16-year-old Ilbija Sadiki is a third year student at a public vocational school in Skopje, the capital of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
His family is low-income, so having a bit of extra cash to support him in his studies is a big help, he says.
“I spend the cash transfers on school items and school supplies. I also use it for school excursions,” says Sadiki.
The conditional cash transfers to Sadiki and other students like him are part of a wider social assistance program in FYR Macedonia, where public education is free, but the related costs - such as school supplies - mean that some teenagers end up not going.
“Those on social assistance are unemployed people, and they do not have any resources, so this is an incentive for their children to go to school and further their education,” says Sonja Arsovska, a social worker in Skopje, who locates and registers eligible families for the Conditional Cash Transfer Project.