DRC assists people wishing to return from places of displacement and facilitates the return process. Once returned, DRC supports returnees' economic and social integration, components that mutually reinforce each other to ensure a successful reintegration into Kosovo society.
Since 2003, DRC has returned 778 families with a total of 2945 individuals to Kosovo
DRC implemented Kosovo-wide return projects in partnership with UNHCR, BPRM, EU, The British Embassy Kosovo, MCR, SMB and local partners and authorities
DRC continues to support the reintegration of minority refugees, IDPs and Kosovo IDPs
Pre-return and return assistance
From 2003, DRC has focused increasingly on minority returns to Kosovo, a programme priority which has been developed in close cooperation with DRC Serbia & Montenegro.
The reconciliation process is facilitated by information provision and inter-ethnic dialogue prior to the physical return. Identifying and preparing beneficiaries for return and ensuring adequate capacity of local authorities to receive them is part of the pre-return process.
The actual return activities include: legal assistance, reconstruction of homes, transportation of returning families and livelihoods support.
Continued relationship-building between communities and the central and local authorities is paramount to promote a lasting return.
Post-return economic and community development
The poor condition of Kosovo’s economy particularly affects the returning community who in many cases spent several years in places of displacement. Upon return, many have lost key livelihood assets and lack the skills or opportunity to find employment. In addition, difficulties related social isolation and access to services continue to impede successful reintegration
To enable a sustainable return, DRC tailors economic and community development support to the needs, skills and interests of the returning community.
Through vocational training, job placement schemes and business incubation, DRC creates opportunities for returnees and minorities to become more self-reliant and integrate successfully into the wider community.
The Dimic family returned to Kosovo in June 2013. The young family was selected under the BPRM project for minor shelter repair, food/non-food assistance and furniture and an income-generation grant. The damage to the house required rehabilitation of electrical works, bathroom, plastering, flooring, and the replacement of doors and windows. With BPRM funds, Danish Refugee Council Kosovo was able to make the family’s house fit to live in again.
Silvija had been living in central Serbia for more than a decade, but returned to her village, Dugojeve/Duganjevo, in November 2010. Silvija is one of many returnees that have come back to Klinë/Klina Municipality, Kosovo, through the project ‘Return and Reintegration in Kosovo II” (RRK II), an EU funded project managed by the European Commission Liaison Office, co-funded by the Ministry for Communities and Return, and implemented by the Danish Refugee Council.
RAE youth activist Sadeta Gashijani was born in Mitrovica and currently lives in Roma Mahalla with her family of ten. From 1999 till 2007 they lived in Cesmin Lug camp as internally displaced persons and were among the first group of returnees to Roma Mahala. The DRC Kosovo Stabilisation of Roma, Ashkalia and Egyptian Communities Project in Roma Mahalla Mitrovicë/Mitrovica is funded by Sida enabled Nana to train as a community worker and assisted her in forming a RAE cultural association and a folklore group for local youths.