Kosovo's women's shelters continue to struggle with finances

A women's shelter in Pristina faced closure due to financial problems, but activist Adelina Badivuku has raised money to keep the shelter open. But the women and children of the region remain at risk.

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Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Kosovo's women's shelters continue to struggle with finances - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

NewsMavens reported about the poor financial support for Kosovo women's shelters last year. At the time, I wrote that the permanent financial sustainability of shelters should not depend on the whims of the government, and should remain a priority. 

It seems, however, that the issue is far from being prioritized, because Kosovo's coalition of women’s rights organizations publicly reacted last month to the draft budget for 2019, which "does not fully cover the costs of shelters for women and children that have suffered domestic violence,” BIRN reported.

"We strongly urge you to make changes in the budget, with the purpose of ensuring the security and well being of women and children, in accordance with constitutional obligations and legal responsibilities in Kosovo," the letter said. 

Because things haven't changed, it bears saying again -- the instability of financial support to social services can make women feel unsafe and vulnerable, and possibly lead to the decision to return to their violent household. That is not an acceptable  solution for these women and children. 

Details from the story:

  • The Pristina-based Center for the Protection of Women and Children has announced its possible closure in December last year because of the debt of over 7,000 euros to the Kosovo Energy Distribution Service, BIRN reported. 
  • Activist Adelina Badivuku managed to collect "survival money" through a fundraising event in London in December last year, according to media reports. 
  • The Center for the Protection of Children and Women in Pristina was founded in 1993. Since 1999, it has provided assistance to around 1,400 victims of domestic violence, local media reported. 
  • In January last year, the majority of NGO-run shelters for women and children victims of domestic violence in Kosovo had to temporarily close down due to delays in financial support from the government. The government allocated emergency funds to shelters in the meantime but no long-term financial commitment was given. 

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