Čair

Čair

North Macedonia
North Macedonia
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Engagement and Optimism

Young activists understood and addressed the challenges that faced their peers in the dense and diverse municipality of Čair.

Čair, a municipality within the capital city of Skopje, is the most densely populated municipality in Europe. It is also incredibly ethnically diverse, with over half of its population identifying as Albanian, a quarter as Macedonian, and the rest of the population comprising of Turks, Bosnians, Romani and Serbs.

While hate crimes and ethnically-motivated violence are low, different groups often lived apart and young people in the city face other major challenges: unemployment, marginalisation from civic participation, entrenched gender based discrimination and brain drain.

We work closely with our partner, Democracy Lab, and together have helped launch three youth-led projects that use film, empowerment and grassroots campaigning to address these issues.

Our Impact in Čair

We aim for relevant and strategic impact at scale. Working closely with young people in identifying the needs of their communities and the challenges they face, we ensure that the solutions we support them in developing are targeted and sustainable.

 

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Empowering Young People to Reduce Violence

Tree youth-led projects in Čair sought to address community challenges by inspiring the young people who lived there to make a change.

Three projects were successfully launched in Čair, all focusing on the empowerment of other young people by giving them a platform to be heard. The three projects were so successful that they were individually featured on national television.

A film by a team of collectives called Self Made put a spotlight on lived experiences of young people living in Europe’s most dense municipality; Shout Up filmed a series of interviews featuring youth influencers from the community, to encourage others to get more involved in civic participation; while Fishkëllima launched a poster campaign and series of workshops to counter the normalisation of street harassment.

This focus on uplifting young people to be the main drivers of change is a central component the municipality’s Local Preventing Violent Extremism action plan, drafted by their Community Action Team (which the Strong Cities Network has been actively supporting). They recognised that youth inclusion and empowerment are important factors in building a community’s resilience to violence, extremism and hate speech.

Čair Projects

Through mentorship, seed-funding and network-building, we support youth in transforming ideas into tangible initiatives to make positive change in their communities.

Self-Made
project

Self-Made

North Macedonia
North Macedonia | Čair

A film aims to highlight the pessimism that is endemic among youth in the municipality of Čair, and the resulting anti-social behaviours some engage in.

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Shout Up
project

Shout Up

North Macedonia
North Macedonia | Čair

Through a series of interviews and meetings, team Shout Up worked to empower young people from the community in Čair to improve youth-related policy and encourage greater civic participation.

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Fishkëllima Youth Initiative
project

Fishkëllima Youth Initiative

North Macedonia
North Macedonia | Čair

A poster campaign and awareness-raising initiative by a group of young people from Čair addressing the normalization of discriminatory language towards women.

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Testimonials

“The best parts of the lab were gathering new knowledge and meeting new people (even though we live in the same municipality we didn’t know each other) … and having the chance to talk with the Mayor.”

Participant

Čair Youth Innovation Lab

Our partners

The organisations and municipal governments we work with are essential to the success of the Young Cities programme. Together, we continue to effect genuine, relevant change in the communities in which we work.

Democracy Lab

Democracy Lab is Young Cities’ newest partner. They provide youth the invaluable networks, skills, experience and resources to coordinate and support youth in developing their campaigns. Particularly, they provide youth the space for their creativity, at their central hub in Skopje and their affiliated community space in Gostivar – the Youth and Community Centre (YCC).

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Čair, North Macedonia

The municipality of Čair have been consistently open to working with youth from the Young Cities project. The mayor attended our Youth Innovation Lab to listen to and engage with the youth on policies that affect them, and the municipality continues to collaborate with campaign teams by providing permissions and welcoming youth to meet with its representatives.

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Get In Touch

If you would like to find out more about our impact, or would like to discuss future opportunities, we would love to hear from you.

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