Invited by NGO Caritas Kosova office in Gjakova/Djakovica, 20 members ofthe NGO Shukarno Talenti folklore group visited the neighbourhood Ali Ibra (Kolonia) in Gjakova/Djakovica on January 21st, 2016 to exchange experiences.

Both organizations have activities with children and youth related to music education and traditional dance, which helped them establish a common ground for potential cooperation.

On March 1st, 2016, a delegation of 12 members of Caritas Kosovo and the folklore group from the neighbourhood Ali Ibra (former Kolonia) visited Roma Mahalla where NGO Shukarno Talenti presented their educational and cultural activities in Roma Mahalla, South Mitrovicë/a.

NGO Shukarno Talenti will continue to seek partnerships throughout Kosovo to establish better cooperation in order to be informed about events and opportunities for collaboration on various projects.

Successful outcome of Intensive Education for RAE Communities in Mitrovicë/a

On January 18th and 19th 2016, in economic school ''Hasan Prishtina'' in Mitrovicë/a are held the final exams for 12th graders, who attended intensive education supported by DRC and Caritas through the subproject “Intensive Education for RAE Communities”. Many young adults from the RAE communities were unable to continue their education due to displacement and economic hardship.  Out of 8 initially registered in October 2014, 6 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian youth from Dy Korriku/Sitnicko Naselje have successfully passed the exams and completed their educational goal.
On February 18th 2016, in a certification event organized by the school and Caritas, the students received their certificates. Besides DRC and Caritas, representatives from civil society in Mitrovicë/a, Municipal educational authorities and UNMIK participated in the event.

The “Intensive Education for RAE Communities” is a subproject implemented by Caritas Kosova through Sida funds as an integral part of the DRC project 'Support of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Mitrovicë/a'.

Read more on the event in the local online portal MitrovicaTopPress.

Social Business Incubator provides preparatory vocational trainings to job-seekers in Mitrovicë/a

In August 2015, the DRC Social Business Incubator (SBI) offered three-month preparatory vocational training courses in carpentry, welding, high construction, low construction, auto mechanics and hairdressingto 25 (20 male and 5 female) job-seekers registered at the Regional Employment Office in Mitrovicë/a.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding between DRC and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW) it was foreseen that the most successful trainees will be referred to the Regional Vocational Training Center (RVTC) in Mitrovicë/a for further advanced trainings.

DRC SBI mentors in coordination with RVTC Mitrovicë/a have organized the testing of trainees in September and 10 candidates were referred to the Regional Employment Office Mitrovicë/a with the recommendation to continue with three-month advanced trainings in RVTC Mitrovicë/a. The 10 selected trainees started advanced trainings in October 2015.

Following the success of this round of preparatory trainings, DRC SBI and the Regional Employment Office Mitrovicë/a have held info sessions and started the registration process of new job-seekers.

In November, trainings started with a new group of 22 applicants; 19 of them are from RAE communities, Roma Mahalla and 2 Korriku/Sitnicko naselje(5 candidates are female) and 3 Albanians from north Mitrovicë/a. 

The Social Business Incubator is funded by Sida as part of the 'Support of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Mitrovicë/a' project.

Women for Women International and DRC partner to support women's economic self-reliance in Roma Mahalla, Mitrovicë/a

In the beginning of September 2015, DRC invited experienced women NGOs from all over Kosovo to submit a proposal for a project aiming to enhance economic empowerment and design environmentally friendly activities for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian women in Roma Mahalla, Mitrovicë/a. 

Following the assessment of applicants and evaluation of proposals received, Women for Women International based in Prishtinë/a was selected to implement the project Fostering Self-Reliance among Roma, Ashkali & Egyptian Women in Mitrovicë/a".

On 29/10/2015, DRC signed a two-year contract with Women for Women International to provide targeted support and capacity-building for a Roma Mahalla-based women's NGO Gjuvljano Mangipe and to train 40 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian women from Roma Mahalla and 2 Korriku/Sitnicko Naselje neighbourhoods in Mitrovicë/a on how to identify opportunities for income generation and manage their income efficiently.

NGO Gjuvljano Mangipe (GjM) is supported by DRC under the Sida project: Support for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovicë/a. GjM is led by community members and is working towards establishing a social enterprise for handicrafts to support women's self-reliance. Work on expanding their online presence and establishing an online shop have already started and will continue with support from Women for Women International.

Mid-term evaluation tracks progress of Sida-funded project “Support to Roma, Ashkalia and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovicë/a”

During October 2015 DRC organized an internal mid-term project evaluation of the Sida funded “Support to Roma, Ashkalia and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovicë/a” Project.

In order to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the project components: education and economic development, and the handover process itself, DRC Kosovo has welcomed Mr. Mikkel Nedergaard - M&E expert from DRC HQ in Copenhagen.

From 19-22 October 2015, Mr. Nedergaard conducted intensive consultations with all relevant project stakeholders, by facilitating focus group discussions on education and economic development components and individual interviews with relevant parties, such as the Deputy Mayor of Mitrovicë/a municipality, NGO “RADC” Director and the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian leader.  

At the end of field activities Mr. Nedergaard facilitated a brainstorming session with DRC program staff and Country Director, where the status of the Action Plan for handover process and its benchmarks have been reviewed in detail while reflecting on progress, identified gaps, obstacles and concerns of the stakeholders.  

200 children and youths from Roma Mahalla Mitrovicë/a take part in Let's clean Kosovo

On 22 May, DRC in cooperation with LNGOs Caritas Kosovo, RADC, Shukarno Talenti and the Municipality of Mitrovicë/a supported 200 children and youths from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community to clean their neighbourhood for "Let’s clean Kosovo". The cleanups are a part of the global civic movement Let’s Do It! World Cleanup 2015, which aims to solve the illegal dumping problem on a local and global level both short and long term – by engaging a large part of the society in a cleanup activity on an action day.

The Municipal Directorate of Culture, Youth and Sport sponsored gloves, masks and garbage bags to help the children clean their neighbourhood safely. The local Public Utility company Uniteti supported the event by picking up all the collected trash for disposal. Even local business owners hosted in the Social Business Incubator joined the cleanup.

For the younger children, the local Learning Centre also organized an exhibition of drawings, reading of poems and a fashion show showcasing creations made from recycled materials. The day was concluded by a performance of the local folklore dance group Shukarno Tallenti.

The children's environmental actions are supported through the Sida-funded project: Support to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Community in Mitrovicë/a.

Representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology visit the Learning Centre in Roma Mahalla, Mitrovicë/a

On Tuesday, 28/04/2015, the regular meeting of the Education Working Group was organized at the Learning Centre in Roma Mahalla, Mitrovicë/a. Besides DRC local implementing partners, the meeting was also attended by Ms. Enesa Kadic – Head of Division for Communities at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) and Ms. Aferdita Jaha - Officer for Intensive Teaching at MEST. Ms. Kadic appreciated the work of DRC and its local partners in the Learning Centre in Mitrovicë/a and confirmed that MEST is committed to support the education of minority communities living in Kosovo. Ms. Jaha explained certification procedures for beneficiaries of intensive teaching classes from Roma Mahalla and Dy Korriku/Sitnicko Naselje neighbourhoods and expressed the strong support of MEST for such projects.

This education initiative is supported by DRC through the Sida-funded project ‘Support for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovicë/a`.

NGO Shukarno Talenti perform in Mitrovicë/a and Kamenicë/a to mark International Roma Day

NGO Shukarno Talenti from Mitrovicë/a in cooperation with the Municipal Office for Communities and Returns (MOCR) in Kamenicë/a organized on April 8th 2015 a celebration of the International Roma Day. The folklore group "Shukarno Talenti" with its 54 members was invited by the Cultural Center in Kamenicë/a to participate in the entertainment part of the program. In front of the audience from Kamenicë/a and neighbourhood together with participants from Kamenicë/a, they gave a riveting performance that ended with a party for the participants. This was the first event in the cultural and artistic events in celebration of International Roma Day.

Continuing the celebrations in Mitrovicë/a, NGO Shukarno Talenti in collaboration with NGO RADC, organized a concert with songs, dances and recitals in the Mitrovicë/a Cultural Centre “Rexhep Mitrovica”  where children that are attending educational activities in the Learning Center in Roma Mahalla and youth from Roma Mahalla performed in front of a Mitrovicë/a audience. RAE folklore groups from Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje  and Prizren were also invited to perform on the day. 

NGO Shukarno Talenti is supported by DRC through the Sida-funded project ‘Support for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovicë/a`.

DRC's partner Caritas Kosovo is launching literacy classes in Roma Mahalla in collaboration with the Mitrovicë/a Municipality

In cooperation with the Directorate for Education, DRC's implementing partner Caritas Kosova is implementing a subproject “Intensive education for RAE community” under the framework of the Sida-funded project Support to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovicë/a.

Initially 10 beneficiaries from RAE communities from Roma Mahalla, Mitrovicë/a will follow literacy classes where the teacher, which is selected by the Directorate for Education, will work with them to improve reading and numeracy skills. Activities will be held in the Learning Centre in Roma Mahalla. After completing the literacy classes, beneficiaries will be provided with certificates issued by the Directorate for Education. These certificates will enable them to continue their education.

In addition to intensive classes for primary and secondary school levels, Caritas Kosova started with the implementation of this third component “literacy classes” as a continuation of similar activities offered in the past under the sub-project “Eradication of illiteracy”.

For more information about DRC local partner Caritas Kosova please here


Scholarships support women and girls to finish their education

With a private donation from Sweden, Danish Refugee Council provided scholarships for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian women to enable them to complete secondary school as part of the Sida-funded project: ‘Supporting Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovicë/a`. 

In March 2013, DRC reached an agreement with five young women from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community from Roma Mahalla and 2 Korriku/Sitnicko Naselje to support them in their wish to continue their education.  Four of them were registered in the secondary economic school “Hasan Prishtina”, Mitrovicë/a South and one in the secondary economic school “Ekonomska Trgovinska Skola”, Mitrovica North.

After one year of intensive classes all students successfully finished their professional schooling and are now equipped with certificates/diplomas for completion of secondary school education within the fields of Law, Banking, Economics and Finance. 

DRC-supported NGO Gjuvljano Mangipe signs their first MoU with the Municipal Department of Culture, Youth and Sports in Mitrovicë/a


Gjuvljano Mangipe (meaning Vullneti I Grave/Women’s will), is a registered organization created to promote economic empowerment of women and girls in Roma Mahalla, Mitrovicë/a Through their workshop at the Social Business Incubator (SBI) in Roma Mahalla, they produce original handicrafts and engage in activities designed to promote women’s empowerment.

After receiving support from DRC through the Sida-funded Support of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Mitrovicë/a” Project, DRC is proud to announce that Gjuvljano Mangipe signed their first independent MoU with Mr. Ardian Kavaja, Director of the Department of Culture, Youth and Sports, Municipality of Mitrovicë/a.

The MoU covers a 1-year period and promotes cultural integration of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community in Mitrovicë/a and the participation of NGO Gjuvljano Mangipe in cultural events organized by the Municipality of Mitrovicë/a.

The SBI supported Gjuvljano Mangipe with access to workspace, technical and business trainings and the creation of promotional materials including design of their website and social media presence. Support to community-led LNGOs like Gjuvljano Mangipe is part of DRC’s capacity building of local partners in Mitrovicë/a.

To read more about Gjuvljano Mangipe visit their website and facebook

DRC signs 3-year-MoU with Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare

On Wednesday, 25/03/2015, Mr. Arban Abrashi, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW), signed a Memorandum of Understanding with DRC to support the vocational and professional development of beneficiaries of the "Support of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Mitrovicë/a” Project, funded by the Swedish Agency for International Development (Sida).

Today’s signing of the MoU was preceded by a visit from representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to the DRC vocational training facilities and Social Business Incubator in Roma Mahalla.  During the visit, DRC presented the results achieved in the past and discussed future plans and ways of enhancing employment opportunities for minority communities and youth with the Ministry.

The outcome of this process is an MoU covering a period of 3 years, which enables DRC and the Ministry to collaborate closely on improving the chances of Roma Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Roma Mahalla, Mitrovicë/a to increase their job skills and access the labour market.  DRC will provide preparatory vocational training courses in the fields of: welding, carpentry, high and low construction which pave the way for participants to pursue a career in these fields. 

DRC presents most recent, comprehensive data on the socio-economic situation of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Mitrovicë/a

In the restaurant VaPiano in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica, on 21 November 2014, with the support of the Mitrovicë/a Municipal Assembly, Danish Refugee Council  – office in Mitrovicë/a has organized a workshop on Comprehensive Study on Roma Ashkali and Egyptian communities: presentation of findings -challenges and solutions’. The event is organized within the framework of the Support to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovicë/a, DRC project funded by Sweden.

In order to discuss challenges identified by the comprehensive study conducted by DRC in September 2014, this event gathered  participants from different institutions, such as: local and central authorities, Embassy of Sweden, OSCE, UNHCR, UNICEF,  local and international organizations, RAE communities’ representatives from Roma Mahala and 2 Korriku/Sitnicko Naselje.

The summary of the study findings has been presented by the external consultant engaged by DRC, Chiara Mossina, who also briefly introduced the Action Plan, which will cover roles/responsibilities of all Mitrovicë/a stakeholders, while aiming to improve access to education for RAE children and adults and to enhance their economic opportunities and civic participation on their re-integration in Kosovo society.

Foreseen by the workshop agenda, and in order to recognize possible solutions to the identified challenges, a constructive discussion has been encouraged, involving representatives of the RAE communities, LNGOs (DRC implementing partners) and municipal representatives.

Deputy Mayor of the Mitrovicë/a Municipality has thanked both, DRC and Embassy of Sweden, for work they are doing with marginalized groups in Mitrovicë/a region. He confirmed readiness of the Municipality to take more responsibility while dealing with re-integration of minority communities. He pointed out the two Memorandums of Understandings that Municipality has reached with DRC and mentioned that very soon Municipal Assembly will endorse the Local Action Plan for integration of the RAE communities. In addition to this, he confirmed that as of January 2015, Mitrovicë/a municipality will start co-financing different projects related to the RAE communities.