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Children's videos provoke change to make schools free of violence

Mr. Spiro Ristevski, Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Mr.Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative, and Mr. Pance Kralev, Minister of Education and Science, together with winners of the one minute video competition and UNICEF Campaign Supporters.

SKOPJE, 11 December 2011:   UNICEF and partners announced the winners of a one minute video competition at a ceremony this afternoon that marked the close of a joint UNICEF and Ministry of Education and Science media campaign "Together for schools without violence.”  With messages - “no time for violence” “instead of violence, we spread knowledge” “a victory achieved through violence is equal to defeat” - the young film makers were among the thousands of children demanding their right to learn without fear and violence. 

“Issues such as violence in schools can only be effectively addressed if they are talked about openly, and children themselves need to actively participate in that discussion,” said Mr Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative.  “This campaign has given a forum for this to happen.”

A UNICEF study found that nearly one out of every three seventh graders in this country witnessed physical fights between students in their school at least once a week, while many other students are subject to bullying and psychological harassment on a regular basis. 

Recognising the need for the whole school community to make a personal change and work together, UNICEF developed the “Together for Schools Free of Violence” campaign with the participation of schools, teachers and thousands of students themselves.     Over 140 entries from students in schools in every corner of the country were received for the one-minute video competition, one of the three components of the campaign designed to promote participation and engage children in the process of behaviour change.

“Often we hear teachers, parents and even students passing the responsibility of addressing violence in schools to one another, the entries in this competition  send the message that it is everyone’s responsibility,” said Mr. Pance Kralev, Minister of Education and Science as he announced the winner of the category titled “Together for Schools Free of Violence.”

The strategy for the initiative was developed together with policy makers, school leaders, teachers, pedagogues and local communication experts.  A one-stop- online web resource was developed by teachers with tips and resources to help schools develop a plan of action to eliminate violence among and against children.  The website includes tips for teachers on effective class room management, activities and advice on how to intervene when conflict and problems arise.  The site also includes s tips on using teaching styles that promote behavior for learning.  Recognizing the influence of the home environment, tips for parents on how to set boundaries and discipline children using positive methods were also included. 

“Much of what we have experienced is a major motivation to continue working on combatting all forms violence,” said  Mr. Spiro Ristevski, Minister of Labor and Social Policy.  He added that violence in schools can only be effectively addressed if it is also simultaneously addressed in other settings, such as the home. 

The campaign was structured in multiple phases and in all phases, children were central to driving the message home.  The first phase was a competition in which over four hundred students from primary and secondary schools submitted lyrics for a song which became the campaign theme “Start with yourself.”


Separately, some two thousand children were involved in taking their message to the streets and performed flash mobs in sixteen cities throughout the country.  An eestimated three thousand children worked on the one hundred and forty one minute videos creatively expressing the need to address the problem of violence in schools and their on-going efforts to do so. 

“I am particularly pleased with the outreach that the campaign has had and to see that children have been at the forefront of  promoting change,” said Mr. Yett.

During the award ceremony Minister Kralev and UNICEF Campaign Supporter former “Macedonian Idol” Jana Burceska, announced the winners of the first category (Together for School free of Violence) – first prize award went to Ognen Ognjanovski (Skopje) and second prize to Stefan Mitanovski (Prilep).  Minister Ristevski and UNICEF Campaign Supporter Stefan Filipovski, fron the band Next Time, announced and awarded the winners of the second category (It starts with you. Be an example of positive behavior) to Anglece Milev (Village Krupiste) first place and Mirjana Petrusevska (Veles) second place.  The third category (Freedom to say whatever you want about creating schools free of violence) was announced by Ms. Nevenka Krusarovska, Ombudsman for Children and  UNICEF Campaign Supporter Martin Filipovski from Next time and prizes awarded to Ulza Nesimi (Tetovo) for first place and  Marija Kekenovska (Skopje) second place.

Click on the links to watch the winners of the One Minute Video Competition:

Category 1) Together for School free of Violence
• 1st place: Ognen Ognjanovski, OOU Petar Pop Arsov, Skopje
• 2nd place: Stefan Mitanovski,  OOU Kiril i Metodij village Podmol, Prilep

Category 2) It starts with you. Be an example of positive behavior.
• 1st place: Anglece Milev, OU Straso Pindzur, village Krupiste
• 2nd place: Mirjana Petrusevska, POU Maca Ovcarova, Veles

Category 3) Freedom to say whatever you want about creating schools free of violence.
• 1st place: Ulza Nesimi, OU Istakbal, Tetovo
• 2nd place: Marija Kekenovska, OU Zivko Brajkovski, Skopje

To download photos from the event visit us on Facebook

About the UNICEF supported Schools Free of Violence Programme
The UNICEF “Schools free of Violence” communication initiative is one part of a comprehensive programme being conducted with governmental and civil society partners.  UNICEF has also supported the development of a national policy, strategy and guidance to help schools assess the problem and address violence in their school communities.  By the end of December 2011 all primary schools – or some 1460 school leaders – will have been trained on how to implement a “whole school approach” to prevent and reduce violence and on how to apply “behaviour for learning” techniques in classroom settings.  These interventions build on, and complement the Life-Skills Education curriculum developed earlier to enhance communication and conflict resolution. 

These efforts have been jointly funded by IKEA as a contribution the national Child-Friendly Initiative and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women as a contribution to the UN Joint Project “Strengthening National Capacities to Prevent Domestic Violence.”

Media partners that supported the campaign:
Television stations: Alfa TV,  Alsat M, Era Television, Kanal 5 Television, Macedonian Radio Television,  Sky Net, and Telma.  Print media:  Dnevnik, Koha, Nova Makedonija, Tea Moderna, Utrinski Vesnik, Vecer and Vest.  Outdoor advertiser: Akzent Media.  Radio stations: Antena 5, Buba Mara, City Radio, Club FM, Life Radio, Metropolis, Sportsko radio 90.3 and Radio Vati.  Internet portals: IdiVidi, Tocka, Kajgana, femina, Mogoo, Karmakasa, Net Press, Za Zabava.

For further information, please contact:
Suzie Pappas Capovska, UNICEF Skopje (02) 3231-150 (ext :127),  072  236 725 or or Irina Ivanovska (02) 3231-150 (ext :107),  072  236 722 or




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