North Macedonia

SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages North Macedonia).

The Republic of North Macedonia is a landlocked country in south-east Europe and home to 2.1 million people. The country has an ethnically diverse population, including 58% Macedonians, 24% Albanians, 4% Turks and 3% Romani. People living in Macedonia have one of Europe's lowest incomes. With a relatively high rate of unemployment - it is around15% - many people have left the country and moved abroad for work.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in North Macedonia since 2002.

Children are at risk

Children make up 19% of the population, constituting around 400,000 individuals. Even though corporal punishment was recently prohibited in all settings, physical discipline continues to be used. Reports demonstrate that almost 45% of children have been physically punished, while 67% have suffered psychological aggression. The country is working on ways to improve parenting practices to reduce incidences of child abuse. Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to these challenging social realities.
1 in 3
Children live in poverty

Children in poverty

More than 22% of the population live below the nationally established poverty line, impacting at least 452,000 citizens. Children are disproportionately affected, with 30% of those under 18s at risk of poverty, and more than 43% being poorly fed. Children face long-term consequences on their educational outcomes, physical and intellectual development, and their health and well-being.

1 in 5
Children are forced to work


Children in North Macedonia are exposed to some of the worst forms of child labour. While the legal age for work is 15 years old, around 19% of 5 to14 year olds are working. Of these, 21% are combining work and school. Child labour robs children of their childhood. It deprives them of their rights, exposes them to violence, physical and mental harm, and negatively impacts their educational achievements.

3 in 4
Children from the Roma community do not finish school


At least every third child from the Roma community experiences poverty beyond a lack of money. As a result, around 73% of children from the Roma community in North Macedonia, who attend school, never complete their education, often because sustaining schooling is too costly. A poor educational background can have profound consequence. These include slower learning, worse employment prospects, restricted development, and an increased vulnerability to neglect, abuse and exploitation.

Together we can make a difference for children in North Macedonia

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
Eating together is an important part of growing up. SOS Children's Villages supports families in creating an enabling environment where their children can develop and flourish (photo: SOS Children’s Villages North Macedonia).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and train parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting. .
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives