Improving housing conditions: The Project has successfully developed and effectively implemented the dweller-driven house upgrading model (DDHU) for the improvement of living conditions of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian families. This specific model primarily targets poor, socially disadvantaged families who have not migrated in any form so far, and involves beneficiaries as active participants in house construction while the respective municipality commits to improvements of the water, sanitation and electricity systems.
The intervention provides families with access to water and sanitation through a functional bathroom with hot running water, as well as additional living space. Through the house upgrading, living conditions have improved significantly, impacting positively the health of inhabitants, but also education, as children have better conditions to do their homework and are less absent from school due to health problems. The house-upgrading has been appreciated particularly by women, traditionally tasked with household chores. Between 2013 and 2017, more than 300 families from Lipljan, Fushe Kosove, Prizren, Ferizaj, Gracanica and Vushtrri have benefitted from this project component.
In addition, as part of this intervention, VoRAE successfully advocated for infrastructure improvements in 5 settlements predominantly populated by Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in Fushe Kosovo, Lipjan and Shtime, which benefited approximately 1,500 people. VoRAE signed 5 MoUs with these interested municipalities, who agreed to provide technical support to the implementation of the program and invest in the general infrastructure, specifically in water and sanitation in those project target areas where such infrastructure was non-existent.
In addition, all municipalities have directly co-financed the upgrading of individual houses up to 50%. In total, the Project Consortium members managed to raise a contribution of 225,000 EUR from municipalities over the last four years.
In terms of institutionalisation of the model, The Office of Good Governance within the Prime Minister’s Office has integrated the dweller-driven house upgrading model (DDHU) in the Draft Strategy for Inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egypitan communities as a cost-efficient model for renovation, reconstruction or building of houses on owned land. This is recognised as a form of intervention complementary but different to social housing: DDHU addresses families which have or share a – often very basic – house to live in, but suffer under insufficient sanitary conditions and the bad state of the building, while social housing helps families without access to own housing.
Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians are often victims of racial and social discrimination without equal access to education, employment, housing and other services. Our projects target specifically those challenges.
The intervention aims to reduce the educational achievement gap through the provision of after-school support, scholarships, mentoring and tutoring and with inclusion of parents in education of their children. Project also aims to institutionalize the good models of intervention
The intervention aims to improve the living conditions and living standards by ensuring access to water and sanitation and access to functional bathroom with hot and running water through a dweller driven house up-grading model of approach.
Through vocational and professional education, the intervention aims to build capacities of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians so they can be more competitive in the labor market. In addition, it also aims to reaching equal access to employment opportunities