"In less than a year, so many refugees
have helped Catholic Relief Services staff make a difference, working along
side agency staff for the renewal and rebirth of their own communities,"
says Kathleen Moynihan, Country Representative for Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services Implements the Parent School Partnership Program
As part of Catholic Relief Services' long-term development strategy, the agency is implementing a project called the Parent School Partnership (PSP) Program in Kosovo. The program was established in 1998 and has seen a heightened level of activity in the past six months.
Catholic Relief Services is implementing the program in 25 schools in the municipalities of Prizren, Suhareka, Rahovec, Ferizaj, Shtime and Lipjan. In these areas, the agency also distributes humanitarian relief and food.
Parent School Partnership offers local communities assistance to improve their schools while forging a partnership with the local parent councils, school personnel, local authorities and interested community members. Another important aspect of implementing the program is meeting with the Parent Councils. The Parent Councils are becoming significant factors for extended community development activities, promoting democratic processes and building local capabilities.
Catholic Relief Services is helping to define and organize the needs of local parents while contributing to the rebuilding effort. Throughout the process, agency staff work with the parent councils to strengthen their capacity as a civic organization.
Examples of Accomplishments:
In Llugaxhi -
Catholic Relief Services worked with the community as they decided to install a heating system in the school. The community designed the project and is helping to build a room for the boiler. Additionally, this community has a five-year plan of action for their needs and priorities, with a degree of certainty that they will achieve their goals impossible before the war.
In Mushikove -
As an example of a community development activity, the Parent Council decided to install a water system. Previously only half of the village had running water.
In Savrove -
There are a few projects. One is a bridge, which Catholic Relief Services helped the community build. The community monitored the construction progress, volunteered engineering expertise, and helped with the actual construction.
The second focus is on vulnerable groups. At the end of the conflict, approximately 45 women in Savrove were without their husbands. These men were killed during the conflict or remain missing. The Savrove Parent Council is working with these women to identify the needs of their families and are designing a project to meet these needs.
In Gjonaj -
The Parent Council in Gjonaj prioritized improvements of the their electric supply. The council issued a bid, collected and reviewed other bids. Catholic Relief Services provided funding and the village has improved their electrical capabilities.
Catholic Relief Services has been working in Kosovo since 1993.