KOSOVO: Opening of the Women for Women International Women's Opportunity Centre

Saturday, June 18, 2011
Women for Women
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights

Women's Opportunity Centers Are The Next Step in Helping Women Survivors of War

Women's Opportunity centres are safe havens for women and are at the very heart of the community, filled with women who are gaining new skills and taking control of their lives. Anchored by our core programmes, these centres are a source of support, pride, and strength for women and a hub of ongoing activity, learning, and commerce for their communities. They represent our commitment to helping women survivors of war transform themselves and their communities, not just for a year or two, but for a lifetime.

Listening to the Needs of Our Participants

Through surveys we have found that programme participants want more continued support after they graduate. The networks and friendships they form whilst participating in the one year programme are vital to their emotional and psychological wellbeing and development and a safe place for them to meet and continue these relationships in a more informal environment was highlighted as a key need.

Who Will the WOC benefit?

The Kosovo WOC will provide support to our past participants and future graduates: women who are bearing the heaviest burdens of post-war reconstruction in Kosovo.

Despite a moderate economic recovery over the last decade, Kosovo faces difficult economic conditions coupled with the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest rate of domestic production in the Balkans.

The average monthly income of a household in Kosovo is 442 Euros, and 18% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Young people from this sector of society are far less likely to have access to school either because of cost, distance or family decisions, and are unprepared for future participation in the workforce and the future face of Kosovo.