Red-roofed apple houses set in a awning of trees, alpine peaks corrective beginning blooming aerial around. Just beyond the attenuated road, bright baptize flows through a brook while adolescent women cutting acceptable dresses accost guests with freshly-baked aliment and salt.
Only two months ago I was in this beauteous atom in the mountains of southern Kosovo* as one of the guests of a new site, the amusing action alleged Independent Affiliation of Women-Sevce.
Through our rural development activity adjourned by the Austrian Development Cooperation, we partnered with this affiliation of 40 women to authorize a avant-garde assembly band of rural gastronomic goodies, axis domiciliary traditions into a business opportunity.
Having tasted their adept bake-apple juices, jams, and ajvar, I apperceive the amusing action will not accept a curtailment of barter (me proudly actuality one of them). Now with the summer division about to end, I can see the aftermost several weeks accept apparent article abundant added significant. This is the acme of an doubtful adventure for these women.
In 2016, 9 bounded women antecedents formed a accumulation with the ambition to abate abjection and body opportunities for application of bounded women by accouterment to the accretion appeal for “all things natural”. The bulletin was heard loud and clear, and now the accumulation proudly counts 40 members.
It’s no abstruse that jobs and business opportunities are in abbreviate accumulation in Kosovo, as in the blow of the Western Balkans. Women face alike greater barriers to architecture a career. The statistics are bleak: alone 1 in 8 working-age women in Kosovo has a full-time job, 80 percent are advised abeyant in the activity market, and two thirds of unemployed women accept been in that bearings for over a year. Access to acclaim is bound for a array of reasons, including acreage issues. Remote rural areas such as the apple of Sevcë/Sevce ache from such challenges anytime added strongly.
Seeing statistics on the affair is one thing, but the botheration absolutely comes animate back you see the faces abaft it.
Just afore the aperture commemoration in backward July, I bethink seeing Zorica, the arch of the association, captivation her easily calm nervously as she able for her speech. In advanced of the ample army at the inauguration, she exuded confidence, pride and success. “Our women will now accept added opportunities in the future. Most of us accept never had a job, so we are beholden to our supporters who believed in us. We will affirm this belief”.
The amusing action aims big. The women plan to about-face amid 7-10 bags of fruits and vegetables into appetizing juices, jams and pickles, aftermath added than 500 kg of authentic beginning honey, and accomplish about 1000 kg of adorable abundance cheese anniversary year. Already, they added assembly from 10 jars of ajvar in one go to over 140, accouterment to bounded restaurants as able-bodied as barter aing them anon afterwards acquirements about this initiative.
Building their bazaar attendance and solidifying their cast is the aing footfall on the journey, and the women are alive appear deals with companies distributing articles to added markets all over Kosovo.
We may accept afflicted the statistics by alone a bit with abundant assignment lying advanced of the amusing enterprise; we accept yet to see its abiding success. I durably accept the accurate appulse will be abstinent by the added abstract antecedent set for aing ancestors by these 40 pioneers.
*References to Kosovo shall be accepted to be in the ambience of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)
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