Southern Kosovo is one of the gateways into Europe from the east. Because of the lasting effects of the war and Kosovo’s poor economic conditions, the rural populations of Kosovo are a tempting target for Islamic extremist and criminal recruiters. Left unchecked, this situation could have catastrophic effects on peace and security in Europe and beyond.
A US team is tackling this problem, and they’ve identified a key ally: 30 local women. Studies have proven that the empowerment of women is one of the best ways to combat extremism among vulnerable populations. Given equal standing in a community, women will counter extremist ideology and deter youth from joining extremist groups, gangs, or criminal organizations.
The women need help, though. They have no way to earn a living, and thus they lack the standing to be leaders in their communities. The American team identified a way to solve this problem: they are bringing in trainers to help the women turn the milk they get from their cows into cheese they can sell at market.
While the team can take care of training part of the solution, the women still need basic equipment to get their businesses up and running. With your help, Spirit of America can provide this equipment, help the women earn a living, and give them the confidence to lead their communities to a better future.