Students from Macedonia, Croatia and Lithuania Raise Funds through Silent Auction of Photos with Philanthropic Messages

Skopje, 7 May 2018 – On Friday (4 May, the STRET (“Students Today-Responsible Entrepreneurs Tomorrow”) Gala Event was held at Telecom’s Innovation Centre, to raise funds through silent auction of photographs. At the auction, the visitors had an opportunity to purchase students’ photos from Skopje, Rijeka and Radvilishkis, which had taken part in the campaign “Goodness is all around us – We Should Only Recognize It.” The total amount collected from the sale amounted to 11,200 MKD. The students will be the ones to decide how they will use or donate the collected funds, in this implementing the principles of sustainability and strategic donation, which they had studied about in the previous stages of the project. The project “Students Today-Responsible Entrepreneurs Tomorrow” is coordinated by the “ARNO Association for Social Innovations, and is being implemented in Macedonia, Croatia, Lithuania and Belgium, as part of the Erasmus+ Programme, with the support of the EU Commission.

The participants in the event could hear stories of philanthropy and social responsibility presented by the representatives of “True Acts of Kindness”, “Ohrid Bank”, Face to Face”, “Food for All”, who spoke about their contribution to doing good for society. The Eco-Magician Kristian Shopov educated and entertained the audience with his tricks and illusions and taught the young guests that, sometimes, all it takes for successful “green” business” is a good idea, originality and good intentions.

“In the past two years, we worked with the youth from three countries, spoke about social entrepreneurship, the role of the private sector, education… What we learned is that young people unconditionally need the modern skills, but also broader perspective of things. Thus, offering them all the concepts of (responsible, social, ethical) entrepreneurship, the new business models, real examples, we came to the conclusion that the lowest common denominator, the starting and ending point of all this is philanthropy, i.e. the desire to help the other,” said Irina Janevska of ARNO, the organization that is the coordinator of the project.

Dejan Zlatkoski of the National Agency for European Educational Programmes and Mobility held the welcome address, in which he stressed the following:

“The project tackles a topic with an expressly European dimension and daces challenges of key importance for our educational system, such as “How to create better entrepreneurs, and, moreover, how to make these same entrepreneurs more responsible?” We honestly believe that the results of this project will influence the improvement of policies within the frameworks of the envisioned strategies and that they will contribute to the creation of new higher-quality curricula, based on the European experiences.”

The photographs that were displayed for sale may be seen at the Facebook page of the project. The photos taken at the event can be seen here.

At the event, several participants shared their impressions:

Lucija Bistrirovic (a student from Croatia), said about her experience: “I have always wanted to help people and this project gave me an opportunity learn how. Additionally, I met some wonderful people from Macedonia and Lithuania, I learned about social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility, I practiced public speaking, gave interviews on the radio and TV and also gained skills for work under pressure. I really hope that I will use this knowledge in my future profession.”

Tatjana Golceva, (a professor from Macedonia) said: “I consider this project to be very useful for this young generation and, although I belong to, let’s say, the middle-aged population, I personally gained great knowledge about social entrepreneurship. I am happy for my students and partners, I hope that we have contributed to a better future not only in the area of business and money, but to charity, human relations and social entrepreneurship as well.”

Luka (a student from Macedonia): “I like this project very much because I learned how to work as part of a team, how to respect others and how to speak in public. I also met new people from other countries.”

Vaida Jankuniene (a professor from Lithuania) said: “Our school has been participating in a number of international projects. The STRET project was something new for us because we knew very little about social entrepreneurship and social enterprises. Today, we are able to explain what this is. The students learn many new and useful things. Through this project, they gained greater self-confidence, while the activities contributed to forming a positive, creative critical thinking