Emergency in the Sahel
Support the urgent needs of children in the Sahel affected by the food crisis  
19.12.2011 - News

Kosovo - United we stand

!Kosovo_camp_Marchina.jpg!In Kosovo, as in all the countries where we work in East Europe, Terre des hommes (Tdh) aims to strengthen the systems for child protection. We help the people in charge of children to be able to deal with them. Parents, families, communities, civil society and the authorities should work hand in hand to bring individual solutions to benefit vulnerable children.

In Kosovo, these exchanges have been formalised. One speaks of taskforces, today numbering seven. Social services, the police, community mediators and various organisations get together once a month. The cases of children identified are discussed and individual solutions considered, in excellent collaboration.

!>osovo_staff_jl-marchina_SI.jpg!“This collaboration makes us stronger,” explains Sevdije Ibrahimi, a social worker in the Unit for Child Protection. “The problems encountered are varied, but in general, one can say that poverty is very widespread in Kosovo. The children are confronted with the unemployment of their parents, with domestic violence, with working on the streets. The taskforce to which I belong has radically changed my daily work: I am less alone when faced with cases of extreme vulnerability. We tackle things together and seek the most suitable solutions we can find.”

One particular wish was expressed by the various people we met: that the taskforce is recognised as an institution in its own right and given the human and financial resources to intervene. “At the moment, everything rests on very great personal commitment by the members of the committees. We hope to be able to confirm this system very soon,” confides Naim Bilalli, the Terre des hommes taskforce coordinator.

In accordance with the saying that if you give a man a fish, he has something to eat for one day, but if you teach him how to fish, he will be able to eat for the rest of his life, Terre des hommes supports the efforts of the people who look after children, by helping them to do their tasks in the best possible way. More children will then be affected and the long-term results established.

Although this particular project is addressed only indirectly to the children, it certainly has a tremendous effect with which to overcome their vulnerability.

Text: Jessica Schweizer, photos: Jean-Luc Marchina

More on Child Protection Systems in Kosovo