Author: Anastazija Mladenovska
In 1972, a small group of law students of Georgetown University, united by one interesting idea – the idea not just to buy knowledge but also to transfer it. This kind of altruistic behavior towards education didn’t take much time to spread all over the continents and be practiced by many law students.
There is one principle in the International Law called “do ut des” which means “give so you can receive”. I have been hearing that quote throughout my childhood and adolescence, of course, said in a more colloquial manner. I thought that I knew the right meaning of it but after joining the “Street law Program” I realized that material things are not the only things that fall into that definition, even more, they are the easiest thing to give.
In Macedonia this program is settled as a branch of the NGO “Youth Educational Forum” and has been functioning perfectly well for 12 years together with the other two branches “Debate and Higher Education Program”. The initial idea sprouted in 1998, as a project coordinated by the Foundation Open Society Institute – Macedonia (FIOM), and ABA CEELI (Bar Association of the USA). The long-term feature of this project was proved very quickly – in the period from 1999 to 2003 the Program was implemented in more than 30 secondary schools and during those 6 academic years the lectures were visited from approximately 2000 students at age between 15 to 18 years. Because of the great enthusiasm and the necessity to have this kind of non-formal education in the high schools, in 2003 the Program took a new form and became a part of the project “Creative teaching and learning”. The number of high schools became bigger, the number of students more numerous – the chain called “transfer of knowledge” increased its length. Today Street Law, as a part of Youth Educational Forum, is successfully implemented in 5 secondary schools in Skopje, as well as in youth clubs in Skopje and other cities in Macedonia and the last reports show that more than 6000 high school students have visited the trainings.