May 2 2005
Official opening of SOS Children's Village Skopje
02/05/2005 - On 29 April 2005 in the presence of over 400 friends, neighbours, government official, ambassadors and sponsors, the first Macedonian SOS Children's Village in Skopje was officially opened by the country's President, Branko Crvenkovski, and the President of SOS Children's Villages, Helmut Kutin.
"SOS Children's Villages proves that one does not become a real parent by only bringing a child into this world, but by the readiness to provide children with care, dedication and affection needed to ensure their development into healthy and happy individuals," said President Crvenkovski in his speech.
"Every child must feel loved and cared for at all times. The greatest treasures we can offer our children are our love and our care. The happy childhood of these children is our greatest moral responsibility for the future," stressed Branko Crvenkovski and thanked Helmut Kutin and SOS Children's Villages for giving the Macedonian children in need a chance for a better future.
The children of SOS Children's Village Skopje performed a heart-warming musical depicting their life torments prior to the admission to the village and then the love, care and joy that surrounds them in the their "SOS families". Visibly touched, the present guests awarded them with a big applause.
Present at the opening were also Barbara Francois, Vice President of SOS-Kinderdorf International; Stevco Jakimovski, Macedonian Minister of Labour & Social Policy; Trifun Kostovski, Mayor of Skopje, famous performer Esma Redzepova and others. With a capacity of 84 children, SOS Children's Village Skopje currently gives home and family to 59 children in need.
In a country with yet unsettled ethnic issues, the village stands as unique example of peaceful co-existence between children and co-workers of Macedonian, Albanian, Roma and Bosnian nationalities.