Milica's story

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Blind since bortjh, IOM staffer Milica Trpevska is a true hero

Disability inclusion activist, human rights advocate, accessibility evangelist. This is Milica Trpevska, IOM Project Assistant seconded to MARRI (Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative) Regional Centre in Skopje. Milica’s life mission is to empower those who are made to feel marginalized or disengaged to live happier and more productive lives.

Milica was born blind and spent her early childhood in a segregated special school. She later became the first student with disabilities to attend her local secondary school, the first blind student to attend the South East Youth Leadership Institute Camp at Towson University in Maryland, USA,. Then she became the first disabled graduate of the American University in Bulgaria where she won the Goldman Sachs Global Leadership Award together with thirty other students from around the globe. These experiences taught her to appreciate every opportunity, to persevere in the face of adversity and to persist with her goals even when all odds are against her.

She has worked on improving social and labour market inclusion of persons with disabilities in North Macedonia, and on building the capacity of disability NGOs to advocate for their rights. For more than two years now, she is working to establish and promote the Regional Remote Interpretation Service for migration management authorities, as part of the ‘Regional Support to Protection-Sensitive Migration Management’ project, funded by the EU through IPA II. As a participant in the ‘Faces of IOM’ video series, she shares some of her achievements featuring IOM as an inclusive workplace.

“It's really encouraging that IOM supports people with disabilities and a diverse pool of colleagues to actually make a real impact in their work. Whenever I face a challenge, I know that I have very reliable colleagues to count on, plus my determination to actually resolve problems helps me a lot in my work life,” says Milica.

In her free time, Milica is trying to make small changes every day by making other people aware of the multiple barriers to full accessibility and inclusion faced by persons with disabilities. Recently, she participated in an awareness-raising campaign – spending a day with a Member of Parliament and showing what it takes to be an active person with disabilities in North Macedonia. Milica is proud of her can-do attitude which helps her succeed – and we are happy to have her with us.

Date of publication: 
Mar 06, 2020
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