Back in August, the YES Alumni Association in Macedonia started planning a project called “Handmade Happiness”. The project was the brainchild of Noemi Chausidis ’11 and aimed to raise funds for the Skopje-based NGO “Dajte ni Krilja” (“Give Us Wings”), whose goal is to improve conditions for individuals with disabilities in Macedonia, by selling jewelry hand-made by alumni.
By collecting donations from alumni and faculty and staff of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, where the American Councils Office in Skopje is housed, alumni gathered enough money to buy the materials they needed to start making necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Once materials had been purchased, the alumni held several jewelry-making sessions, creating a total of 53 pieces, which were then photographed by alumni photographer Martin Ivanovski ’10 and posted on the Association’s Facebook page along with the prices for which they would be sold.
“People are surprised by the beauty of the necklaces, earrings and the bracelets,” explained Alumni Coordinator Hristina Trifunovska. “Seeing people being happy wearing their unique jewelry and knowing that someone is doing something to help this target group of people is just so encouraging.”
The project has collected nearly $100 so far, with pieces continuing to sell. The full collection can be viewed online here.