil sector, the state would have not known that we had a refugee crisis. But we pushing things to the point where the law was supposed to be implemented for the good of those sufferers, refugees. They managed to implement the law only after the trains took so many lives, when in Macedonia we buried over 50-60 refugees, it was then that the state realized that we seriously have a refugee crisis.
However, I will present the work of the civil sector through CIVIL’s work, they have grown as an organization through the years and once they matured, they visited me in Veles several years ago, and while sitting and talking they started asking me how I managed, what I do, how I manage all the work with the refugees… and when I started explaining to them that it was all so miserable, that I had to collect also plastic bottles in order to fill them with water and to give them to people, it was as if CIVIL forgot why they came in a working visit. Petrit and Xhabir’s eyes were filled with tears, they took out the money they had in their pockets for lunch in Veles, gave them to me and said ‘here, buy some water for the refugees’. That was the civil sector, that was CIVIL.
Today I would like to congratulate them on this day, the start of 20 days of activism and with 20 flowers to congratulate them on behalf of everyone here.
Text editing: D. Muratov
Editing: Arian Mehmeti
Camera: Atanas Petrovski
Translation: Natasa Cvetkovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian