A US team in Kosovo has identified a critical local need. They’re working in a remote yet important southern community whose population is vulnerable to influence by criminal enterprise and Islamic extremism. The town’s school is in need of repair, as its grounds are unsafe for children – the slope in the playground collapses constantly, exposing roots and other debris that can cause serious injuries. As a result, local children lack a safe place to congregate.
Kosovo has a turbulent past and present. Independent from Serbia only since 2008, it sits along a major illicit trafficking route in and out of Europe. Drugs, weapons, money, and people flow freely through the region. Ethnic tensions and grinding poverty combine to render the country’s population susceptible to influence from both criminal enterprises and extremist groups. With the rise of ISIS and other such groups, this reality has significant strategic implications.
Building a retaining wall to shore up the school playground will accomplish several key objectives. It will provide the children a safe space in which to congregate, reducing their exposure to negative influences. It will help build relationships with the town’s leaders and citizens by demonstrating a commitment to addressing their needs. And, it will help build the capacity of the US team’s local partners, as their Kosovo Security Force counterparts will gain valuable project management, community outreach, and construction training during the course of the project. All of these will improve stability in the region.
While some of the concrete for this project has already been sourced, additional materials are still needed. With your help, Spirit of America can fill this gap.
Greetings, Today I’d like to update you on a project we first told you about here. A US team was working in southern Kosovo to develop relationships and strengthen community institutions to counter the criminal activity and Islamic extremism that threaten the region. In conducting their assessments and community outreach, the team identified a critical … Continued