Elhame Smaili is an inspiration. Although she is 60 years old, she continues to learn new skills and build hope for the future.
She endured many hardships before joining the Women for Women International Kosovo program with her daughter in-law. During the war in Kosovo her only son was killed, and her husband died of a heart attack. Her eight-year-old niece Arbresha, developed a physical handicap following complications with an illness during the war, and now walks with much difficulty. Elhame's house was burned down during the war, like many houses located in Cirez, her village in the Drenica area. Although an organization was slated to assist her family with reconstructing the house, they received only minimal aid and live in very poor conditions the damaged house. She lives with her daughter-in-law Mihrije, three grandsons and three nieces.
With determination and an energetic spirit, Elhame and Mihrije opted for the beekeeping course as a way to develop skills to earn an income. Now recent graduates of the program, Elhame says that she and Mihrije have learned more about the world through their participation and now have a broader perspective. Elhame and Mihrije have recently received three beehives and begun their beekeeping activities, putting their Women for Women International training into action: "I am finally active and involved in the work," says Mihrije. "There are barriers such as poverty, but I have to challenge them, especially to support my children."
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