One year after the devastating flash floods that affected Macedonia, which tragically took 24 lives and displaced over a 1,000 people, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) extends a heartfelt thanks to all from the Macedonian diaspora who contributed to our #SupportMacedonia flood relief campaign last August. UMD was taken aback by all the outpouring of support, and together, we raised just over $33,000. $17,000 were donated to the Macedonian Red Cross, and the rest of the funds were used to renovate the Stajkovci hospital, which we are pleased to report has been completed.
Within three days of the floods, UMD sent $17,000 to the Macedonian Red Cross to be used immediately in their humanitarian efforts providing clean water, nutritional materials, especially for infants, blankets, among other items. A team of UMD volunteers led by Filip Jotevski and Trajce Nikolov, taking time out of their summer holidays – at no cost to you or UMD – went to Cento and Stajkovci for cleanup efforts. The villagers were really appreciative and welcomed them with open arms and Macedonian coffee and treats – true Macedonian hospitality, despite the grave circumstances they faced.
During a personal family visit to Macedonia, UMD President Metodija A. Koloski was fortunate to visit Stajkovci in late September 2016, where he spoke to many villagers, and was deeply disappointed at how dire the situation remained. UMD’s Board of Directors agreed to spend the remainder of the funds from the campaign to renovate the local hospital in Stajkovci, which had been destroyed. We assessed that this would be the best use of funds – the Stajkovci hospital has two doctors, two nurses, and serves a population of approximately 2,500 people. When UMD’s President visited the hospital in September 2016, the road leading up to the hospital had still not been cleaned and cars were still overturned in the neighboring properties.
On July 13, 2017, UMD Chairman Stojan Nikolov and UMD’s President visited Stajkovci to see the fruits of our relief program, and met with Dr. Mitko Makeski, who expressed his utmost gratitude to all Macedonians abroad who supported these efforts. UMD thanks the Skopje, Macedonia-local company Artnam Group who carried out the re-construction renovation project and UMD New Jersey representative Ana Dukoska who spearheaded all the communication during the process. From now on, anyone who visits the Stajkovci hospital will see a plaque in front of the entrance that states that it was renovated through a donation by UMD, including UMD’s logo.
This sends a positive message that Macedonians are responsible for one another and that when Macedonia was at its greatest need, you rose up to the challenge and helped put thousands of minds at ease during difficult times. Let us pray such devastating circumstances do not befall our homeland again.
Thank you for standing by Macedonia!
Before and After Photos of the Renovations can be seen by clicking HERE.