In about two weeks I’ll be headed to Skopje, to work with the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC). I don’t know what to expect, but I know I’ll learn a lot from the experience. I’ve interned with the State Department in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Macedonia to work with the Institute for Sustainable Developmenta couple of research institutions here in Washington, but I’m really looking forward to working with a local organization in the field. I’m a little nervous about the responsibilities I’ll be taking on, especially since this is the first AP project in Macedonia – but training begins tomorrow and by the end of the week I should have a better handle on what exactly I’ll be doing.
In Skopje I’ll be working with ISC and one of their local partners, the Association for the Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women (ESE). ESE is working to combat domestic violence against women, and to promote women’s health and women in leadership.
The more I study conflict and development, the more I appreciate how critical it is for women and other underrepresented groups to play an active role in civil society. After years of studying these issues in class, I hope this summer I’ll have the chance to make a difference in small but concrete ways.
As an undergraduate, I studied Balkan history and politics (although I have to admit I know much less about Macedonia than other parts of the region)—so I’m excited to finally be traveling and working there. I’ve been working on learning a little of the language and brushing up on background information. Now I just need to find a place to live when I get there, and tackle the rest of my long list of things to do before I go!
Posted By Stephanie Gilbert
Posted May 23rd, 2007