11 February 2013

INSPiring Vendor Week in Macedonia

By Lice v lice staff writer

Skopje’s streets were the places where this past week the work of the street paper magazine vendors and their entrepreneur spirit was celebrated. The celebration was part of International Street Paper Vendor Week. The only Macedonian street paper magazine Lice v lice (Face to face) gave its contribution to the celebration of the Vendor Week, along with more than 600 cities in the world and 120 magazines and newspapers.

Ergjan, the two Armandos, Alen, Nedzad, Orhan, Anton and Radzo are Lice v lice’s vendors that inspired the citizens of Skopje and Macedonia, telling their stories, their will and determination to rise above the poverty and the troubles in their lives. With selling Lice v lice they get their incomes and earn money, but they also participate in the active citizenship and inclusion in the society.

"There were people that gave me some coins, without buying the magazine. I refused this money and I was telling them that I work, I don’t beg for money. If they wanted to support me, they would buy the magazine", said Armando Rexepi, one of the Lice v lice vendors.

The celebration of the International vendor week in Skopje begun with the promotion of the third edition of the magazine Lice v lice. Dozens of citizens got involved in the mission of the magazine. There were a lot of celebrities among them – artists, musicians, fashion designers from Macedonia: Sergej Andreevski, Nikola Sekirarski, Verica Andreevska – Spasovic from the bend “Starowski”, Tanja Kokev, Karolina Goceva, Marjan Jovanovski from the band “Sintezis”.

The citizens also engaged with the action “Face to face with the Other – 15 Minutes in the vendors uniforms”, and they had the opportunity to face the experiences that the vendors are experiencing every time they try to offer the magazine to the potential buyers.

"I had an unusual experience. Along with Radzo, we were selling “Lice v lice” together and I enjoyed in his company. I also realized the kind of challenges he is facing while he struggles to earn for living. I think that it was much harder for me to face with some of the uncomfortable reactions of the people, Radzo seems to be used to that so he continued without any problem. I learned a great lection", said Aleksandra Iloska, that is one of the most committed supporters of “Lice v lice” and that participated in this action.

Together with the Agency for communications “Ksantika”, “Lice v lice” this week organized intensive trainings for improvement of the communication skills of the vendors. The trainings are conducted with the known Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) methods.

"I’m working with Lice v lice’s vendors and I can see that they have improved their skills significantly. It is very important for them to know how to work on their positive sides, to define goals in their lives and to define the steps towards those goals", said Marina Ancevska, a trainee from “Ksantika”.

Other citizens involved in the celebration of the Vendor week also, as well as companies, organizations and embassies, such as MEPSO, Pakomak, ADING, Biro project, Pharmachem, Adora engeneering, Konekt and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Macedonia. The vendors visited those companies and they were selling the magazine there, but they also tell their stories and learn something about the companies.

"We hope that this cooperation and involvement in the mission of “Lice v lice” will continue. This week we assured that there is a critical mass of citizens that are aware that they can contribute in this joint building of a better society. We expect adventurous actions – said the organizers from “Lice v lice”.

Lice v lice (Face to face) is a street paper from Skopje, Republic of Macedonia that is part of the Regional platform of activism LICEULICE. So far, they published three editions, with themes such as activism through culture and arts, environment, active citizenship, social responsibility and similar. The paper aims to promote the model of social entrepreneurship in Macedonia. The vendors are youth from street and homeless people that get half of the price of the magazine to their own.