Balkanalysis on Twitter Briefing with Daniel Todorovski of the Macedonian Red Cross, May 2011

Skopje, Macedonia– On May 10, 2011 Director Chris Deliso conducted a briefing with Daniel Todorovski, Manager of the Educational Training Center of the Macedonian Red Cross, at the charity’s headquarters in Skopje.

In the briefing, which included a tour of the Center’s classrooms and facilities, Mr Todorovski summarized the Macedonian Red Cross’s projects portfolio carried out over the past year, and outlined some of the organization’s goals for 2011 and beyond.

Along with traditional activities such as training for first aid, lifeguard training, first aid for childcare professionals and drivers, Mr Todorovski emphasized additional trainings offered by the Macedonian Red Cross, such as mountain search and rescue, the center’s foreign language training programs and painting courses. He also discussed the Macedonian Red Cross’s goals of acquiring specialized wheelchairs, in order to help disabled children to swim in Macedonian pools.

Despite being a landlocked country, Macedonia has several lakes and in keeping with national legislation must have lifeguards on lake areas designated as beaches and operated by private firms. In cooperation with the government of Macedonia, the Red Cross Educational Training Center has the responsibility of training and certifying lifeguards working there.

Additionally, noted Mr Todorovski, the state plans to expand lifeguard services to operate not only on natural lakes such as Ohrid, Prespa and Dojran, but on man-made ones such as Tikves, Kozjak and Debar, where underwater currents and other unique conditions often create particular hazards for swimmers. In this respect, the Red Cross will hold a training session for lifeguards in June at Lake Debar, in the mountainous west of the country.

Finally, an especially interesting area of development for the Macedonian Red Cross is in the field of homeopathic medicine training. In the briefing, Mr Todorovski noted that a program started in March 2010 is showing results, with 50 students to begin their second year of training this coming October 1, when German and Dutch homeopathic experts are expected to visit Skopje to augment local training staff. The three-year homeopathic course is open to both medical professionals and laymen. Despite the low visibility of the industry in the country thus far, the strong interest in participating in the course is indicative of a promising new area of growth in Macedonia’s private health sector.

In 2010, the Macedonian Red Cross celebrated its 65th anniversary as a formal member of the global humanitarian organization. It conducts a wide variety of projects in areas and activities including blood drives, disaster relief, emergency medical training, outdoors activities and various types of education, with emphasis given to assisting socially marginalized persons and fostering cooperation and good relations between Macedonia’s diverse populations. The Macedonian Red Cross also has an active volunteer and youth membership, and conducts a number of events with sister organizations from other Red Cross chapters in Europe and beyond.

The MRC’s parent organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, operates in the fields of health, disaster relief, volunteerism, education, migration, capacity-building and more. It is active in 186 countries worldwide, with its initial chapter established originally in 1863 in Geneva.

The Movement was “born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation, and lasting peace among all peoples.” is an American research and analysis firm that provides dedicated coverage of the Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean regions, in areas ranging from politics and security to economics and culture. It draws on the expertise of its broad network of field analysts and reporters representing a number of various countries and professional backgrounds.

Balkanalysis Briefings is a regular series in which correspondents of, sometimes in affiliation with partner organizations, engage with representatives of companies, governmental institutions, non-governmental groups and other organizations professionally involved with the Balkan and Mediterranean regions in order to gain insight into issues, trends and other factors affecting present and future developments in the area. This process contributes to better analytical and prognostic research, allowing to better serve its readers, while also providing Briefings partners an opportunity to make their products, services and goals better and more clearly known among those most actively involved with the region.

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