Written by Natalija Shikova
The small grants program is available to all MAAA members and supports activities that are utilizing the knowledge and skills gained during participation in the United States exchange programs. Due to the pandemic, this year (2020-2021) the activities – events, seminars, presentations, debates, and webinars – were organized online. The following small projects have been realized so far by our MAAA members:
Violence against women and girls in North Macedonia during the Covid-19 pandemic
This project aimed to initiate an academic discussion and to raise awareness of the violence against women and girls during the Covid-19 pandemic. To fulfill this goal, an online event was held on 10 December 2020 (the International Human Rights Day), with representatives from state institutions, members of the Parliament, and academicians as guest speakers. They highlighted the importance of inter-institutional support in combating violence against women and girls, especially during these challenging times. They also discussed the significance of establishing a holistic approach by the government institutions, which will enable access to the needed services for the victims of violence. The event was organized by the MAAA member Dr. Ali Musliu – a University Professor at the State University of Tetovo. The second activity within this project is planned to happen in March 2021.
The challenge of men’s mental health, a new pandemic
The main idea of the project was to raise awareness of men’s mental health, particularly in these unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to achieve this goal, the MAAA member Ivan Durgutov hosted and moderated an online panel discussion. The guest speakers were distinguished representatives of institutions and organizations whose professional interest is mental health and human well-being, psychotherapists, and psychologists. In their address during the panel discussion, they emphasized the queries related to men’s mental health during the pandemic, the reasons for the stress and anxiety, and emphasized the importance of social interactions.
Opportunities for developing women’s entrepreneurship in rural communities
This project aimed to promote opportunities for the development of women’s entrepreneurship in rural communities. With this aim in mind, the MAAA member Marina Tosheska organized a webinar on which the key priorities in supporting women entrepreneurship in rural areas were addressed. The guest speakers envisaged that the development of women entrepreneurship in rural areas could play a vital role in improving women’s lives, and it can improve the overall quality of life of the people living in those areas. The webinar was attended by more than 40 participants, representatives of national institutions, academic institutions, business entities, and non-governmental associations.
Valuation of Start-Ups – US Experience
The goal of the project was to provide training for the representatives of Macedonian companies, especially to Startup companies and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME). For that reason, in February, 2021, the MAAA member Aleksandar Celeski, organized an on-line webinar on which he introduced the participants to the basics of valuation and 10 valuation methodologies. He also spoke about his expectations and experience gained in the U.S. and how U.S. companies value startups in each and every stage of investment.
One Beat 2018 – One Beat 2020
The project aimed to introduce the traditional Macedonian instruments to primary school students. On Feb 8, our MAAA member Oliver Nastevski, Alumnus of the One Beat program, organized an online presentation entitled: “Use of Traditional Macedonian Instruments in World Music” supported by the Macedonian-American Alumni Association through the Small Grants program. The goal of the presentation was to inform students about the various genres of traditional music and traditional instruments and the evolution from traditional to modern music.
Sharing the best practices for digitalization of higher education
The main goal of this project was to create a platform for partnership development between the University of Minnesota and the University American College Skopje. Professors and students from both universities discussed the challenges and benefits of the digitalization of teaching and learning processes during an online event. The event was initiated and organized by our alumna Marija Vasilevska and was entitled: Sharing best practices for digitalization of higher education – The cases of Hubbard School of Journalism & mass communication – the University of Minnesota, USA and School of Business Economics and Management -University American College Skopje. This was just an initiation for future academic collaboration between the two universities.