In 2013, the Mitrovic family was finally able to return to their home in Kamenicë/a, a municipality in eastern Kosovo. While the security situation is generally good with the Unites States KFOR covering this area, like many municipalities in Kosovo, Kamenicë/a is struggling with poor infrastructure and high unemployment. For minority communities returning from Serbia these issues can be magnified as a result of having been displaced for many years.
However, Kosovka Mitrovic, her husband Stojan, his mother Stanislavka and their two daughters were determined to make a life for themselves in Kosovo. “There is no better place than home”, says Stanislavka, “but it has not been easy”.
When they returned after almost fifteen years in displacement, their home was dilapidated and their income sources destroyed. While they worked hard to rebuild their house, they did not have the financial means to make it a comfortable home for their children. With no childcare available, Kosovka is taking care of her young children, while her husband found only part-time work in a local school and tries to supplement their income with agricultural jobs.
Faced with many difficulties, PRM-funded support that addresses not only shelter but also livelihoods needs is vital for returnees like Kosovka and her family.
To support rural livelihoods, the project also provides access to rural grants. To enable Kosovka to contribute to the family’s income while working at home, the family opted for a chicken farming grant.
To start them off, DRC delivered a hundred chickens, a henhouse and poultry feed for the first few months with PRM funding. Kosovka and her family also received mentoring on how to raise and care for the chickens and market eggs and poultry.
According to Kosovka, the chickens have been a success: “We received the chickens in June 2018 and they immediately began laying eggs. Now we even have an agreement with one of the local supermarkets where Stojan goes once a week to sell them.”
With Kosovka and the whole family engaged in chicken farming, this extra income ensures that the family can cope on their own.
With PRM support, DRC continues to assist returnees to reintegrate in Kosovo, have access to adequate housing and to provide for themselves.