FIRST CHILDREN’S EMBASSY IN THE WORLD MEGJASHI 1992 – 2015
FIRST CHILDREN’S EMBASSY IN THE WORLD MEGJASHI 1992 – 2015
The First Children's Embassy in the World - Megjashi (FCEWM) - Republic of Macedonia was founded on the 29th of April 1992 in Skopje. FCEWM, is a world association of citizens and represents an international nonpartisan, nongovernmental and nonprofit humanitarian association for the care of children and children’s rights.
Megjashi stands for honoring children’s personality through the protection of their rights, and through the enrichment of their life with activities that make childhood secure and fruitful. It also strengthens the NGO movement for protection of children rights in the Republic of Macedonia, by developing the voluntary approach in its operation and by expressing concern for the Convention of Children Rights.
First children’s embassy in the world "Megjashi" on Wednesday is celebrating its 23rd anniversary.
“During the period 1992-2015, children’s embassy “Megjashi” was initially focusing on protection of the children’s rights, on informing and representing their interests and this still remains as the most important principle”, say from “Megjashi”.
Ambassador of the first children’s embassy in the world “Megjashi” is Kole Angelovski, and its founders are Gordana Pirkovska-Zmijanac and Dragi Zmijanac.
The First Children’s Embassy in the World – Megjashi Macedonia is a World Association of citizens and represents an International non-partisan, non-governmental and non-profit humanitarian association for the care of children and children's rights, as the first registered international non-governmental organization in the Republic of Macedonia, established in order to protect the rights of the children in the transition period.
Through extensive advocacy and campaigning First Children's Embassy in the World MEGJASHI is helping to bring down the wall of silence concerning children rights, especially related to physical, sexual and economic abuse of children, thereby exposing to the public numerous cases of abuse and directly supporting the establishment of more effective mechanisms for children protection,
First Children’s Embassy in the World – Megjashi stands for honoring children’s personality through the protection of their rights, and through the enrichment of their life with activities that make childhood secure and fruitful. It also strengthens the NGO movement for protection of children rights in the Republic of Macedonia, by developing the voluntary approach in its operation and by expressing concern for the Convention of Children Rights.
The Embassy contributes to the development and strengthening of citizen awareness through the implementation of its activities. It brought down the wall of silence concerning children rights, especially related to physical, sexual and economic abuse of children, thereby exposing to the public numerous cases of abuse and directly supporting the establishment of more effective mechanisms for children protection.
The Embassy Megjashi is recognized as the leading Macedonian NGO for advocating and promoting children’s’ rights. In 2001 Megjashi was the first ever recipient of an award for civil society and democracy given in recognition of its lasting and sustainable contribution to the establishment of democratic society in Macedonia through its work for the rights of children. It has been supported by funding from several large international donors who have chosen to continue to fund our subsequent projects (such donors include USAID, EU Commission, the Royal Netherlands embassy…). For the last two years our accounts have been successfully audited by KPMG.
The most prominent results in the past 23 years:
1992 – 1997: During the initial stages of the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, First Children’s Embassy in the World – Megjashi appealed for support and organized sheltering of children refugees, directing them in destinations in foreign countries, and providing humanitarian aid and creative activities, thereby aiding around sixty thousand refugee children.
1993 – 2007: The Embassy Megjashi established the first round-the-clock 0800 12222 SOS telephone line and psychological counseling in the Republic of Macedonia. The telephone line is free of charge since 2005 when Macedonian Telecommunication approved it. 17000 calls in 14 years.
1993: Published the book The Rights of the Child, the first of its kind in the Republic of Macedonia;
1993-2007-Children’s Workshops, creative use of the free time- 8000 children included
1994: Started lobbying to ratify the Hague Convention on civil and legal aspects of international children abductions. In 1995 the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia ratified this Convention.
1996: Started lobbying to establish an institution Children’s Ombudsman. In 1999 the Republic of Macedonia established an Ombudsman’s office acting upon children rights.
1997: The Embassy Megjashi, acting as an associative member of the Defense for Children International, formed a committee of the DCI. In 1999 this committee registered as a separate NGO supporting children’s rights – the Association for the Protection of Children Rights.
1997 – 2002: The Embassy established a Macedonian National Coalition for Children Rights (28 NGOs), and the Secretariat of this organization was situated in Megjashi.
1999: Acting as the national coordinator, we joined the family of Global March Against Child Labor, and acted to raise public awareness, against the exploitation of children labor, and inclusion of children in education.
1999 – 2001: Campaigned to ratify Convention 182 and Recommendation 190 for emergency elimination of the worst forms of children labor. In 2002 the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia ratified these documents.
2001-2006: A shelter-housing crisis struck children has been established, housing 16 dislocated persons from the village of Arachinovo, 8 of which are children. Three of them were bourn in the shelter.
2001: The Embassy Megjashi won the award for civil society and democracy, for its lasting contribution to establish democratic society in the Republic of Macedonia. The award has been granted by MCIC.
2001 – 2004: The Children’s Embassy Megjashi formed the Alliance of children organizations in the Republic of Macedonia and created and published the first codex of NGOs and the rights of the children in the country.
2001 – 2002: The Embassy Megjashi started an initiative to alter tax laws related to non-for-profit organizations.
2002 – 2004: The Embassy Megjashi acted to promote volunteerism in the Republic of Macedonia, through the Program Macedonian Volunteer Action (MVA).
2002-2006: Implementation of the program to establish a non-violent conflict resolution program in the high schools in Macedonia.
2003: The Embassy, in cooperation with Centro Regionale di Intervento per la Cooperacione (CRIC) from Italy, implemented a project “Civil Action through Theater,” including 60 children from 3 multiethnic schools as well as their parents.
2003: On 11th of November 2005, the International day agains Fashism and Antisemitism, we organised a graphits-erasing event, entitled „Let’s put down violence from walls”. The graphiti messages: „Stop violence” and „Love to be loved” have replaced the violent messages erased from the walls. The main goal of this action was the promotion of values such as: everlasting peace, solidarity, non-violence, and respect for the human rights of all people residing in Republic of Macedonia.
2004: In cooperation with the H.A. ESE, between June and September, the Embassy prepared 53 amendments to the Family Law and recommendations regarding the Draft Law on Social and Children Welfare.
2004: The Embassy Megjashi together with some members of the Civil Society Platform of Macedonia decided voluntarily to announce the annual reports including financial reports and independent revisers reports.
2004: The Embassy published the book “Children’s rights protection” as a review of the condition of children in Republic of Macedonia where the author Milica Paneva suggested certain recommendations and summary suggestions for improving the condition in which are the children in Macedonia.
2002-2007 (every April): A campaign is currently running, based on the “Global Campaign for Education.” The aim of which is to raise public awareness and thus include children in schools.
2005: We implemented the activity for decreasing conflicts among high school students throughout training for the teachers and the students for non-violent conflict resolution. The companionship through multiethnic cooperation took place in 5 multiethnic schools in Skopje, Kumanovo and Tetovo.
2005: On 19th of November-the International Day Against Fashizam and Antisemetizam, we organized an action for erasing graphits “Put out the violence from he walls”. Graphits: “Stop the violence”, “Love to be loved”, “Peace” replaced the violent massages written on the walls. The aim of the action was public promotion of the values of consistent peace, solidarity, nonviolence and respecting human rights of all people living in Macedonia.
2006: The First Children’s Embassy in the World ”Megjashi” is in process of realization of the project Psycho - social and educational support for children without parents after leaving orphanage “11 Octomvri” - whose purpose is contribution in socialization of the youths in time when they are leaving the orphanage. The project includes activities like: computer courses, foreign language courses, cooking lessons, supporting and couraging the children for their future life, direct psycho and social counseling... The First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi completely furnished one apartment with furniture and apparatus, and this apartment will be home for 4 young girls Fatima Ajdar, Aleksandra Spasovska, Sanja Spasovska I Nadira Bajramovska until they are 26. The apartment was given by the Ministry for Labor and Social Policy, and the furnishing was financed by the Project for Municipality Development (PMD)- Ministry for finance-World Bank. The girls moved in the apartment on 15th of February 2006.
2006: The Embassy together with 5 other members(Macedonian Women’s Rights Center-“Shelter Centre”-Association for Democratic Initiatives-ADI, Polio Plus-Movement Against Disability and Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the epublic of Macedonia) formed Human Rights House of Macedonia
2007: Embassy Megjashi started the campaign: STOP! For the violence over children! And Did you hug you child today?. This was a reaction to the previous beats till death over two children, one at the age 3 and the other at the age 3 months. But also as a result of the increasing number of calls for reporting violence (20% of the total number of calls on our SOS Helpline for children and youth 0800 1 2222 which is free of charge for the children in Macedonia).
2006-2007: Started the CSPM project that includes promotion of volunteerism throughout “Guide to Volunteerism” and promotion of the activities of the civil society organizations in general.
2007: Action for inclusion of all children in the educational system under the motto Join us! Right to education now!!! Over 50 schools and municipalities were involved in the campaign. Children, members of the Children’s Embassy, had a reception by the President of the Republic of Macedonia Mr. Branko Crvenkovski and The Vice-President of the Parliament of The Republic of Macedonia Mr. Ivan Anastasovski. The President of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia Mr. Nikola Gruevski supported the action onj the day of the central manifestation. The Embassy Megjashi received written guarantees by Mr. Branko Crvekovski, Mr.Nikola Gruevski, Mr. Ivan Anastasovski and Mr. Pero Stojanovski, State Counselor in the Ministry for Education and Science of the Republic of Macedonia that they will make efforts so that every child can accomplish its right to education.
2008 One of the toughest abuse and traumas over children is the sexual one. As a result of the increased number of pedophilia and incest in Macedonia, the First Children’s Embassy in 2008 increased the threshold of intolerance towards the rapists, increased the public opinion for the consequences that the children suffer and requested increase of the penalties for the perpetrators of this criminal act including the penalty of life imprisonment. The same year, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia adopted the new Criminal Law where pursuant to Article 188, the sentence of a life imprisonment was also determined.
2008 has started the combat against the pedophilia, family desecration and sexual abuse of children in R of Macedonia. Demonstrated many reactions, requests and responsibilities and written petitions to the Public Ombudsman, Public Prosecutor for disrespecting and violation of the children’s rights. The initiative for increasing of the penalties for a minimum from15 years of imprisonment to lifetime has been given for those types of crimes (pedophilia, family desecration and sexual abuse of children). All the effort for representing and lobbying for more severe penalties of the pedophiles were accepted by the Ministry of Justice in R of Macedonia and the penalties for children abuse were increased u to the minimum of 10 years.
2008 Children’s Embassy Megjashi and Foundation Metamorphosis have accomplished the project “Protection and Security of children and their rights to internet”- CRISP (www.crisp.org.mk orwww.bezbednonainternet.org.mk), in order to educate children on the first place, parents and teachers about the manners how children could be protected and safe on internet.
2008 Within the framework of the project “The child is a witness that seeks a special care” the book “I go to court” is published. This book is written for the young children between the ages 5 to 11 which will give out statements as witnesses in the Criminal Court. It is designed for children that were being molested of witnesses of molesting. The information that is given in the book are to introduce each child about the situation that the child might be involved in at the courtroom and to prepare the participation at the court dispute.
First World Children Embassy has organized the campaign for a responsible parenthood for the third time this year, but this time with the slogan “Did you speak with your child today?” and “Did you tell your child how much you love him today?” which were lead by the First World Children’s Embassy Megjashi at the beginning of 2007 and 2008.
2009 The lack of mechanisms for listening the children’s voice on a national level are part of the reasons why the children’s voice is not heard, why the children are not involved in the development and the creation of changes. The establishment of a culture in which the children will participate, is an important step towards achieving this goal. The Children’s Embassy with its activities enables the children to participate in the creation of social issues from different areas, which refer to the children’s rights. For that purpose, the Embassy organized trainings, workshops, summer camps and other forms of encouragement for the children and youngsters in order for them to actively participate in making decisions of their interest.
2009 As for the occasion of the World’s Campaign for education, First World Children’s Embassy Megjashi performed a march with the children holding transparent materials with a messages written about the rights of education and literacy of all the children. They were marching quietly in the name of solidarity for all children in the world that are not attending school and that are illiterate. There are 774 millions of adults and 75 millions of children hat are illiterate. In Macedonia 18 500 children are not attending primary school and 2000 of them are out on the street. In Macedonia 200 000 adults haven’t gone to primary school. 50 children have met Mr. Safet Neziri, the President of the Parliament Committee for education, science and sport at the Parliament of R Macedonia. The discussed and asked questions about the education and what can be done about the children that are not attending school. They also requested from the president to sign a written guarantee that during his mandate he will make an effort to accomplish right for each child to go to school. Children also met Mr. Pero Stojanovski the Minister of Education and Science. At this meeting the children got a chance to discuss with the minister about the significance of the education, as well as asking questions about what can be done with the children that are not attending school. They also requested from the Minister to explain what he has done so far regarding the efforts for which he had signed a guarantee for accomplishing the right of each child to go to school.
In 2010 The Children’s Embassy Megjashi initiated and organized preparation of Children’s alternative report in collaboration with children- members of 7 local partnership organizations. The children expressed their opinion and attitudes on numerous issues: how much they are familiar with their rights and the Convention, how much their opinion is respected, for the violence among them, discrimination, how much they are familiar with the institutions that protect the children, what is the quality of their life, and finally they gave recommendations for improving the condition of the Macedonian children. This is the first time that the children in Macedonia prepare their own report and represent the said before the Committee on the Rights of the Child at the Organization of the United Nations. So far many little countries in the world were represented before the Committee with an alternative report on the conditions of the child’s rights prepared by children. The same year, the Children’s Embassy Megjashi organized the preparation of an alternative report on behalf of the Macedonian National Coalition on the rights of the child, established by Megjashi in 1997. 21 civil organizations participated in the preparation of that report. The children’s report and the report of the civil organizations were evaluated on behalf of the Committee on the Rights of the Child as wide-ranging.
On the 3rd of February 2010, on the 54th Pre-session of the Committee for the rights of the child of UN in Geneva, three representatives from the Macedonian National Alliance for children’s rights (a coalition consisted of 23 NGOs) presented the following Alternative reports about the situation with the rights of the child in Macedonia in front of 9 members of the Committee:
•Alternative Report of the nongovernmental organizations to the Second Periodical Report of the Republic of Macedonia to the Convention on Children’s Rights
•Alternative report of the non-profit organizations to the Initial Report of Republic of Macedonia after the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
•Alternative report of the nongovernmental organizations to the Initial Report of the Republic of Macedonia under the Optional Protocol towards the Convention on Children’s Rights on involvement of children in armed conflicts
Two children representatives had a separate meeting with the members of the Committee on which they presented the Children’s Alternative report – made by the children.
The First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi organized the First National Children’s Conference for Child Participation on the 16th of March 2010, at the Youth Cultural Center, Cinema “Frosina”. The conference was a part of the project Building a Culture of Child Participation, financed by the European Union, and co-financed by UNICEF. The conference was organized and hosted by the children themselves.
The first speaker of the conference was MA Dragi Zmijanac, Executive Director and Founder of the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi. Other speakers on the conference were: His Excellency Mr. Erwan Fouere, the EU Special Representative and Head of Delegation of the European Commission, Mr. Sheldon Yett, Head of mission of the UNICEF in the Republic of Macedonia, Mrs. Nevena Krusharovska, Deputy Ombudsman, Mrs. Elena Lazovska, representative from the Ministry of labor and social politics, Mrs. Nade Stojmenova, representative from the Ministry of education and science, and Mrs. Keti Jandrijeska Jovanova from the Helsinki Committee for human rights in the Republic of Macedonia.
2011 The Children’s Embassy Megjashi in its essence, from the very beginning and with its designation is actually a peace organization for protection of the children and their rights. That is evident through its primary documents; treaty and program assignments established prior the foundation of the organization as well as through the performed activities from the very beginning until today.
We began by supporting the children struck by the Balkan wars, in order to continue with the activities for building the peace and promoting the Peace and Non-violence as basic values in the educational system. We also organized the establishment of peace clubs within the schools and provided trainings for the educational staff and students. We try to realize the peace mechanism, all together, through various activities, as well as by using techniques of creative elaboration of conflicts. Our goal is to show the need for embedding the Peace education within the educational programs. Some of those contents are already embedded but only in an informative manner. What is missing is the complete integration of the Peace education in the educational programs, proficiently and valuably determined, including the personal responsibility. Our hope is that we shall succeed in doing that.
2011 In the research dedicated to the “Confidence in the civil society” and “The familiarity with the civil organizations and the opinions for them”, the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi according to the interviewed persons is on the following positions:
(1) First place - Children’s Embassy Megjashi is at the first place for a confidence in the organizations. 53.6% of the citizens have positive opinion for the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi and the relation between positive and negative opinion is 20.3 to 1.(2) Second place - for the most successful organization
(2) Second place - 56.2 % of the citizens are familiar with the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi while 81.4% from the citizens in Republic of Macedonia have heart for Megjashi.
In some subsectors First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi is recognized as:
(2) Second place - Organization in Democracy and human rights
(4) Forth place - Organization in Developing (strengthening) of the civil society
2012 ,, When you say that you are a child from an orphanage, they don’t give you the opportunity to show your skills in any kind of work, they don’t allow you to go forward because they don’t trust you, they think the children are criminals, and many other things. There are children that studied to become police officers and now are inspectors, meaning they have become great men, that showed they can be as any other normal citizen.”
This is a statement of I.J., one of the youngsters that left this institution for caring of children and youngsters without parents and parental care at the age of 18, and is part of the activities that are performed within the recent years on behalf of the First Children’s Embassy in the World-Megjashi.
The problems with which the youngsters face after leaving the institutions for caring of children and youngsters without parents and parental care are additional motive for the First Children’s Embassy in the World-Megjashi to initiate activities as support for solving these problems within the recent years. This year as well, the activities for psycho-social and educational support of the children without parents, continued. But not only that, we also make efforts to encourage the socially responsible companies in Macedonia to employ and give advantage, and if that is not possible, at least to provide them with the equal opportunity of employment, and not to discriminate against them as that is the case so far.
2013 THE FIRST CHILDREN’S EMBASSY IN THE WORLD TO BE THE NUMBER ONE TRUSTED AMONG CITIZENS IN MACEDONIA. According to the citizens, the first place, with most voices with positive opinion, belongs to the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi, the same as the previous researches made in the years of 2007, 2008 and 2010.
2014 ADVOCACY OF MEGJASHI SUCCEEDED -- CRIMINAL CODE TO CHANGE Chemical castration and more severe punishments for pedophiles
Megjashi's advocacy for more severe punishments for the pedophiles, incest offenders and sexual offenders has succeeded - the Criminal code is to be changed, chemical castration is to be introduced and minimum 15 years imprisonment for all the the rapists having committed sexual assault on a child under 14 years
2014 First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi is the first civil society organisation in Republic of Macedonia which received ISO 9001:2008 certificate.
This international standard for quality management is a significant indicator which ensures quality of the working standards.
Some numbers speak for themselves. In these 20 years (1992-2012) over 18,000 calls have been registered on the SOS helpline. Over 1,200 volunteers have participated in the activities. The said have worked over 700,000 working hours. Their work calculated in money is over one and a half million Euros. Over 100 tons of relief aid has been distributed. More than 1,500 notices are published for the Embassy’s activities. Over 2,000 children have visited the children’s workshops for free. Approximately around 8,500 children have become members of the First Children’s Embassy in the World -Megjashi. More than 500 children have been to the summer camps.
The First Children’s Embassy in the World – Megjashi is a member of numerous domestic and international organizations like: Civil Platform of Macedonia, Human Rights House, Global March Against Child Labor, Defense for Children International, Child Rights Information Network, EUROCHILD, Child Help line International, Coalition all for Fair Trials, World Fund for Dignity of Children, Macedonian Centar for International Cooperation and many others.
The First Children’s Embassy in the World has its Diplomatic Corps in five continents in the world, with over 120 beneficiaries of our diplomatic passport so far. The Embassy has Consulates in Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Spain, Brazil and Italy.
This World Association as a First Children's Embassy in the World of the First Children's Land in the World Megjashi operates through its Honorary Ambassadors, Honorary Consul General and Honorary Consul, Permanent Representatives and Honorary Members of Collegium, Children's Diplomatic Corps, General Consulates, Consulates, Consulates Departments and Office in the country and abroad as well as through its members in Macedonia and in the World.
So far, the following children have been honored with the title Children Ambassadors of the First Children’s Embassy in the World – Megjashi: Mirjana Boshevska, Gjakush Kabashi, and Stefan Pleskonic, and the Child Councilor – Kalina Mrmevska.
Member’s of the Board: Dusko Arsovski, Lena Damovska, Kole Angelovski, Ajrje Dahxi, Zumreta JAkupi, Evridika Saskova, Sasko Trajkovski, Blagoja Corevski, Roza Vasilevska,Dragi Zmijanac and Gordana Pirkovska Zmijanac
Ambassador of our Embassy is H.E. Kole Angelovski, actor
Spiritual father Dushko Tomic
Founders are Gordana Pirkovska Zmijanac and Dragi Zmijanac
Executive Director is Dragi Zmijanac MA.Sc
Part of the Charter of the First Children's Embassy in the World-Megjashi, Republic of Macedonia
Children are a special nation. Children are not national and religious leaders. They are a nation that has never carried out any revolution or counter-revolution, nor has started any wars. Children are not the question of the class or nation: children are the question of all questions. They are the nation that suffers most in war clashes and human tragedies. Children are only children. "All of the world’s ideals are less important than a child’s tears."
The idea, the name (the First World Children's Embassy), and the mascot "Shaggy" are registered and protected at the Ministry of Development of the Republic of Macedonia- Institute for the Protection of Industrial Property of the Republic of Macedonia (Stamp no. 863, 864 and 865-1994)
Everyone who wants to make donations and support the work of the First Children’s Embassy in the World ’Megjashi’ is welcomed to do so.
You can make your payment:
SWIFT STOB MK2X, ID 10661790006233480 Euro, 0007535360 USD
For further information, please contact us at the following telephones:
+ 389 (0)2 2465 316, + 389 (0)2 2463 900, or
The First Children’s Embassy in the World is re-recorded in The Registy for associations of citizens and foundations in the Primary Court Skopje 1 under the registry number 297, decision number 162/98 on 15.6.1999. Registry number 4377249. Unique tax number 4030995179890.