Skills, Skills & Skills: the recipe for a more prosperous life in south Kosovo

Jul 20, 2016


Known for their mountainous environment and luscious land, Dragash/š and Shtërpcë/Štrpce remain two of the most enticing places to visit in Kosovo. In the eyes of UNDP and the Austrian Development Cooperation, this area in the south of Kosovo is also justifiably seen as a place of great economic potential. 

For more than two 2 years now, the InTerDev project has been empowering individuals of Dragash/š and Shtërpcë/Štrpce to get new skills and bring more income back home to their families, stimulating local job creation and economic development. With roughly 2 out of 3 young Kosovars in the labour force not having a job, marketable skills are something young Kosovars, particularly in rural areas, are in rather short supply. Just coming off the celebrations of the World Youth Skills Day on July 15, we realize the potential, as well as the utmost importance, of investing into the skills and ingenuity of young people. 

Contributing to a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (#1 No Poverty, #8 Good Jobs and Economic Growth, or #10 Reduced Inequalities), the InTerDev project in 2016 offered 14 young residents of Dragash/š and Shtërpcë/Štrpce the opportunity to develop vocational skills in 3 professions that are in demand in their home municipalities: culinary arts, auto-electricity, and hairdressing. 

Fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship, the talented residents have also received a set of tools and equipment that will help them enter the market and start their businesses. 

Awarded as the most successful participant in the training, Emsar Berisha, a 32-year-old from Dragash/š, has developed welding and auto-electric skills: “I was so inspired after participating in these trainings. I had never even imagined being able to expand my workplace thanks to the know-how I now possess” adds Emsar. 
Meanwhile, Dahlina Kojcin, 19, and Marigona Baxhaku, 25, are now about to seize the opportunity and establish their own beauty salons. “We’re both so thankful to have been accepted into this training,” Marigona says, “we wouldn’t have been able to learn so much in so little time without this opportunity”. With previous participants of the training under the project now running their own hairdressing shops and earning up to 350 EUR a month, Dahlina and Marigona now have the future in their own hands. 

With some 75 million adolescents globally still out of school, deprived of a quality education, and unable to acquire the skills they need for a prosperous life, the Austrian Development Cooperation-funded InTerDev project will continue to call upon young people in the south of Kosovo to grasp opportunities and get ingredients for a better future in their communities.  

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