Authors*: Josipa Rizankoska, Natasha Dimova, Aleksandra Spaseska, Nikolina Rizankoska- Anteska
Cover Design: Marija Koneska
Translation: Aleksandra Spaseska
Proofreading: Milena Chkripeska
This policy study was prepared as part of the project funded by the Peace Corps. The views expressed in this study are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Peace Corps.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected, and it keeps influencing lives in many negative ways. Although young people have not been the main risk group of contamination from the virus, since the beginning of the pandemic they have been in the frontline when it comes to taking severe attacks from social, educational, and financial nature, and with their physical and mental health clearly at highest stake.
We offer a cross-section inquiry that aims to understand how youth in North Macedonia is coping with the pandemic. What are the resilience mechanisms for young people? What are the needs, the challenges, and the consequences of the youth facing the COVID-19 pandemic? Many aspects of young people’s lives are to be analyzed: education, social and economic state, emotional health, youth participation, and inclusion of marginalized groups. Some sub-questions addressed in this study are youth’s communication and socialization, empathy and solidarity with vulnerable groups, activism and volunteering practices, gender and family violence, and inclusion of young people living in rural areas. The institutional response to the pandemic is also analyzed.
This analysis relies on four different methodological tools. A secondary data qualitative analysis via ‘desk research’, focus groups with 14 CSOs working with youth or specific groups of interest to our study, 8 interviews with representatives from relevant institutions, and empirical analysis of data coming from a nationwide survey with 1002 young people aged 15 to 29.