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Video Conference: Digital Clubhouses in Macedonia and Lower Normandy

Representatives from Macedonia; Filip Stojanovski from the Metamorphosis Foundation, Goran Chuchukovski from the Veles Municipality, Vanja Dimitrievski from the Digital Clubhouse (DC) Samokov and Mustaf Jonuzi from DC Kamenjane. Representatives from the Lower Normandy region: David Sevestre from DC Bonnebosq and Alexandre Sutteau from DC Granville.

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At the beginning, the participants from France presented their digital clubhouses as well as general information on the situation with the digital clubhouses in the Lower Normandy region. A total of 102 digital clubhouses exist in the region, out of which 66 percent are funded by the municipalities, whereas the budget for the rest is covered by the Lower Normandy region.

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Filip Stojanovski presented the Digital Clubhouses project to his French counterparts. With this project, 12 e-points have been opened throughout Macedonia, within the frames of the e-inclusion program of the Metamorphosis Foundation.

Goran Chuchukovski shared the experience from the Municipality of Veles which initiated the creation of e-points for the citizens as part of its regular activities, one of which was opened in the city library in cooperation with Metamorphosis, and the other one in the Orizare village. The e-point in Orizare serves as a remote office for the municipality, saving the citizens time and effort since they do not have to travel to Veles anymore.

Vanja Dimitrievski and Mustaf Jonuzi presented the work of the clubhouses in which they are working. It was established that in environments with a greater population and greater economic activity there is also greater interest for using the e-points. Unlike in Lower Normandy, where most of the families have internet in their homes and a majority of the e-points users are adults, in Macedonia most of the users are children and young.

This was followed by a discussion mostly focused on the funding and sustainability issues of the digital clubhouses, when the methods for mutual cooperation of the two networks were agreed, especially in terms of transferring good practices for covering the older population and enabling people with disabilities to have access to the services offered by the clubhouses, including the internet and other new technologies.

The next video conference within the frames of this project, which will be attended by representatives of the Civil Servants Agency from Macedonia, will be held on October 30, 2008.