The Leskoc House is a beautiful reality in Kosovo that, thanks to the collaboration of Caritas Diocesana of Gubbio, the Regional Delegation of Caritas Umbria and the support of many donors, provides sanctuary to twenty children and adolescents and follows more than 100 families in conditions of extreme poverty and fragility throughout the territory. 

The Valter Baldaccini Foundation now has a special and lasting bond with the Leskoc House and Shoqata and Agrikultur Sociale Zllakuqan (CSZ), the cooperative that manages the land and the farm: 

  • it was 2016 when the socio-educational project Development and training for work in Kosovo started with the supply of ten dairy cows, a milking machine and a pasteurizer, essential for starting an economic activity;
  • in 2019 the project of building a real stable is realized and our volunteers leave for a volunteer experience in Kosovo;
  • in 2020 we made plans to implement a project dedicated to women, but were forced to stop due to the restrictions dictated by the pandemic; with the support of the Foundation twenty new calves were purchased to meet the economic difficulties of the house.

Fortunately, the conditions have improved and we can now start the training and work project entirely dedicated to women. The projects’ important goal is to improve the living conditions of women in the family, social, economic and working environment, allowing them to regain full personal dignity and find a glimpse of hope for the future.

The condition of women in Kosovo

The condition of women in Kosovo is very problematic, especially in rural areas. Their physical and psychological health is precarious and almost 60% of women between the ages of 16 and 28 have suffered violence, most of the time within the family. 

From an employment point of view, the situation is also dramatic: according to the latest labor market report of the State Agency of Kosovo (ASK), in the second quarter of 2017, 87.3% of women aged 15-64 were not working, at least not legally, and only 12.7% of women were employed

There is a patriarchal mentality that continues to relegate the female presence in the domestic sphere denying her any form of emancipation which often makes it impossible for women to enter the workforce.  All this is very often experienced by women with a sense of resignation and without any hope for the improvement of their condition.

Faced with such an alarming situation it was decided to structure a project that could represent a concrete sign of change. We chose an area, that of the so-called "white art" (bakery, pizzeria, pastry) and the processing of dairy products, which is not totally foreign to the life experience of women but which, at the same time, can become a tool of personal, social and professional fulfillment.

The bakery, pastry shop and dairy

The aim of this project is to form a group of women and then proceed with their job placement in the dairy, bakery and pastry shop that are already active in the Leskoc House. 

In recent months the dairy has been expanded and renovated, including the purchase of a new cold storage room. Among the women who followed the training course, mainly related to the production of mozzarella and scamorze, was Mirita, a smart woman who in the past has traveled to Italy to learn this job. The course and the start-up of the new production were supervised by a team of Italian trainers: Celeste Delicati and Luca Lueci from the Beneduce dairy in S. Anastasia (NA). At present, the  Leskoc House processes about 300 liters of milk per day that the farm produces, but the potential of the facility is 1,000 liters.

The House has been operating a bakery for four years, where every night three boys work because, for cultural reasons, it is unthinkable to offer women a night job. But given the numerous requests for baked goods that come in from various restaurants, the goal is to operate the bakery during the day as well, expanding production and the sales network. Professional training for the production of bread, pizza and cakes will be provided this summer by Andrea Pioppi, who has been working for years in Italy and abroad as an established professional in the sector. 

A project possible thanks to your generosity

We need everyone's help to allow women to have access to training and work. Every small gesture is precious to allow Marita and her companions to have autonomy, independence and hope. Please donate today.

28 January 2022

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