Colin and Gail Dewar set up the Kosova Support Group in March 2007 after six years volunteering on a number of projects across the Balkan territory of Kosova, a region which was still struggling to overcome the ravages of conflict that had started over thirteen years ago.
Since 2007 they have raised more than £65,000 to support a range of projects including support schemes for victims of domestic violence, a play area for children who lost fathers and brothers during the conflict, and vital support for families most in need.
In more recent years the group have delivered ambulances to four different centres in Kosova and are involved in the continuing renovation work at the Main Family Medicine Centre in Kaqanik.
Working alongside local organisations such as SOS Kinderdorf’s family strengthening programme in Pristina, the Women’s Wellness Centre in Peja, and LiveLink Kosovo in Kaqanik, Colin and Gail along with a group of volunteers from across Northern Ireland have been able to support hundreds of people who were left devastated by the Kosova conflict.
They also work hard to raise awareness of the situation in Kosova – the impact of the war and its consequences are still on going in many ways – unemployment, poverty and increasing incidents of domestic violence.
“When Gail and I first travelled to Kosova in 2001 and saw the human impact of the conflict it was very difficult to walk away. Our vision is to support people most in need – 13 years on there is still a huge amount of work to be done in Kosova. The basic infrastructure of the country is still lacking in many ways – e.g. electricity and water supplies.
It has been a difficult journey at times but making a difference in people’s lives, no matter how small makes it all worthwhile, it has totally changed our priorities in life and continually motivates us.”
If you would like more information about how to get involved have a look at the teams, projects or fund raising pages on the site, or email firstname.lastname@example.org