The Foundation believes that education is the key to providing a better future, and has focused on activities that provide the means for the communities where it is active to access education. These activities may take the form of financial assistance for capital improvements, classroom equipment, and learning and teaching aids; and to assist students in their studies. Additionally, the Foundation sponsors cultural activities that support education such as the production of theater shows, art exhibitions, and poetry book publishing. Finally, the Foundation supports specific ongoing projects linked to the socialization of children with special needs, particularly in outdoor activities related to the environment.
“We believe that education is the key to providing a better future.”
Specific projects include seeking and securing USAID funds to build, equip, and staff of the first Sensory Room for children with special needs at the Vlado Kantardziev primary school in Gevgelija; organizing art workshops with clay for children with special needs at the Daily Center for Individuals With Special Needs in Gevgelija; and seeking and securing support from the NATO Charity Bazaar in Brussels program to fund the a project to socialize children with special needs, David VanDerWege.
Future plans include upgrading and maintaining the playgrounds and fun parks in our communities’ schools and kindergartens; purchasing appropriate toys, books, and drawing materials for the kindergartens, as well as much needed equipment and inventory for our schools; sponsoring educational programs.; offering training programs for high school students; establishing scholarships for university education; and forming the Apollonia Academy, an educational institution that will support higher education and prepare students to enter the work force by providing specialized practical training within the Apollonia Group.
The Foundation believes that cultural heritage forms our individual, local, and national identities; and should be respected and celebrated.
The Foundation’s cultural activities focus on the areas of music, literature, art, theater, and archeology. Specific support includes official sponsorship of the Skopje Jazz Festival (15 years); organizing more than 200 concerts of classical music featuring artists from Macedonia and abroad in the Hotel Apollonia as part of the Musical Moments project (15 years); sponsoring the activities of local folklore groups that preserve the tradition of ethnic musical folklore; funding the production of music CDs of classical music performers; sponsoring competitions for young musicians, local musical activities, and other manifestations; providing a 10.000 € grant to Simon Trpceski to buy a grand piano. In the field of literature, the Foundation organizes and hosts the Literature Nights series, featuring writers and poets from Macedonia and abroad; and funds, edits, and publishes poetry books, essays, and history books.
For 12 years, the Apollonia Foundation Art Commune has welcomed artists from Macedonia and abroad. The Foundation has funded, organized, and hosted the exhibition of art works from Gevgelija in the Hotel Apollonia; provided and managed an art exhibition venue to artists from Macedonia and abroad in the Art Gallery of the Apollonia Hotel; and co-organized the Osten Art Commune in Gevgelija and biennial of awarded artists. The Foundation has funded theater performances of the OFF group and is a strategic partner of the Public Museum of Gevgelija, funding the Museum’s activities at Vardar Hill, a famous archeological site on the outskirts of Gevgelija.
Future plans include continuation of our support for the activities above, and to expand our support to collaborate with the Association of Artists in Gevgelija and the Association of the Artists in Macedonia; cooperate with the Struga Poetry Evenings, by inviting the poets that participate in the event to also participate in poetry evenings in Gevgelija; and funding projects that protect and preserve objects that represent our cultural inheritance (such as churches in Sermenin and Huma).
PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT
“We believe we all have a role in respecting and preserving the planet for future generations.”
The Foundation believes we all have a role in respecting and preserving the planet for future generations. To fulfill this role, the Foundation has engaged in specific activities related to the environment. A proposal has been made to the Municipality of Gevgelija for the Foundation to arrange, maintain, and use the Dinkut picnic area; the Foundation organizes the Nature Day project, providing transportation and hosting nature excursions in the surrounding countryside for children from Gevgelija – more than 400 children have been part of this project so far; and the Foundation hosts the annual environmental conference on waste management with the environmental working group of Peace Corps Macedonia and the association Let’s do it Macedonia.
Future plans include continuation of our support for the activities above, and to create programs for recycling in which all local schools will be involved, and expanding the Nature Day project to include more children from Gevgelija.
BUILDING INSTUTIONAL CAPACITY
The Foundation seeks to build the capacity of local institutions. Concrete achievements to date include providing financial support to the municipalities of Gevgelija and Bogdanci, purchasing an air conditioning system for two Police stations in Gevgelija, and signing a Memorandum of Understanding with 12 local public and private institutions to promote volunteerism and to begin implementing ongoing volunteering programs for youth.
Future plans include the sponsorship of various citizens’ associations that engage in the same areas and activities supported by the Foundation.