- What we do
- What we say
- Who we are
- Get involved
- Finding help
The economic growth outlook of Kosovo remains positive. However, despite the creation of new jobs in 2016, 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 remains a key challenge. The official estimate 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.
Kosovo Roma, Kosovo Ashkali, and Kosovo Egyptian children experience low school enrolment, and high dropout rates, especially among girls. Several factors contribute to this situation, including extreme poverty rates among these communities, low levels of education and low awareness of the importance of education, inter-ethnic tensions, discrimination, and a lack of teachers of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian origin.
Caritas Switzerland implements projects throughout Kosovo, based on local needs and the willingness of authorities to cooperate.
Food Security & Markets
Our goal is to sustainably improve the living conditions and income generation abilities of farmers in the Zhupa Valley of Prizren, Shterpce, and Dragash municipalities. 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. 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 vulnerable 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.
Education and Income
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 a local institution, 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 initiativeson early childhood education.
We support the social inclusion of marginalised communities by increasing their participation in quality education, particularly the development of human resources capacity in this field.
Migration & Human trafficking
Caritas Switzerland aims to pursue a longterm 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 with capacity building.
Our goal is to create sustainable conditions for repatriated persons and communities and to provide alternatives to migration. This programme includes support in economic reintegration through matching with local businesses, access to vocational education, and start-up grants and mentoring, as well as psychosocial and legal support.