In November 2018 and February 2019 MAAA issued two calls for small grants as part of its promotional activities and support to the community. The grants were available to all MAAA members and they aimed at supporting the proposals whose objective was to utilize the knowledge and skills MAAA members gained during their participation in the exchange programs in the United States. At the same time, eligible proposals were supposed to strengthen MAAA community and increase the visibility of the organization. The applications included proposals which covered a vast area of activities, such as seminars, trainings, presentations, community service, and other alumni engagement initiatives. However, priority was given to projects implemented outside Skopje and projects dealing with marginalized groups: women, youth and others. In this issue of our newsletter, we present several successful and motivating projects which were awarded grants by MAAA.

Career Options for Young People

The purpose of the project was to help young people choose their future profession by presenting them a variety of options. For that reason, in December 2018, in Struga, our alumni Fitim Lloga delivered a presentation on the things he had learned in the professional schools in the USA. The presentation was attended by youngsters aged 14 to 17. The project motivated and inspired young people in stepping forward when choosing their future profession.

Promotion of the Database of Experts

The aim of the project was to create a database of female experts in North Macedonia, who have expertise in different professional areas. The idea was to develop a tool that will professionally empower women and make them more visible for the wide public. For that reason, the alumni Tanja Tomikj collected data of women experts who are active members of the academic world, citizen associations, media, political parties, or companies and created a digital base with their professional information. The database was promoted in February 2019 in Skopje, and it is constantly being updated with names of new successful female experts.

Womenpreneurs Stories

This project whose main aim was to empower women was among the few selected ones, because MAAA decided to award small grants to projects aimed at tackling and supporting vulnerable groups. Namely, the Womenpreneurs Stories was an initiative suggested by the alumna Nina Nikolikj, and its main goal was to present successful women in business and in leadership positions by giving them the opportunity to share their stories and thus inspire other women to keep moving forward in their professional lives. The event was organized in April 2019.

Workshop for Young Scientists

Another priority of MAAA when awarding the small grants was promotion of projects which deal with young people. For that reason, the proposal focusing on empowering young scientists and educating them on how to write scientific papers in the area of publishing ethics, biomedicine and related fields was among the selected ones. The event was held in June 2019 and was organized by the alumnus Donco Donev. The workshop’s goal was to develop the skills of young scientists - researchers, students, and young doctors.

Technology is Fun, Engineers are Cool

The event was designed for everyone interested in mechatronic systems integrated into amusing, everyday applications. The project was proposed by the alumna Jovana Jovanova, and the event was held in June 2019 at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Skopje. It included presentation of origami robots, a maze solver car and many other prototypes. The innovations were tested by the participants, giving them the chance to get familiarized with the application of mechatronic components and the process of 3D printing.

Trivia Night

Trivia nights are popular all over the world as an unconventional networking gathering where the participants learn new things and compete by showing their knowledge on various topics. MAAA Trivia Night was organized by Nina Angelovska and took place in the MKC Club & Restaurant on March 14, 2019. It provoked great interest among the participants and increased the visibility of MAAA in the community.

Food Based Dietary Guidelines

Food Based Dietary Guidelines are national documents that guide people towards eating habits that promote health and reduce diet-related health risks. In order to make the general public familiar with these useful tips, on June 27, within the frame of Small Grants Program, an event was organized by the alumnus Igor Spiroski, President of the Macedonian Society for Nutrition and Health. On this occasion, the audience was also addressed by Sarah Ohlhorst, Senior Director of Advocacy and Science Policy at the American Society for Nutrition.

Workshop about cyber-bullying

Within the MAAA Small Grants Program, on June 12, the alumni Tanja Miloshevska and Ana Fritzhand had a workshop on the psychological impact of child online exploitation - cyber-bullying. The aim of the project was to strengthen the parental and teachers’ capacities to protect children. The project goals were realized through a presentation and lectures that informed parents and teachers about the benefits and risks associated with information and communication technologies.

Written by Natalija Shikova

Bulding bridges of cooperation
between the United States and North Macedonia