Kosovo is a country with a complex history. Devastated by a very long war, even after more than twenty years, it still suffers from many economic and social difficulties.
Kosovo is one of the youngest countries in Europe with more than half of the population under the age of 25. Many boys and girls experience a very frustrating condition: they have limited job opportunities and university studies are almost useless for achieving a satisfactory job position.
Widespread phenomena such as clientelism and corruption aggravate the situation. The unemployment rate in 2021 was estimated at 26%, with a very high incidence of youth unemployment (source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) and many minors try to reach EU countries clandestinely, feeding organized crime trafficking.
The condition of women in Kosovo is also problematic, especially in rural areas. Although the legislation guarantees equal rights and freedoms, women are often victims of abuse and when they ask for justice they suffer stigmatization from their families and from society.
Their critical concerns are health, protection from violence, often domestic violence and, in a very marked way, their working condition: around 80% of women do not work. In many cases this is due to a patriarchal mentality that continues to relegate women to he domestic environment, denying them any form of emancipation.
Leskoc House addresses these issues as an institution active in the area since the immediate post-war period and managed by Caritas Umbria. Coordinated by Rinaldo Marion and Francesca Mosca, the Home welcomes children and adolescents from families who live in marginalized conditions due to extreme poverty, mental problems, prostitution, and detention experiences.
For them, life is an uphill battle at school, seeking a job, and in their relationships. The aim for the most fragile and most difficult ones, is to work in the protected environment of the House or the annexed cooperative that manages the land, the farm, the dairy, and the bakery.
To address this, we have conceived a project for 2023 that is aimed at accompanying the youngest on a path of personal and social fulfillment through training and work, for the achievement of full personal dignity and a social role as active, responsible individuals and to create concrete opportunities that allow them to remain in their country of origin and commit themselves to its development.
There will be four young men and women involved in this journey:
Since 2016, the Valter Baldaccini Foundation has been building socio-educational projects that are concrete opportunities for social redemption together with the Casa di Leskoc and the Shoqata cooperative and Agrikultur Sociale Zllakuqan (CSZ).
Photo credit: Francesca Boccabella