What do the higher authorities do when someone gets bullied? They make anti-bullying laws. But in a rare yet sweet event in North Macedonia, President Stevo Pendarovski accompanied an 11-year-old girl with Down Syndrome to her school.

The girl, Embla Ademi, was getting bullied at her school due to down syndrome. President Stevo Pendarovski got to know about it and decided to meet her and her family. He also posted a video on his official Instagram account of him meeting Embla and her parents at their home. He gifted some books to Embla and then walked her to school by holding her hand. 

The caption of the video read, “Visiting the family of 11-year-old Embla Ademi from Gostivar. Embla’s case reminds us of the prejudices we live with and the need for greater protection and care for children with disabilities.”

We are all equal in this society. I came here to give my support and to raise awareness that inclusion is a basic principle.

-President Pendarovski

He also posted some pictures prior to the video, the caption of which read, “Wonderful day spent with Embla in Gostivar. Prejudice must not be stronger than the rights of children. We are all equally responsible for the smile of Embla and all children with atypical development”. 

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that causes learning disabilities, health problems and distinctive facial characteristics. President Pendarovski talked to Embla’s parents about the challenges she and her family face on a daily basis and also discussed solutions. 

They should not only enjoy the rights they deserve but also feel equal and welcome in the school desks and schoolyard. It is our obligation, as a state, but also as individuals, and the key element in this common mission is empathy.

-President Pendarovski

“It will help children like Embla, but it will also help us learn from them how to sincerely rejoice, share and be in solidarity,” the president said in a statement released by his office.  

The photos and video posted by President Pendarovski went viral on social media with netizens praising him for his gesture.

Also Read | People With Down Syndrome May Be Different But It’s Not A Disability.