RED International's partner in Kosovo is Operacioni i Mekembjes (Operation Restoration). They are the only organisation providing long-term support to victims of domestic violence and trafficking, as well as combatting the conditions which lead individuals to become victims or aggressors through education and training programmes for vulnerable young people.
Through an individualised programme of psychotherapy, emotional therapy and vocational skills training, more than 70 women and young people are currently receiving the help they need to live independently away from violence.
68% of Kosovar women claim to have experienced some form of domestic violence during their lifetime. In a country with a population of only 2 million, police document over 1000 cases of domestic violence every year and this social evil is widely recognised to be under-reported. Human-trafficking and teenage prostitution are rife and the shame and secrecy surrounding abuse make it extremely hard for women and girls to leave abusive situations.
There is also a need for preventative action to stop children who have experienced violence becoming victims or abusers themselves. Children raised in violent environments very often end up dropping out of school, leading to unemployment later on, and tend to turn to violence or prostitution to solve problems when they reach adulthood.
This project is in two parts. The first accompanies women and girls through every step from being broken by violence or prostitution to becoming independent and flourishing members of society, able to fully support themselves and their children. They achieve independence through psychotherapy and counselling, self-support groups, literacy and numeracy, vocational skills and business training and a full programme for the children of survivors.
A key component in the work of preventing violence is to provide children with potential employment opportunities in the future, combatting the low self esteem and attitudes that promote unemployment and the abuse which often follows. The second part of the programme trains vulnerable young adults, including the children of victims and perpetrators, in a vocational skill of their choice alongside anti-violence counselling.
Potential Long Term Impact
The sad reality is that victims of abuse and their children normally continue to be victims or become aggressors in the future. Without full rehabilitation this cycle continues generation after generation, wrecking families and destabilising society. Our partner O.Mekembjes is breaking this cycle in the lives of over 70 individuals and their families, and restoring the next generation's hope for a better future.
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