Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo

by Operacioni i Mekembjes
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo
Give healing to 20 survivors of violence in Kosovo

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

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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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Decorating biscuits and laughing together
Decorating biscuits and laughing together

Despite lots of rainy weather, spring always seems to bring fresh hope and new ventures in our project. Recently one young mum started a new training course making jewellery, decorations for weddings and other handcrafts. She is really good at it and is hoping to start a business where she is able to work from home to take care of her baby and sell her work through social media. However, the staff keep buying all her beautiful jewellery so she doesn’t have any left to sell elsewhere!!

The ladies and kids are continuing with their psychology sessions, trainings, schooling and much more! They also learn a lot just from living together, including how to work together to take care of their children, each other and the house. Sometimes the center feels like one big family, with problems and joys like any other family! Recently Kosovo celebrated a festival and all the kids from the daily program arrived (uninvited!) to spend time with the staff and ladies in the center; we decorated biscuits, laughed and danced together.

Thank you so much for your support. It allows women who have experienced unimaginable violence to imagine and create a more joyful future for themselves and their children.

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Anita passes on her learning to little Maja
Anita passes on her learning to little Maja

Throughout the winter, the ladies going through the rehabilitation and reintegration program of Operacioni i Mëkëmbjes (Operation Restoration) have been gaining hope, confidence and life skills. They have been having regular psychotherapy sessions; fitness classes; cooking lessons; learning how to budget; dealing with documents; and hearing from local doctors and experts about staying well and taking care of their families. Thank you so much for your financial support which allows this work to continue!

Anita* is a lovely young mum who has survived trafficking and a difficult childhood. She has been in the program for about a year and is doing really well in all her sessions, especially her schooling. She is working hard to try and catch up the years she missed in school after leaving at the age of 14, and our teachers are really pleased with her progress. Anita is also taking great joy in passing on her learning to her little daughter Maja, so that she can do well in school and have every opportunity for a positive future. Anita’s biggest hope in life is to make her daughter proud of her as she grows up. We are proud of Anita and we’re sure Maja will be too!

*Names have been changed for security reasons.

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Budgeting lesson with beans
Budgeting lesson with beans

The ladies taking part in the rehabilitation program of Operacioni I Mekembjes have spent the autumn working towards healing and hope with their therapy sessions, and learning new skills for their life of independence. We are very proud of each of them! 

As well as investing in their emotional health and recovery, they have also been working hard towards taking care of their physical health through our new fitness and nutrition courses! Many of the families who arrive in our center have very poor health due to violence, poverty and neglect. We have started a fun fitness program and cooking lessons to make sure that the ladies and their children have a healthier future.

Nita* is a young mother in our program who has left a life of trafficking. She told us that she doesn’t know much about how to make sure her daughter stays well. She said, “I would really like to learn more and to know more about which food would be good and healthy, and which foods are not healthy.” Now through the healthy cooking classes, we have discovered that Nita is a great cook, enjoying making delicious healthy food and investing in a new passion – and maybe even a future career

Valbona had never learned to read or write before joining our program with her young child earlier this year – instead she had suffered a life of violence and neglect, and never had the opportunity to go to school. That doesn’t stop her from having big plans for the future! She told us, “My future is to go out and find a job with enough money. I need to learn from you how to save, how to go to the market to buy things, how I should take care of the receipts, how to buy things for one month.” We are proud to report that now Valbona has started learning the basics of how to do a budget – the first lessons were using beans!

For Valbona, Nisa and others like them, the opportunity to learn basic skills alongside their emotional healing can be the start of a positive future. Thank you so much for helping us care for these ladies and their families – we are so grateful.

* Names changed for security purposes

Learning to make healthy food
Learning to make healthy food
Fitness for the future!
Fitness for the future!
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Organization Information

Operacioni i Mekembjes

Location: Peja, Pec - Kosovo
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Geni Johnson
Peja, Kosovo

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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