Although the separation of the church and the state is enshrined in the Macedonian Constitution, there is a problem of use and misuse of religion, religious messages and religious communities for the purposes of political gain and incitement of hate speech and violence. Statements that provoke hate among religious groups and conflict between the religious groups have been a longstanding issue in Macedonia, sometimes leading to violence and further radical behavior. The PACT project works with young students of theology from different religious communities, as well as with religious schools, religious leaders from respective communities, and other young people from those religious communities. The project seeks to educate its audience on the topic of misuse of religious messages for political gain, hate speech and incitement of violence, through expert workshops that encourage participatory performance, which creates not only a joint experience for all of the participants, but also provides the researchers, trainers and implementation team of the project with perceptions, sources and data.
Holds a Master degree in Public Policy and Decentralized Governance from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He has 4 years of working experience in the nongovernmental sector in Macedonia the areas like youth, policy research, project writing, and project management. He has substantial working experience in working with local governments with a focus on local economic development.
Jovana Perovska joined the team of ZIP Institute as a researcher and project coordinator in March 2017. Her academic background is in international and European law, as well as terrorism and political violence, whereas her professional experience is predominantly in the system of international criminal tribunals in The Hague. Within ZIP Institute’s project portfolio, Jovana’s work predominantly relates to the effective implementation and execution of all project related activities on the topics of countering and preventing violent extremism, human rights with focus on migration and refugees and decentralization and local self-governance in Macedonia.
Nazlije is a MA Software Engineering and Telecommunications candidate at the South East European University in Skopje. She gained a bachelor degree in Business Informatics at the Faculty of Contemporary Sciences and Technology at SEEU – Skopje. Her previous work experience includes Web Content Designer and Project Assistant at Strategic Development Consulting under Establishment of businesses inclusion project in the multi-ethnic communities. Her main focus is on effective project coordination and management of NGO’s webpage and social media. By doing so Nazlije ensures that information on completed and ongoing activities of the projects are spread and are useful for the youth of ethnic minorities.
About organization:ZIP Institute is an independent, nongovernmental organization which aims at improving democratic processes, the rule of law and the development of civil society in the Republic of Macedonia, through tailor-made solutions to the most pressing social, societal and systematic problems. A key feature of the work of ZIP Institute are detailed, encompassing analyses, initiatives and actions on local, national and regional levels, as well as connecting the processes of research and analysis with tangible solutions to the most pressing problems and contributing to policymaking processes.