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West gets behind Macedonia January 26, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia.
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West gets behind Macedonia

Janko Georgievski.

HUNDREDS of impoverished people in Macedonia are receiving aid from residents across Melbourne’s West and beyond.

The Australian Macedonian Humanitarian Aid Relief Fund has set up donation drop-off points in western suburbs including Ardeer, St Albans and Laverton. Another is planned for Hoppers Crossing.

The aid bases across Australia are used by residents to drop off mainly clothing, blankets and bed sheets which are packed in specially-marked boxes and shipped to Macedonia.

The Ardeer Hot Bread shop on Fitzgerald Rd is one of the aid bases.

Cira Joldeski, who is from Ohrid in Macedonia, said hundreds of boxes had been filled with aid from locals.

“It’s to help the people in Macedonia,” Mrs Joldeski said.

“They are very poor.”

Once the boxes are filled, Fund members such as Janko Georgievski of Bundoora, pick them up and send them overseas.

“After the separation from former Yugoslavia, the Macedonians were left with nothing,” Mr Georgievski, who was born in Bitola, said.

“They had to start their lives again so we intend, as an organisation, to help those people and to especially help the elderly, the poor and the people with disabilities.”

Mr Georgievski said since the fund started in 2002 – through the humanitarian section of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Milosrdie – more than 5000 boxes have been sent to Macedonia, aiding thousands of poverty-stricken people.

Other goods shipped through the fund to Macedonia have included medical equipment. A container scheduled to go last week contained 2000 walking canes for the blind.

Mr Georgievski said the fund had also launched appeals to raise money to help those in Macedonia needing urgent medical attention to receive treatment in Australia.

He cited examples including a 35-year-old woman who received 85 per cent burns to her body during a workplace incident in Macedonia in 2003. Treatment was unavailable in her country so the woman was brought to Melbourne by the fund and treated at the Alfred Hospital before returning to Macedonia.

Mr Georgievski said had she not received treatment, she would have died.

“Our aim is to help people,” Mr Georgievski said.

“And we are doing this because of people wanting to help other people.”

Anyone wanting more information on the Fund can call 9466 2272.

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