SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages North Macedonia).

The capital of Skopje is North Macedonia’s largest city and the country’s political and economic centre. Located in the northern part of the country, the city is home to around 525,000 people. While better off than other parts of North Macedonia, inequality has increased and unemployment remains high, with many people living in poverty and inadequate housing.

Since 2002, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Skopje.

1 in 3
Children living in poverty go to secondary school

Children living in poverty

Many children miss out on preschool: Only one in 300 children who lives in poverty attend preschool, while only two-thirds attend secondary education. Most children who did not attend an early childhood education programme live in the country’s households with lowest incomes. For children from lower socio-economic backgrounds, early education can be beneficial in setting them up for success in subsequent years of school. It also contributes to their social and cognitive development, as well as their social inclusion.

1 in 7
Children experience overcrowding

Children lack personal space

At least 13% of children in North Macedonia live in overcrowded households. However, more than 32% of households with the lowest incomes and 30% families with more than one child lack adequate space. Cramped living conditions can harm family relationships, negatively affect children's education and contribute to mental health challenges. These environments prevent children from finding space for themselves and increase the risk of violence within families.

Your support makes a difference for children in Skopje

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Young people
Attend our trainings
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Doing homework in the sunshine. We make sure that all children go to school and enjoy learning (photo: SOS Children’s Villages North Macedonia).

How your support helps in Skopje

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. Some children live with foster families that are selected, trained and supported by SOS Children’s Villages. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.