DVV International as development partner focusing on adult education and training, is offering ongoing support to its local partners in Kosovo dealing with the crisis brought on by COVID-19, by providing social and educational services, especially for vulnerable groups.
The first two cases of COVID-19 infection in Kosovo were confirmed on March 13, 2020.
As of April 29, 2020, the number of people infected with COVID-19 has reached 790.
In focus of the created situation and the shortage of personal protection equipment to fend off COVID-19 (protective clothing and masks), DVV International, in coordination with the Employment Agency of the Republic of Kosovo (APRK), responsible for managing 8 Vocational Training Centers, has taken the initiative to resume providing of Tailoring courses for small groups of trainees in four such centers in different regions of Kosovo (Prishtina, Mitrovica, Gjilan and Prizren) in order to help mitigate the public health crisis in Kosovo created by the COVID-19 . The Tailoring courses in these training centers are organized for small groups of trainees with a maximum of 6 persons (trainer and 5 trainees) by adhering to the required distance between trainees and observing the emergency protection measures to prevent COVID-19 infections, as announced by the Government of the Republic of Kosovo. The selection of participants for these courses was conducted in cooperation with the unemployment registration centers in the regions mentioned above, drawing from waiting lists to attend tailoring courses. In light of the crisis brought on by COVID-19 in Kosovo, the selection of course attendees was finalized by taking into consideration both the records of unemployment registration centers in the respective region, and the voluntary enrollment by trainees themselves.
To ensure the health of trainers and trainees while attending these courses, in the absence of available funds from APRK, DVV International has made the necessary arrangements to ensure that the four Vocational Training Centers are duly disinfected and necessary protection (protective clothing, gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer) is available for trainees. All these precautions have been taken so that the courses can begin without endangering the health of the trainees and trainers in these centers. Additionally, these 4 Vocational Training Centers have been supplied with the raw materials necessary to produce personal protection equipment applicable for COVID-19.
This Project, developed in cooperation with the Employment Agency in the Republic of Kosovo (APRK), aims to achieve two main goals:
Women course participants shall acquire the necessary tailoring knowledge and skills and boost their chances for gainful employment, either through employment or self-employment by opening small family businesses.
Production of protection equipment required in wake of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, and delivery of such products free of charge to targeted groups.
The employment gap between women and men is particularly alarming in Kosovo. Kosovo holds the lowest rate of women’s participation in the labor market in Europe. Research shows that the main reason women are excluded from the labor market is that they have a caregiver responsibility for the children and the elderly in the family, followed by a lack of employment opportunities, especially for middle-aged women and women with a low level of education. Based on data from the Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS), which presented the findings of its 2019 Labor Force Survey, the most pronounced unemployment in Kosovo is among women with 36.4%, compared to men, 20.2%. The most pronounced unemployment rate is in the 15-24 age group with 48.9%. Inactivity is quite high at 58.1%, with a focus on women at 77.8%, compared to men, 38.6%. Considering such high numbers of unemployment in Kosovo and especially among women with a low level of education, the provision of tailoring courses for targeted groups, (especially women with a low level of education) will help improve their chances to compete in the job market, and to open small businesses or seek self-employment in the tailoring profession.
All completed products (protective clothing and masks) produced during the training process, under the supervision of Tailoring Trainers from the 4 Vocational Training Centers specified above, will be delivered free of charge to target institutions and groups. Direct beneficiaries from the manufacturing of such products will be other trainees and trainers, who will attend other vocational courses provided at these 8 Vocational Training Centers in Kosovo. (At these 8 Vocational Training Centers in Kosovo, in one calendar year, various modular courses of 3-6 months are completed by at least 5,000 unemployed people, who attend various courses free of charge). The manufacturing of such protective equipment by the 4 Centers specified above, will help in the first place the gradual reopening of other courses during the pandemic, and the provision of protective equipment for the staff and other trainees. The remaining products will also be distributed to vulnerable groups or given free of charge to local health institutions, so that they can distribute them to groups deemed at risk from COVID-19 in Kosovo.
The implementation of modular courses for the tailoring profession in these 4 training centers is foreseen to continue with small groups of trainees, until the improvement of the public health situation caused by the COVID-19 virus. The number of course attendants will gradually increase, depending on the overall public health situation in Kosovo and the arrangements related to the free movement of citizens in the respective municipalities.