North Macedonia is a country of about 2 million people between Greece and Kosovo. But it doesn't matter where you are on earth, bullies will pick on kids who are weaker or different.
North Macedoniann President Stevo Pendarovski heard that 11 year old Embla Ademi was being bullied at school because she has downs syndrome. In a video, the President is seen sitting and talking with the family.
"We are all equal in this society. I came to give my support and to raise awareness that inclusion is a basic principle," a statement from President Pendarovski says. According to his office, while at Embla’s home Pendarovski discussed possible solutions to problems children like Embla face on a daily basis. He then walked with her family to drop Embla off at her school in the city of Goslivar.
Commenters online praised the 58-year-old president for his compassion, but Pendarovski says it’s a moral and legal obligation to see that all children, but especially children with special needs are afforded the education they deserve. "They should not only enjoy the rights they deserve, but also feel equal and welcome in the school desks and schoolyard,” he says. “It is our obligation, as a state, but also as individuals, and the key element in this common mission is empathy."