Stories and reports
Skopje, October 17th
The Agreement Saved the Village
The war crisis seems to have
passed, but it left the inhabitants of the crisis regions with other problems
of their own. Most of them are out of job, some of them could not cultivate
the land, and yet others still cannot return to their homes. But, those
that do return have insufficient living conditions, and will have to wait
for reparations of the houses from the conflict.
The Macedonian Center for International Cooperation, during the crisis,
was engaged in supplying food products humanitarian aid in the limited
access regions. And now, after the crisis, it has taken up repairing the
damaged objects. An MCIC team was engaged in identification of the damaged
houses that need to be repaired in the Tetovo region, in the villages
of Nerishte, Glogi, Belovishte, Rogachevo and Slatino. We also visited
the village Odri, where the inhabitants submitted a request for completion
of the water supply system in the village.
Odri is a village in the Tearce community with 350 households, inhabited
by around 2,000 ethnic Macedonians and Albanians. The villagers leave
of agriculture, but most are working abroad in the European countries,
while most ethnic Macedonians work and live in the United States of America.
"We have never had interethnic problems in the village. I have not
the slightest notion of who started this. It was very difficult for us
during the military activities. Supplying with food was especially difficult",
told us uncle Aziz.
He told us that there was almost no fighting in the village. They made
an agreement with their neighbor villagers Macedonians that they will
not participate in the fighting.
"Who knows what would have happened with the village, but all ended
well. As them, we also have nowhere else to go", told us uncle Aziz
with a slight smile.
My colleague, Aleksandar, discussed the need for completion of the village's
water supply with representatives from the local community. We also went
four kilometers from the village to see the reservoir. It is a monumental
object that the villagers built with their own contribution, but still
We headed of towards Nerashte to look at the damaged houses in need of
repairs. It is a big village with about 700 houses and a population of
5,000. During the crisis around 2,000 displaced persons were sheltered
here from Radusha, Orashje, Dvorce, Nerashte and Lavce. As the villagers
told us, the three houses that were damaged were repaired by the villagers
themselves. They only asked us to take a look at the school. Truly, the
building was very old, but with some founds they managed to repair a part
of the school, and only the gym had a hole in the ceiling and its windows
were broken. We directed them towards certain foreign agencies that work
in the area of education so perhaps they will come to their aid.
After taking our leave, we went towards Belovishte and Rogachevo, which
come under the community of Vratnica. Fights were not led in these two
villages, but several grenades were fired by NLA representatives, so several
houses were damaged. From the five damaged houses in Belovishte only one
in need of reparations remained, while the others have been repaired by
the villagers themselves. In Rogachevo one of the three houses was more
"It was fortunate that the son was in the house. Suddenly we heard
a great noise. All windows shattered by the detonation. My mother was
hurt in the back and still can not move about freely", Zhivko who
worked in Jegunovce told us.
The roof tiles on one side of the roof are almost all missing, as well
as the windows of the two neighboring houses. He showed to us the damage
inflicted by the grenade. He also told us that his son's bike could be
recompensed that was split in half. We told him that the evaluation that
will be conducted is only directed towards buildings and not household
material as well.
"Ok, ok, I only asked if it could be recompensed. There, I have been
working for so many years in the apartment assignment committee and I
gave everybody apartments but never took one for myself!" exclaims
Zhivko with a deep sigh.
In the end we went to Slatino, where MCIC will conduct reparations on
the damaged school. Besides certain fissures on the facade and the broken
windows, the school is fully in mint condition.
After passing through all of these villages we saw that, generally speaking,
people seem as if though they started living normally. A certain amount
of reserve may still exist with the people, but they do understand that
coexistence in these areas is imminent.
(hold cursor over photos for detailed description)