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.

Additional beneficiary families selected for return to Nenkalaja/Podkaljaja, Prizren

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The Project Steering Committee meeting of the Sustainable Return to Nenkalaja/Podkaljaja project was held in the Ministry for Communities and Return on 4 March 2014. DRC Kosovo presented 19 cases identified in collaboration with Sveti Spas and DRC Serbia, and the committee selected 8 families who fit the MCR criteria.

Read more on the website of the Ministry for Communities and Return.

 

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 

 

Sustainable return to Nenkalaja / Podkaljaja on track

 
June 2013 Project Steering Committee meeting of the Sustainable Return to Nenkalaja/Podkaljaja project      

June 2013 Project Steering Committee meeting of the Sustainable Return to Nenkalaja/Podkaljaja project

  

The Project Steering Committee meeting of the Sustainable Return to Nenkalaja/Podkaljaja project was held in the Ministry for Communities and Return on 18 June 2013.

Participants included the HE Minister of MSR, Mr. Dalibor Jevtic along with other MCR representatives; British Embassy representatives, Mr. Dominic Hyadn Braithwaite and Mrs. Miranda Shala, UNHCR, DRC Implementing Partner Sveti Spas from Belgrade as well as DRC staff.

Mr. Jevtic also used the opportunity to thank the British Embassy in Kosovo and all other parties who are part of the implementation of the "Nenkalaja/Podkalaja" project. He went on to add that the Ministry for Communities and Return is fully dedicated not only to the current process of return to Prizren town, but also to supporting the continuation of the process. 

Petrit Bllaca, DRC Project Coordinator, briefed the participants about the progress of the Sustainable Return to Nenkalaja / Podkaljaja project. Currently nine houses are under construction and work on the tenth one is about to start. DRC is in constant contact with the beneficiaries,’ Petrit Bllaca told the participants, ‘since they are part of the monitoring of the construction of their own houses.' Furthermore, DRC presented information on the integrated Community Development projects and highlighted cases of assisting receiving community families. To date, DRC has received three projects and two individual cases.

The  project  is  co-financed  by  the  British  Embassy  and  the  Ministry  of Communities and Returns.  Mr.Dominic Hyadn Braithwaite from the British Embassy, Belgrade expressed his satisfaction with the work so far and the positive collaboration between the parties involved.

The final comment on the meeting was made by HE Dalibor Jevtic who raised the education issue of the returnees. He said that this should be our priority. Education, health care and employment, in addition to the construction of houses, need to receive adequate attention and must be part of the return package for the displaced. Therefore, the Ministry should plan a budget for education and health.

He concluded by noting that Prizren has always been an exemplary case and that we are very happy to have started with Prizren as an example for other cities.

Read more about the project here