and to improve the living conditions and standard of life of the people in Tetovo.
Macedonia, and especially Tetovo, is a multicultural and multi-religious environment. People live together but there are expressed prejudices, stereotypes, non-tolerance and, in some cases, hate toward neighbors from different religious and national backgrounds. The traces of the war in ex-Yugoslavia and complicated political and social situation are still present and it is crucial to empower people in the community. The Community Development Institute (CDI) is a sustainable civil society organization that works on building a democratic and multi-ethnic society through strengthening the capacities of individuals, organizations, and institutions. Members believe the best way to build peace is to meet each other, learning about other cultures, other religions, etc. The CDI was established 22 years ago and it has worked within the community since the beginning, addressing citizens’ problems and needs and helping in overcoming challenges. During its long history, members have organized hundreds of projects and activities. Some of them are: Establishment of UNESCO Club–Tetovo; implementation of a capacity-building program for committees for inter-community relations covering 23 municipalities in Macedonia in collaboration with OSCE; establishment of the “Balkan Caucasus” network; establishment of a “NGO forum” by decision of the Mayor of the Municipality of Tetovo; establishment of a NGO resource and training center for groups of citizens; improvement of the inter-ethnic situation in Tetovo by organizing a series of activities providing a workspace for young people from different ethnic backgrounds; decreasing the unemployment rate through implementation of programs for self-employment, especially for women in rural areas; participation and regional coordination within the NGO network established in order to monitor the disarmament process in the Tetovo and Gostivar regions; and programs of lifelong, inter-generational learning and projects with refugees in Macedonia. During the past period, CDI profiled itself as an organization that has the capacities, knowledge, experience, and expertise for mobilization of local human and technical resources and that succeeded in establishing a local partnership between different structures in the community towards solving problems and satisfying the needs of the citizens. More about their activities can be found on their web site: https://irz.org.mk/