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Kosovo

Check our projects in Kosovo

Kosovo is marked by inter-ethnic tensions and migration. Many children, particularly those belonging to marginalised groups, as well as returning migrant families, are affected by poverty and are vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. To improve children’s lives, we develop the child protection system, as well as facilitate the reintegration of returned migrating families and defend minorities’ rights.

Our key results in 2017

  • 2500 children attended our activities or received direct assistance;
  • 246 child protection professionals were trained;
  • 89 families were helped to improve their living conditions.

 

What we do

CHILD PROTECTION

Due to lack of resources and coordination, Kosovo faces challenges in developing an effective child protection system. We promote policy and service improvement, in particular the implementation of the new law on child protection, specialised emergency services, and the child protection social worker. Our team trains child protection professionals to treat children at risk. Together with our partners, we mobilise and empower children, their families, and social leaders to address and improve the realisation of children’s rights in the communities. Additionally, we work on linking the child protection system with the juvenile justice system.

CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN MIGRATION AND ANTI-TRAFFICKING

Poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and the lack of services drive people to emigrate. These families and children run great risks along the way, at their destination or upon return to Kosovo. We help returned migrants to reintegrate and improve their living conditions. We encourage children to attend school and provide after-school activities. Young people and parents receive support to set up income-generating activities and undergo vocational training. We also promote the social inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities. We strengthen the anti-trafficking cooperation in the Balkans to identify victims of trafficking and provide services.

Terre des hommes in Kosovo

Beneficiaries in 2017: 3095 people

Expatriate / local employees: 1 / 23

2018 Budget: CHF 813,091

Supported by: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), Medicor Foundation, Social Investors Partners, Austrian Development Cooperation, US Department - Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Government of the Netherlands

Our Story

2000 Terre des hommes launches its first project in Kosovo, in the Mitrovicë/Mitrovica and Svejan areas, to help children overcome the trauma of war.

2002 Beginning of the juvenile justice project in Prishtina/Priština to support young people who have turned to delinquency as a result of the conflict and help them reintegrate in society.

2005 In collaboration with Tdh Albania, assistance is provided to Albanian children who are forced to beg or commit offences in the streets of cities in Kosovo.

2010 Tdh committed to the building of an efficient Child Protection Safety Net in order to protect children against neglect, abuse, delinquency, trafficking and exploitation.

2015 Tdh has the lead in the drafting of the new Law on Child Protection jointly with the Prime Minister Office, which is expected to be approved by the Parliament 2018.

2015 Tdh Kosovo becomes a partner of the regional initiative - Child Protection Hub for South East Europe.

2016 Tdh begins the work on the reintegration of migrant families returning to Kosovo and on prevention of unsafe migration.

2017 Tdh provides long-term support for the implementation of the new Law on Child Protection and development other missing legislation and services.

2018 Tdh continues its work on trafficking of human beings in the Balkans, especially on the cross border cooperation, provision of community reintegration services and raising awareness.

2018 Tdh restarts its efforts to improve the juvenile justice field in Kosovo.

The story of Shkurte Gashi (17)

Shkurte successfully reintegrates into Kosovo thanks to setting up a tailoring business.

Shkurte lives with her parents and siblings in the municipality of Mitrovica in Kosovo. Together with her family, she was expelled from Germany and France after spending fourteen years in both countries. On return, her family faced an acute lack of basic necessities and exclusion. Her encounter with Terre des hommes (Tdh) after expulsion back to her home country drastically changed her and her family’s life to the better.

Poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and unavailability of services in Kosovo are some of the major causes of emigration. Forced expulsions have  increased over the past years, since many disqualify for asylum in Western Europe. The returnees face major challenges reintegrating back into the existing education or social systems. The social and economic conditions are often harder than prior to their departure. For Shkurte, whose family had been living in France and Germany for fourteen years, this was particularly challenging.

Germany and France had become Shkurte’s home. Her early childhood memories were made here. In these countries, she went to school and acquired the German and French languages. Despite her long stay in these two countries, she had to return to Kosovo, a country she barely knew, without any prior preparation to her family’s return. They lacked housing, job and food. Besides, the adolescent suffered from loneliness, for she had left her friends behind and had not yet made new friends in her neighborhood.

Thanks to the close collaboration with local organisations, Shkurte was identified and the case was recommended to Tdh. Our staff visited Shkurte and her family. Tdh proposes mechanisms and solutions by giving vulnerable family members and youth access to employment or self-employment through professional training or by setting up a business. Shkurte benefited from this model of reintegration as she expressed a deep interest in tailoring amid discussions with our staff.

A tailoring course opens a business opportunity

Accordingly, Tdh registered her to Diakonia Vocational Training Center in Mitrovica for a five months tailoring course. The project staff regularly visited her. “I am very happy and thankful that Tdh gave me the opportunity to attend this course. Besides the gained skills in tailoring, I have also met new friends here,” Shkurte recounts.Throughout this period, her family was very supportive of her professional development.

After successfully completing the tailoring course and acquiring the relevant professional skills in communication and social interactions with the other participants, Tdh provided Shkurte with a sewing machine in view of starting an income generating activity. Her tailoring business has improved the socio-economic status of her family. The Tdh Micro-Finance experts continue to visit her, so as to offer her recommendations, guidance and support in the running of the business. For Tdh, reintegration is a continuous process that requires long term measures and guidance, with the aim of promoting social and financial autonomy of the reintegrated families.