Feb 24, 2020

A little extra attention

The girls organized a new years party!
The girls organized a new years party!

Uptill so far we have been having a positive year in the program, the trainers are happy with their students. Due to a change in the age of students we accepted, the classes are slightly smaller this year and the trainers have been positive about the extra attention they can give their students.

A little extra attention is making a difference in Sumea's life

We got to know Sumea when we were visiting families in October to see the students who wanted to join in the vocational project this year. Sumea is a thirteen year old girl raised by a single mom with a difficult background and her teacher had told us she was skipping school a lot. Her mom would let Sumea go to the busstation to sell cigarettes lighters instead of motivating her to school. We knew when she started the creativity course in November that there was a high risk of her dropping out of school and/or the program. The vocational training centre offers the courses as a extracurricular activity and to participate it is a requirement to go to school.

Sumea's trainer has been keeping on eye on her and has been motivating her to make the most out of the chances given to her. She has been having trouble with reading and writing in school so she now participates in the extra literacy lessons that we offer for the students that need it. As mentioned before Sumea isn’t growing up in a safe and stable home. Our psychologist has been talking to Sumea as well as her mom about the problems they are facing and the decisions they make. Even though we don’t know how Sumea’s future will look like we hope that this year is helping her to set of in a positive direction and climb out of the downward spiral she and her mom where in.

New years is a very important holiday here in Kosovo and the girls, together with their trainers, organized a party where they showed of their cooking and decorating skills learned in the course (see picture).

Dec 2, 2019

Closing down but it's not the end...

Thank you so much for all of your support of our women's center! For over six years, it has been the privilege of the staff team to serve some of the most vulnerable famiies in Kosovo as we have supported them to rebuild their lives and their futures after surviving violence or trafficking.

This autumn, our board and leadership team took the difficult decision to close down the center. We have seen amazing, successful transformation in the lives of many families, for which we are so thankful. However, we noticed a drop in the number of new families being referred to us from the Social Services, and after a full evaluation we learned that the law and the situation in Kosovo has changed for many reasons. For example, the emergency shelters now legally have to offer rehabilitation and reintegration programs similar to ours. We feel that it is the right time for a new chapter for our organisation. However, we will also continue to support the people we have been working with, offering psychotherapy, schooling and financial support for the first six months of their independence.

As an organisation, we will now be able to focus even more on our other project, teaching vocational skills to around 70 teenagers from difficult backgrounds who are at risk of violence. We offer training in welding, electrics, barbering, tailoring, decoration and cooking, as well as discussion groups, schooling support and family psychotherapy sessions. The transformation we see in the kids over the course is amazing!!

Thank you again for supporting our women's center. We could not have done our work without our amazing supporters! Would you now consider supporting our Vocations for the Future project? 

Have a wonderful holiday season!

From the staff and board of Operacioni i Mëkembjes

Sep 3, 2019

New starts in a new season

Lara practicing for nursery with a big backpack!
Lara practicing for nursery with a big backpack!

As summer draws to a close, September is a season of new beginnings for the ladies of our program. For little two-year-old Lara*, this means starting at nursery daycare! Lara arrived in our program when she was three months old. Her teenage mum had been left homeless when the local shelter closed suddenly in the middle of winter, and after hearing about our program she knocked on our door with her baby in her arms. Since then Lara and her mum have done so well and it has been a real joy to watch this beautiful little girl grow up. Now that she will start at the local nursery, her mum is ready to start looking for a job and creating a new future for herself and Lara.

 

Another one of our ladies moved into her own house this summer. Vera* is an orphan who inherited a house but has been living in shelters and our program for several years after experiencing severe violence. She has enjoyed our program; healing from emotional trauma and learning to read and write a little as well as gaining life skills and new confidence. Vera is ready now for new independence in her own home! However, after leaving her house empty through several winters it had become mouldy and some of the walls were tumbling down. Luckily another local NGO brought a team of volunteers to fix up the house, and Vera was able to move in recently. She is so happy to be back in her own home and is really looking forward to a peaceful and independent future.

 

Thank you so much for your support which helps ladies like Vera and kids like Lara get back on their feet and have new lives of hope and independence.

 
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