International Cooperation

Country Programme of Kosovo

The overall goal of Caritas Switzerland in Kosovo is to contribute to poverty reduction, to support marginalised people and to offer alternatives to migration, through the creation of job opportunities and income generation, sustainable living conditions, and quality preschool education.

 

Facts and Figures:

  • Engagement in the country since: 1999
  • Mean annual no. of beneficiaries: 9653
  • Main partners: Association of Kosovo Municipalities (AKM), Employment Promotion Agency Kosovo (APPK), Kosovo Pedagogical Institute (KPI), Mjedra e Kosovës, National Beekeepers League, Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (KRCT), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD), Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ministry of Internal Affairs (MEST), Organika, and Partner Municipalities
  • Main donors: Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, Amt für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten Liechtenstein, Medicor Foundation Liechtenstein, Leopold Bachmann Stiftung

Key achievements:

  • More than 470 full time jobs and nearly 350 part-time jobs were created in agriculture.
  • 20.000 children supported, 400 preschool teachers trained, 200 classrooms equipped
 

Why we are here

The economic growth outlook of Kosovo remains positive. However, despite the creation of new jobs, the country needs to make economic growth much more reliant on higher productivity at home and greater competitiveness abroad. Kosovo has a long way to go, and should make significant progress in cutting fiscal deficits, tackling the legacy of a large and ineffective state, and improving the environment for domestic and foreign investments (World Bank Regular Economic Report).

Unemployment and poverty remain key challenges in Kosovo. The official estimate for unemployment is at 35%, but the real unemployment is believed to be considerably higher. The difficult labour market conditions affect youth and women disproportionately and present a serious risk of undermining the country’s social fabric. Kosovo remains one of the poorest countries in Europe, with a per-capita GDP of 3’196 EUR. Around 30% of the population live below the national poverty line, and 13% are stuck in extreme poverty.

Tensions between Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians continue, particularly in the north. There is still a parallel education system for (predominantly) Albanian municipalities and (predominantly) Serb municipalities, and no attempts to resolve this issue are in sight.

Several groups of society still face discrimination, e.g. the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians, LGBT people or persons affected by gender-based violence. 

Caritas Switzerland has been implementing projects throughout Kosovo for over 20 years, based on local needs and the willingness of authorities to cooperate.

 

Fields of Activity

Income: Food Security & Markets

Our goal is to sustainably improve the living conditions and income generation abilities of farmers in eight municipalities of Kosovo. We aim to offer alternatives to migration by promoting favourable economic development conditions.

Caritas Switzerland seeks to improve integrated natural resource and farm management. We promote the application of European Union regulations and standards in agriculture, such as Integrated Production (IP) and organic production and support the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD) in the draft of the National Organic Action Plan (NOAP). We also facilitate regular exchanges between relevant stakeholders of the value chain.

We endorse innovative agricultural methods, which improve soil fertility and health. In addition, we were instrumental in the establishment of the Red Gold agricultural cooperative, and the first berry nursery for locally produced, high quality seedlings. Furthermore, we facilitate the project in minority populated areas, with a special focus on the socio-economic empowerment of women and minority groups.

We advocate for institutional support of small farmers and help them understand their role in the value chain. We also provide fair access to local and international markets, thus enhancing their production, sales, and income.

Income: Preschool Education

Caritas Switzerland’s goal is to improve the access of children in Kosovo to preschool education and higher quality teaching which meets modern, internationally recognised standards. We place emphasis on policy dialogue with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), advocating for the introduction of innovative teaching methods to national strategies/policies, and the implementation of mandatory preschooling nationwide.

Through the Kosovo Pedagogical Institute (KPI), we provide certified training modules for preschool teachers Kosovo-wide. This includes promoting the development of the new preschool education training modules that are recognised and applied by Kosovar institutions. In addition, we equip preschool classrooms with modern adequate furniture and toys. Finally, we organise awareness raising initiatives on early childhood education.

We support the social inclusion of marginalised children by increasing their participation in quality education, particularly the development of human resources capacity in this field.

Migration: Support to Repatriated Persons

Caritas Switzerland aims to pursue a long-term programme in order to ensure a systemic and sustained approach to the reintegration of returnees and repatriated persons in Kosovo. We lobby with representatives of national and local authorities to channel their resources for the implementation of the National Strategy for Reintegration and support them through capacity building.

Our goal is to create sustainable conditions for repatriated persons and to provide alternatives to migration. This programme includes support in economic reintegration (on-the-job training, vocational education, and start-up grants) as well as psychosocial counselling and legal advice.

 

Documents

  • Kosovo Country Programme (Flyer, en)
    Dateiformat: pdf / 282 KB
    Flyer, en. Kosovo Country Programm, Caritas Schweiz Download
  • Kosovo Country Programme: Fields of Activity (Flyer, en)
    Dateiformat: pdf / 212 KB
    Fields of Activity and flagship projects. Caritas Schweiz Download
 

Selected project(s)

 

Contact persons