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Photo Gallery-FYR Macedonia: Cash Transfers Keep Students in School

FYR Macedonia: Cash Transfers Keep Students in School

For thousands of students throughout the country, the school year is something that starts with little stress.

But Kristina, Zulejla, and Amanda have the added burden of having to think how to get by with very little money.

They are not alone: families of around 9,000 students receive cash transfers so they can keep their children in school.

At the government's request, the World Bank is investing $25 million in the project, giving additional social assistance to families whose kids regularly attend classes.

Kristina Donevska primarily uses the funds for notebooks and transportation to and from her home town. She says it greatly relieves the strain on her family’s budget.

Zulejla Abdulova says that applying for the cash transfer program and meeting its requirement—regular classroom attendance—contribute to her development as a student and future professional.

Lence Blazevska, sociologist at Boro Petrusevski High School, says the additional funds supported by the World Bank project have reduced the number of dropouts.

The assistance is distributed nationwide through 83 social welfare centers, based on attendance records supplied by schools.

The conditional cash transfer program is timely and complements school activities aimed at educating students for brighter futures, says School Principal Sonja Ristovska.

Amanda Arifovska says the program has benefits besides financial ones: optimism, which is contagious.

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