PRM project helps rebuilding lives and livelihoods in Kosovo

Srdjan Dimić and his wife fled from their home in Izvor, Kosovo, to Serbia in 1999. In 2017, they returned with their baby daughter to find their house completely destroyed. With nowhere to live and no means to pay rent, the family found shelter in Srdjan’s brother’s basement. 

The family was struggling. Their cramped living quarters, concern for their new-born child and lack of financial means left them feeling overwhelmed. Families like Srdjan’s who return to remote, rural areas often find it difficult to cope on their own in the beginning.

To make sure these families get a chance to rebuild their lives in Kosovo, PRM projects implemented by DRC fund basic needs assistance, including food and essential non-food items, that can help families get over the first difficulties. As part of the PRM project, DRC could also advocate with local authorities to prioritize the family for full house construction, which was approved shortly after.

“PRM-funded basic needs assistance covers gaps and provides immediate relief for families”

While the family was waiting for their home to be completed, the project focused on helping Srdjan make an income to provide for his family. Because of his experience in making brandy, Srdjan was selected for a brandy production grant and received brandy production equipment, trainings and business mentoring as well as market access through participating in trade fairs.

In 2018, with construction of the house completed, the family moved into their new home. Putting the grant he received in 2017 to use, Srdjan produced over 1000 litres of brandy, which he sold at fairs and directly to restaurants in the region. 

With the success he achieved as a result of the PRM-funded brandy production grant and business and grant application trainings, Srdjan felt confident to try and expand his business. 

To save costs and increase production, Srdjan developed the idea to plant his own plum and apple trees. Using his experience he gained during the PRM project, he successfully applied for a follow-up grant from Serbia of 700 plum and apple tree seedlings. 

“PRM-funded grants can help returnees get on their feet and help them rebuild their livelihoods” 

With a little assistance to get started, Srdjan and his family have taken great strides towards reintegration in Kosovo. PRM funding allows DRC to continue supporting other returnee families to rebuild their lives and livelihoods in Kosovo.

PRM Project: Improving Return Assistance for Enhanced Durable Solution Opportunities 2017-2018

Returnees to Kosovo tell their stories

The Dimic family returned to Strazhë/Straža village in Novobërdë/Novobrdo Municipality in June 2013.

According to UNHCR, more than 200,000 IDPs from Kosovo are still displaced in Serbia. Some of them have found ways to build a life there, but others are waiting to return. Often families lack the means to return on their own or face difficult conditions once they come back to Kosovo; houses that were destroyed or have become uninhabitable due to years of neglect, limited income generation opportunities and lack of documentation. 

Through the BPRM-funded project ‘Reintegration and Community Stabilization Kosovo’, 26 families returning to Kosovo from Serbia will receive assistance to rebuild their lives and livelihoods in Kosovo. Read about three families' experiences of returning to Kosovo and trying to make a fresh start.

Danish Refugee Council in partnership with the LNGO Center for Peace and Tolerance, addresses returnee families’ most important socio-economic reintegration needs and supports receiving communities and local authorities to create conditions conducive to sustainable return.

The project is co-funded by BPRM and the Ministry for Communities and Return.

The Ministry for Communities and Return steps up efforts to help returnee families build a sustainable future in Kosovo

Minister for Communities and Return Dalibor Jevtic and DRC Country Representative Kristen Stec sign  new agreement  

Minister for Communities and Return Dalibor Jevtic and DRC Country Representative Kristen Stec sign new agreement 

The Ministry of Communities and Return pledges financial support in the amount of 115,000 EUR to aid beneficiary families of the Reintegration and Community Stabilization in Kosovo project funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM) and implemented by DRC Kosovo.

On 5 March, Minister for Communities and Return Dalibor Jevtic and  DRC Country Representative Kristen Stec signed a new agreement which strengthens the established cooperation between MCR and DRC under the framework of the BPRM-funded project Reintegration and Community Stabilization in Kosovo.

DRC welcomes the continued support provided by MCR to enable the reintegration of spontaneous and assisted returnees to Kosovo. MCR’s commitment will secure the provision of needs-based harmonized return packages and income generation grants to families returned from displacement.  For beneficiaries like the Dimic family, such support makes a vital contribution to their successful reintegration. The Dimic family and their five children returned to Kosovo in June 2013. Through the BPRM project, DRC was able to repair the family’s house in Strazhë/Straža village, Novobërdë/Novobrdo municipality and provide food and non-food items and furniture. Given the scarcity of employment where they live, the family depends on agriculture to make a living. With their income-generation grant, the family therefore added livestock to their stable and once conditions allow, they will start cultivating their land again.

MCR’s financial contribution will enable additional beneficiary families to receive similar support in their effort to build sustainable livelihoods in Kosovo.

The Dimic family in front of their stable 

The Dimic family in front of their stable 

The BPRM-funded project Reintegration and Community Stabilization in Kosovo will support at least 26 families returning to Kosovo from Serbia and their wider communities. DRC, in partnership with LNGO Center for Peace and Tolerance, will employ an integrated response to returns and reintegration.

Austrian Development Agency supports returnee families in Kosovo

On 15 September 2013, Danish Refugee Council (DRC) began implementing a one-year BPRM-funded project that will support at least 26 families returning to Kosovo from Serbia and their wider communities.

Christian Geosits, Head of ADA Office, Kosovo and Kristen Stec, DRC Country Representative sign agreement

DRC is happy to announce that the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation, will support the return and reintegration of returnee families.

With this contribution from ADA, DRC will be able to provide three families that will be returned this year with income generation grants and needs-based harmonized return packages in line with MCR’s guidelines on return.

The families are in the process of being selected. Minor shelter repairs for these families should start in October 2013 and be finalized in November 2013.

 

 

 

DRC, in partnership with LNGO Center for Peace and Tolerance, will employ an integrated response to returns and reintegration. The project activities are divided into three complementary and inter-related components that will address the most important socio-economic reintegration needs and aim to reduce isolation of returnees using a rapid and flexible approach. The project is implemented in partnership with the Ministry for Communities and Return and respective municipalities. DRC signed a MoU with MCR on 25 September 2013 that outlines the cooperation.

Read more about the Reintegration and Community Stabilization in Kosovo Project