Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tetovo: Field Trip (wtih my State University "Democracy and CivilSociety" class) to Forumi Gruas Women's Forum

Those of you who are following my blog may have already seen my earlier post about meeting with Peace Corps Volunteer Maria in Tetovo. (If you missed the post, here's the link:

Maria is working with the non-profit Forumi Gruas (Women's Center) in Tetovo, the only women's rights center in the region.

I brought the students in my "Democracy and Civil Society" (at the State University Tetova) class there on a field trip.  It was such an interesting session. We met with the Center's Director and Founder, the head of the Legal Clinic, the program coordinator, and the PCV Maria.

The work of the Forumi Gruas in Tetovo is filling a critical need -- providing support for women (running a free legal aid clinic and providing economic development/empowerment training/resources).

I also invited my law students to join us, as I thought they may be interested to learn more about the work of the Legal Aid clinic as well. 

Sadly (tragically) the work of the legal clinic is severely limited,  because there is no shelter or safe place for women to go. See the MAP pictured below. There are services in Skopje - but - women in the rest of Macedonia have no where to turn for help.

I hope my students were inspired that they, too, can identify community needs and can take steps to address them.

To learn more about the work of Forumi Gruas, see

Forumi Gruas Website

Forumi Gruas facebook page
such an informative meeting with the founder/director and the lead attorney for the legal clinic
Heading out of the classroom and into the community!
Heading out of the classroom and into the community - but first, a selfie while waiting for the taxi
taxi selfie!
the other taxi selfie!
the lead attorney for the free legal clinic for survivors of domestic violence and the Center's Founder and Director
Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting and indoor

an example of some of the handicrafts that the women make that can be sold to generate income for their families  (I hope we can fit one in our suitcase to bring back to Florida!)

THIS MAP tells you everything you need to know about the importance of the work of the Forumi Gruas - the red areas of the map of Macedonia represent parts of Macedonia where there are no services for women who are victims of domestic violence - there is a shelter, a hotline, and services here in Skopje - but there is an urgent need for services for women outside the capital

an Albanian and a Macedonian traditional women's dress

Quick stop for a snack to take with me on the ride home. There are So. Many. Bakeries.

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