[Contest 2012] Recycled life
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms , without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights
Unfortunately the quote above is not fully respected when talking about Roma people in Macedonia. Very often discriminated but still they are trying to find their spot under the sun. Working as a photo journalist I had a chance to meet many different people , of different social origins and different life styles .Among them were these that I want to present in this short story .The people I’ve met have chosen to work instead of begging in the street. Like quicksand, poverty is hard to escape — the harder you fight, the worse it can get. In Skopje, some work hard scouring the city for “treasures”. They are bottle collectors, spending the day in search of recyclable plastic which they can sell for a subsistence income.. Drisla landfill has an annual capacity of 160 thousand tons of solid waste. It is the only landfill in Macedonia that has the capacity and technical ability to transform waste into energy. Macedonia has hundreds of thousands of tons of waste per year. Converted into electrical or thermal energy is sufficient to cover the needs of thousands of citizens. What is missing is the station for processing waste into energy which would also provide posts for these people too. The garbage collector makes about 90 denars 1,5euros for 10 Kg of plastic bottles. During the good days they can collect up to 250Kg of plastic bottles with earnings of 38 Euros. They are really worthy of respect and for the courage and their spirit they deserve a chance to break the vicious cycle of poverty in which they are trapped .
What truly amazed me was the smile on their faces , optimism and faith in better tomorrow. The sparkle in their eyes gives hope for everyone , believing that only better things are yet to come even though surrounded by garbage all day and sometimes all night .It takes a lot to overcome all the bad circumstances under which they are living but they surely succeed in it.