President of North Macedonia shows support for Down syndrome child
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
President Stevo Pendarovski of North Macedonia hit international headlines for all the right reasons. Thus instead of political elites being indifferent to bread and butter issues – outside of manipulation to be re-elected or elected – the leader of North Macedonia showed humanity.
Pendarovski heard about a child with Down syndrome being bullied and alienated at school. However, instead of writing a letter in acknowledgment – or ignoring the life of this 11-year-old-girl called Embla Ademi – he took direct action.
He met her family and then held her hand while walking to school with the young girl. One can only imagine how this touched the hearts of Embla, her family, friends, and other relatives. Therefore, a very touching moment whereby the president of North Macedonia showed complete humanity.
A press release by North Macedonia said, “The President said that the behavior of those who endanger children’s rights is unacceptable, especially when it comes to children with atypical development. They should not only enjoy the rights they deserve, but also feel equal and welcome in the school desks and schoolyard. It is our obligation, as a state, but also as individuals, and the key element in this common mission is empathy. It will help children like Embla, but it will also help us learn from them how to sincerely rejoice, share and be in solidarity, the president added.”
Pendarovski said, “We are all equal in this society. I came here to give my support and to raise awareness that inclusion is a basic principle.”
He continued by stating there is “a legal and moral obligation to provide inclusive education, in which the main focus is on developing skills and abilities in children with different developmental processes.”
The young girl Embla was being bullied and isolated at her elementary school. This took place in the city of Gostivar – concerning the actions of teachers and parents who want to isolate the child. Therefore, Pendarovski took direct action to show support to the young girl, her family, friends, and relatives of Embla by walking her to school and waving her off.
The government also opened up a case to solve the problem.
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