Orhan Ceka


Orhan Ceka is a human rights activist from Macedonia dedicated to reconciliation and community building in his ethnically divided country. He is the co-founder and program director for Human Rights and Culture at the Liberal Alternative Institute where he actively works in the area of dealing with the past, individual citizen rights, community service and development and cultural exchanges. Having lived and studied in several countries (Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, the USA and Turkey) he tries to bring the experiences and innovative approaches to community development that he has encountered to his own country. Orhan is a graduate of the International Relations BA at SUNY ESC and NYU, Human Rights MA at the University of Bologna/Sarajevo, and Public Policy MA at Sabanci University.

Organization: ´Liberal Alternative Institute´, Macedonia

The general aim of the project is to establish student governments in public high schools in the city of Tetovo.  More specifically, this project aims to address the passivity of students in relation to student organizing. Coming from a communist culture and a tradition in which young people are not supposed to speak up, young generations are given top-down solutions without being given the chance to discuss their own needs. In addition, having emerged from an ethnic conflict between Albanians and Macedonians in 2001, there is a system of segregation in schools with students from different ethnic groups, with students of different ethnicities studying on different shifts or in different school facilities.
By training students in leadership and youth activism, by organizing them in student governments in their high schools, the project will give students a voice, they would be able to go to a specific person to address issues on a higher level, there will be greater cooperation between the 5 public high schools that include around 15,000 students, and it would empower them to work on joint projects to bring about a change within their own student communities and the more general community as well.