The Kosova Support Group (KSG) has been working in Kacanik a town in the south west of Kosova since 2008 implementing a number of projects in the area working closely with a local charity LiveLink Kosovo (LLK). This relationship has worked well as LLK have local people on the ground who have a 16 year history of community work and who benefit from constructive relationships with council and with other community leaders.

The KSG work in Kacanik has included extensive repair and renovation work on the main primary care facility ie The Main Family Medicine Centre/ Health House.  To date the gynaecology, family medicine and laboratory areas have been significantly upgraded providing safer, healthier and more pleasant environments for patients and staff.  Plans are in place to continue with similar work in the vaccination clinic.  Each time one project finishes the health house director and his staff request further assistance as they as they are well aware of the limited municipality budget for essential improvements.

Visiting teams from Northern Ireland, in addition to indoor repairs and decorating have been kept busy with such activities as playground wall building; outdoor play activities; women and children’s groups and delivering aid to community structures and individuals’ homes.  The aid brought in filled five ambulances and one jeep brought overland to Kosovo by KSG.  Two ambulances remained in the Kacanik area as did the jeep which has been much appreciated by LLK, enabling village visits and journeys to activities in other parts of Kosovo.   In the ambulances, essential fire fighting equipment arrived and was presented by KSG to the local fire brigade; the chief of which was so delighted he immediately organised a training activity and demonstration of the equipment.

Not only has KSG provided teams to do work in Kacanik, but the work of local businesses including painters, metal workers, carpet layers, masoners and builders has benefitted also, through being employed to work on the various KSG/LLK projects.  In a poor community such as Kacanik, these small investments provide a significant boost to many family lives.

Looking to the future, while the economic and health situation in Kosovo remains so depressed and needy, there are still many opportunities for humanitarian assistance with the hope that each input can ensure the placing of a further sound ‘brick’ in the rebuilding of lives and communities that have suffered so much in recent history.  The KSG is one of a very few international NGOs that has committed in the long term to helping the people of Kosovo.  It is hoped that LiveLink Kosovo and Kosova Support Group can continue to collaborate effectively in the building process well into the future.