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At the entrance to the neighborhood, the main road is used by multiple vehicles of men going to Prishtina to retrieve metals, plastic bottles and cans, which they then resell to support their families.
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Unpaved roads, no street lighting, stray dogs, access to water... all these lacks of development are also risks for the inhabitants and especially the children. Nearly 90% of the inhabitants do not have their own home.
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Elizabeth, a native of England, is the co-founder of the NGO "The Ideas Partnership" with her husband. She works in Albania but comes every weekend to spend time in Fushë-Kosovë for family visits, and support to the team.
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Luljeta Durbova and her four children have spent two years in Germany before being sent back to Kosovo two years ago. She is disillusioned about the future of her children, even if she wants them to have an education, and does not delude themselves on their professional success. She only hopes that they can find a job. Only her daughter does not go to the public school in Fushë Kosovë, but she takes lessons from the NGO.
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Anemonë is a physiotherapist. She works every Saturday afternoon to care for children with disabilities, to massage them, and to give advice to mothers to continue their daily work.
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After her brother-in-law's mental illness was announced while she was alone with her three children, Fatime Raçaku, who had three cancers, returned from Macedonia where she had been a refugee for nearly four years, living from rubbish picking. With Ragib, her husband, their three children and the children of her brother-in-law, they now live in a house built by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). All the children go to public school (to which they could not go recently, because they could not buy clothes and books) and also the courses offered by the NGO. Beyond education, the organisation helped them to improve the house (no drinking water as in the vast majority of the neighborhood), provided medical assistance and sometimes food.
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The visit of an American professor of science is the occasion of a short lesson in physics and chemistry for all young people.
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Xhylizare Murtesi lost her husband three years ago, and she now takes care of her three boys. All three of them go to the NGO school in addition to the public school because, according to her, "they do not learn well there, they are put to the bottom of the class, and discriminated against both by the other children but also by the teachers ".
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In addition to her studies as a nurse, Arzije is committed to the NGO for medical support and literacy for women. During tours, she distributes advice and medication to people who ask for it. Access to healthcare is very problematic in these neighborhoods, and pharmaceuticals are rarely affordable.
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Originally from Mitroviça (in the north of the country), Heteme Avdiu lost her husband a few years ago. Three years ago she and her six children lived in a shelter made of wood and plastic sheets, but after a fundraising operation the NGO was able to build a house for the family. Without a husband and without income, Heteme is part of a program set up by the NGO that allows the poorest women to make soap, and to earn a few euros by selling it to visitors. She also manufactures cushions that she sells, and receives an exceptional help of thirty euros every month for widowed women.
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Heteme's daughter, Xhejlane, aged 15, volunteers in the NGO's kindergarten, which compensates her (usually volunteers are not paid). She wants to become an English teacher to continue supporting her community in the future. For her as for many, the capital, although distant of a few kilometers, is an unknown place. Their lives are limited to their neighborhood. The headquarters of the NGO has free access to the Internet, but few know how to use it.
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Ismail, a member of the Kosovo security forces, visits the NGO to talk with young people about the future, dreams and self-confidence.
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As Kosovo is mostly independent thanks to Bill Clinton, the US and NATO, there are many references. Planted in the middle of the wine yards or printed on the sweatshirt of a child, the symbol is omnipresent.
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Some questions asked to a young girl make it possible to find the home of a family.
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Bajramsha and Elizabeth bring baby clothes to a woman who has just given birth in one of the poorest families in the community.
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Bajramsha, one of the NGO employees from the community, visits a newborn baby. The structure brings clothes, advices, possibly medical support to mothers who have just given birth. The Kosovo statistics agency shows that the majority of newborn babies have a well below average weight in these communities. One in seven children under five years of age has moderate to severe growth retardation. Compared to vaccinations, less than 30% of children were immunized according to the national immunization schedule.
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Every Saturday, girls meet for an hour to discuss issues related to the status of women in the country and the community. Early marriage (one of the important issues with a tradition still deeply rooted in the minds), place of the woman, studies, future prospectives. It is Florandë, a student, who manages these times of reflection.
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Florandë