End of Year Greetings from UMD

Dear Friend,

As the year draws to a close, we wish to thank you for your support of the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) and wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.  Your friendship, support and participation have ensured that UMD not only responds to events as they unfold, but also proactively works in promoting Macedonian causes worldwide.

Your support combined with the countless hours of hard work, dedication and professionalism of our volunteers was the driving factor for all UMD achievements in 2007.  Among other things, together we

  • Visited over 120 Congressional and State Department offices educating members of Congress and U.S. administration officials regarding Macedonian issues while helping to strengthen U.S. support for Macedonia’s name and NATO membership
  • Collaborated with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Academy for Educational Development to improve the quality of education in Macedonia and co-sponsored a benefit concert on October 5, 2007 organized by our beloved Tose who will be deeply missed.
  • Promoted positive international media coverage of Macedonian issues by having articles published in The Washington Times, The Australian, Congressional Quarterly, the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, The Age, and the Sydney Morning Herald, while we also published the first edition of our publication, UMD Quarterly
  • Hosted representatives of the Macedonian minorities in Bulgaria and Greece for a series of meetings at the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Congress, and the Helsinki Commission with the help of the Macedonian Human Rights Movement International; we also helped organize a rally in Canberra, Australia to promote Macedonian history, identity, and traditions
  • Visited and reached out to Macedonian communities in Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Florida, California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Indiana in the U.S., and Toronto, Windsor, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Paris, London, Stuttgart, and Brussels abroad
  • Promoted our rich Macedonian heritage by participating in four international festivals in Washington, D.C., and helped organize the 1st Macedonian Festival in New Jersey together with the Macedonian Community of New Jersey and the biweekly newspaper Makedonski Glas
  • Donated Christmas packages (Novogodishno Paketche) along with a set of gloves, a hat and a scarf to 108 orphans at the orphanage Detsko Selo in Skopje, Macedonia, diapers for baby orphans in Bitola, and Christmas treats for less fortunate people who get their meals from the public kitchen at St. Petka Macedonian Orthodox Church in Skopje.  

As we look ahead in 2008, we see no downturn in our activities.  UMD will continue to educate global policymakers about Macedonia, and help ensure its membership into NATO and the EU, provided that this membership does not compromise our name, identity, and history.  More than ever, there will be a need to defend the Macedonian cause from various organizations and groups that will take advantage of  these events to apply pressure on Macedonia to compromise its identity.  There will be plenty of challenges in 2008, and UMD, your organization, will work diligently to meet them.

UMD is also getting ready to launch a scholarship and internship program for students, further our charitable projects in Macedonia, hold a conference on the rights of Macedonian minorities in the Balkans, and increase our activities in Australia, Canada, and Europe.  For the first time ever, we, the Macedonians, finally have a voice in Washington that is working on the name issue, human rights, cultural awareness, and economic development, among other things.  We hope that our presence and network will continue to grow in respect and support.

We also recognize that for the work we do, we need a full time staff that can make the appropriate visits, meetings, contacts.  The professional career of our volunteers prevents them from being able to work in this capacity.  Therefore, we are working toward establishing a full time physical office in Washington, D.C., to work for Macedonian interests and to promote Macedonian identity and heritage.  To open the office we need to secure two years of funding, which amounts to roughly $200,000.  Through your help, we raised a portion of these funds, but there is still a significant balance required.

During this holiday season, we hope to count on your support.  We know your Macedonian heritage and homeland holds a special place in your heart, so please take a moment right now to send your secure on-line donation – of any amount – by clicking HERE.  You can also mail your donation to us at the address below made out to “United Macedonian Diaspora.”   Alternatively, if you wish, you can designate a monthly, quarterly, or annual donation via GuideStar, a source for nonprofits, by clicking HERE.  UMD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization and all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

As 2007 comes to an end and we usher in a new year, please know that UMD, your organization, is ready to seize opportunities and meet the challenges that will inevitably arise.

We could not possibly do it without you. Thank you for your continued support, your friendship, and, above all, your trust.  United, We Can!

Please forward this letter to all your friends and family and tell them about UMD.  Thank you.

With our best New Year’s wishes,

Metodija A. Koloski, President
Aleksandar Mitreski, Vice President
Michael A. Sarafin, Secretary
Denis Manevski, Treasurer
Tom Vangelovski, Managing Director, Australian Operations
Chris M. Purdef, Director, Charitable Efforts
Marina Veljanovska, Director, Cultural Awareness
Igor Zvezdakoski, Director, Economic Development
Ordan Andreevski, Policy Issues and Grassroots
Ljupco Stankovski, Policy Issues and Grassroots
Dijana Despodova-Pajkovski, UMD Partnership with USAID’s Primary Education Project
Alexander Krstevski, Editor, UMD Quarterly
Damjan Arsovski, Design, UMD Quarterly 

P.S. If you would like to make a year-end gift, please click HERE.



The United Macedonian Diaspora offers many ways for you to get involved, learn about the issues facing Macedonians, and help make a difference in the future of Macedonia and for Macedonians around the world!  Click here to become a UMD member .

Previous U.S. Ambassador refers to Macedonia as an “exporter of security”


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