Operation Mercy and Erikshjälpen have agreed on a joint relief programme to assist needy people in Kosovo.
Orlane is a small village about 45 minutes' drive northeast from Pristina. The population, mainly Kosovo-Albans, in Orlane together with surrounding villages amounts to about 6000 people. During the war many houses were destroyed and both the schools and the local hospital were looted.
The planned programme includes activities of rehabilitating family homes and public structures within the Orlane Community and aims at a normalisation of the society in the aftermath of the war. Children constitute the main target group.
Participation both in decision making and voluntary inputs is a prerequisite for the implementation of the programme.
In the beginning of October a programme was initiated which in its first phase includes rehabilitation of family homes and schools.
Relief consignments containing school- and hospital equipment, blankets, winter clothes, sports equipment, toys, etc are being sent from Sweden. The input is concentrated to the area of Orlane, about 45 km northeast of Pristina. It is a geographically rather big area with a population of about 7000 people, most of them farmers.
After a meeting with the community leaders the priorities of the programme were agreed upon. 13 family houses are to be repaired or constructed to assist families who are completely without help and now live in tents without any means of heating. Major repair of one school will be undertaken and two other schools will be assisted with windowpanes, heaters and minor repair work.
Many more than 13 families are in need of houses, but the winter climate will obstruct further construction activities.
A local contractor has been hired for the construction work. The work is progressing well and all the 13 houses will be completed within a couple of weeks. People suffer from the cold weather and look forward to moving into the new houses.
Erikshjälpen and Operation Mercy work in close co-operation with the local community of Orlane. The work is coordinated by the Swedish Programme Manager who represents both Erikshjälpen and Operation Mercy in the field.
A continuation of the programme is planned after the winter. Priority is given to inputs targeting children.