A delegation from Eurodiaconia has recently visited our member Diakonie Kosova and its diverse services across the country. During the visit, Diakonie Kosova Director, Bernd Baumgarten, presented the Diaconal Training Centre (DTC) in Mitrovica, which hosts several services targeting young people in the region. Besides a Kindergarten, DTC offers several vocational training courses covering a wide range of activities, i.e. courses on central heating, electro-installations, hairdressing, cooking, carpentry, tailoring, hydro-installation, and many others. DTC contributes significantly to the empowerment of young people and therefore also to social cohesion in a country that is currently facing serious social and economic challenges, as well as tensions between different ethnicities.
Diaconia Kosova also runs a very successful youth centre in Mitrovica, right at the bridge between the Kosovar and Serbian parts of the city. Youngsters can are the opportunity to gather in this low threshold centre, spend their leisure time there with games or a cup of coffee, but they can also follow different creative courses and use different counselling services offered by a group of professional youth trainers. Bringing together young people from different backgrounds and ethnicities strengthens their feeling of belonging and contributes to the much-needed reconciliation work in the region. It is the young people themselves who decide which activities should be implemented in the youth centre together with youth trainers. The success story of the youth centre is proof that user involvement and a participatory approach with young people is crucial for real empowerment and reconciliation.
The wide range of services of Diakonie Kosova also covers an ecological farming project where people with disabilities support the farm work together with professionals, taking care of a flock of goats and chickens. The products are sold to regional partners and like this contribute to a social and sustainable economy in the region of Mitrovica and beyond.
Diakonie Kosova and its highly passionate and professional staff are a great example of how diaconal work can make a difference in a diverse society facing manifold challenges. The services of Diakonie Kosovo bring together people of all ages, different religions, and ethnicities to work and learn together for a better, fairer, more social and stable future of Kosovo.
To know more about Diakonie Kosova’s projects, visit their website.