Nansen Dialogue Center Skopje (Macedonia) is a local non-governmental and non-profit organization, established the year 2000 supported by the Nansen Academy from Lillehammer, Norway. NDC Skopje is part of the Nansen Dialogue Network that consists of Nansen Dialogue Centers in the Western Balkans and the Nansen Academy in Norway. Nansen Dialogue Network is a member of the European Peace building Liaison Office.

The organizations vision is of a democratic society in which dialogue is the everyday tool for conflict resolution between individuals, groups or communities. A society in which peace, multiethnic cohesion, integration, equality and tolerance are the core values.

NDC mission is to support actively and effectively intercultural and interethnic dialogue processes at local, national and regional level with the aim of contributing to conflict prevention, reconciliation and peace building through various program activities, in particular within the educational area.

Main donor of NDC Skopje is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom Norway. Click here to visit the website

Background

Upon the establishment of the Nansen Dialogue Center Skopje in the year 2000, the focus of the organization was mainly put on students, young politicians, and representatives of non-governmental organizations and primary schools students in Macedonia. The goal of the activities was to introduce the participants with skills for non-violent communication, leading a dialogue, conflict analysis and enable them to make a difference between dialogue and a debate.

In 2001, the activities were extended on a regional level by organizing several seminars and forums with young leaders and politicians from Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia. NDC Skopje program activities have also included several journalists from Macedonia as well.

After the end of the conflict in Macedonia and signing the Framework Peace Agreement in August 2001, NDC Skopje has focused its activities towards promoting the Framework Peace Agreement and has continued to work with young people from the areas mostly affected by the conflict. In cooperation with OSCE, several dialogue sessions were organized with young people from Tetovo. Also, tribunes with young politicians were intensified, both on local and regional level.

In 2003 and 2004, the focus of the program activities was put on strengthening the capacities of the political parties i.e. the youth branches of the political parties. Four “Schools for young politicians” were created where 85 young politicians took part. Each school lasted 25 days. University professors from Macedonia and abroad, as well as part of the leaders of the political parties in Macedonia, took the role of lecturers in those schools.

In 2005, after adopting the Law on territorial division of the local self-governments, NDC Skopje has started the implementation of the program “Dialogue and reconciliation” in 2005 in Municipality of Jegunovce, which is located in the Northwestern part of Macedonia. NDC Skopje has chosen the Municipality of Jegunovce, because it was mostly affected by the armed conflict in 2001. As a direct consequence of the conflict, ethnically based segregation of the primary schools started in this Municipality in 2002.

Through dialogue seminars and trainings on communication, cooperation, tolerance, team work and peaceful conflict resolution, conditions have been created for opening of six cabinets where students in mixed ethnic composition attended bilingual courses in IT, English, Macedonian and Albanian language. Each year, the courses have been attended by approximately 200 students. The program was implemented through the year 2008 when the conditions were created for opening the first integrated primary school “Fridtjof Nansen” in the village Preljubishte, Municipality of Jegunovce. In 2010, the first integrated secondary school “Mosha Pijade” was officially open in village Preljubishte. Based on the previous success, the project was expanded in several other multi-ethnic municipalities in Macedonia and continues to be recognized as one of the best examples for integrated education models within the country.