Macedonia's youth organisations encourage activism

20/12/2012

Most youth in Macedonia rarely react to social issues, but youth NGOs are changing the situation.

By Biljana Lajmanovska for Southeast European Times in Skopje -- 20/12/12

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The country's youth encounter unemployment, economic dependence and political pressures that are key reasons for poor youth activism in Macedonia. [Tomislav Georgiev/SETimes]

The recently-formed web platform Republika Mladi is attempting to provoke participation and open discussions among young people from various NGOs.

The country's youth, of all ethnic backgrounds, equally encounter unemployment, economic dependence and political pressures that are key reasons for poor youth activism in Macedonia.

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About 500,000 people between the ages 15 and 30 live in Macedonia -- almost a quarter of the country's entire population. According to the NGO Reactor, more than 50 percent are unemployed, with no income and are dependent, with no deciding power on key issues.

"Unemployed young people are frequently excluded from social and political life. We think this is an issue that we have to solve, and that in a way that we get to hear all the voices of young people," Tanja Maleska, from NGO Youth Education Forum, told SETimes.

The platform is supported by almost 60 NGOs as an informal coalition, co-ordinating their actions in provoking a debate among young people on different topics, such as youth activism, student elections, stereotypes and political party membership.

"Everybody usually uses definitions and speeches pointing out that young generation are the future. I have a different definition saying that young people are not the future, because in the future they will not be young any more. Young people must be our present," Sejnur Sainovski from the National Roma Centre, told SETimes.

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