North Macedonia: Girl with Down syndrome is bullied – President supports her

North Macedonia
Girl with Down Syndrome is bullied – the President stands by her side

North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski (left) accompanies Embla Ademi (middle) to school

© President’s website

An 11-year-old with Down’s Syndrome was ostracized at school when North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski personally intervened.

Many children experience bullying at school – and it particularly often affects those with physical or mental disabilities. Embla Ademi, an eleven-year-old girl from North Macedonia, knows this all too well. Because she has Down syndrome, she is regularly teased and taunted by other children at school.

However, Embla has a strong and above all powerful protector: the President of North Macedonia himself. Stevo Pendarovski accompanied the girl to school in her hometown of Gostivar, held her hand and thus sent a public signal against bullying and exclusion. “Inclusion as a claim should not just remain a declarative principle, but use the potential of people with atypical development,” said Pendarovski. “Prejudice should not be an obstacle to building an equal and just society for all. Empathy is our moral obligation.”

North Macedonia: President supports girls with Down syndrome

The eleven-year-old had obviously experienced a lot of rejection in her school. As a spokesman for the president told the US news channel CNN, parents of other students had even tried to petition with Embla not to attend school. President Pendarovski had a lengthy conversation with Embla’s parents and brought gifts for the schoolgirl.

“In this society we are all equal,” the president is quoted as saying in an official press release. “I came here to show my support and to raise awareness that inclusion is a fundamental principle.” Prejudice is the greatest obstacle to a just society. Pendarovski called the endangerment of children’s rights “unacceptable”.

Sources: CNN / press release / Stevo Pendarovski on Twitter

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