Skopje is the capital city of the Republic of Macedonia. It is located on the Vardar River, halfway between the cities of Belgrade in Serbia and Athens in Greece. Skopje is Macedonia’s largest and most populous city, with more than 600,000 residents.
Since 2002, SOS Children's Villages has worked with the children and families of Skopje to provide a support network and offer assistance with essential services.
Families from ethnic minorities are most vulnerable
Macedonia is one of the poorest countries in Europe, and although Skopje enjoys better conditions than many parts of the country, unemployment levels are high and many of the city’s inhabitants live in poverty.
Families in the poorest districts live in inadequate housing with limited access to health care and education. Children are vulnerable to exploitation by criminal gangs and human traffickers.
Those from ethnic minorities, particular the Romani people, are most at risk. They experience prejudice and exclusion from Macedonian society, and without access to education and social services; it is difficult to break the cycle of poverty.
Supporting families in vulnerable communities
Shuto Orizari is one of Skopje’s poorest areas and home to the largest Roma community in Macedonia. We began working in the district to serve local people living in conditions of serious hardship and poverty. SOS Children's Villages works hard to provide support to families at risk of breaking apart.
How we help in Skopje
SOS Children's Villages has been active in Skopje since 2002 and offers its family strengthening programme in two of the capital’s poorest districts. Children are provided with access to basic services including health, nutrition and education. In order to support families living in extreme hardship, we help with basic aid – food, hygiene articles and medicine – and also provides counselling, legal information and help with finding employment.
SOS Children's Village
Twelve SOS families give a loving home to children who are no longer able to live with their parents. In this stable family environment, vulnerable children grow up along their SOS brothers and sisters and attend local schools with children from the community. Children are supported and nurtured according to their individual needs.
Skopje’s SOS Children’s Village offers extra curricular activities after school and these are well attended by children from the local community. SOS children and their peers from the neighbourhood also play together in the Village’s large playground.
Older children who are ready to leave the family home are welcomed into the SOS Youth Programme, which provides shared, semi-independent accommodation as they complete their education or vocational training. Qualified counsellors provide support to our young people as they become independent adults.
Children with no-one else are are given a new family life in our Children's Village in Skopje. Will you ensure more children in Macedonia grow up in a loving home, and sponsor a child today?