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Young Kosovans share their priorities via Facebook
Of the estimated 1.8 million inhabitants of Kosovo, approximately half are under the age of 25, and the majority of government ministers are under 40.
After South Sudan, Kosovo is the youngest country in the world, and it is therefore no misnomer that Kosovans are now referred to as the “young Europeans.” Even Kosovo's president, Atifete Jahjaga, was just 36 years old when elected to office in 2011.
This immense youth population matters: this demographic will make up tomorrow’s voters, labour force, business and civil society leaders, and ministers.
And soon, young Kosovans will reap the benefits—or consequences—of the work initiated today to prepare Kosovo to listen when its young population assumes the responsibility of making its voice heard.
A resident of Aygehovit, Armenia adapts to climate change by installing a hail net
The village of Aygehovit, Armenia experienced a string of 18 hailstorms in the past five years. Hailstones – some the size of chicken eggs – caused $125,000 in losses in this remote area that relies on its vineyards as a mainstay of its economy.
The local authorities conducted a risk assessment together with UNDP and, for the first time, hail nets were identified as the solution. Some 3,000 square metres of vineyards were covered with hail nets. Many see this as a model for other villages facing changes in climate.
The new thinking is not only apparent in Aygehovit. Communities in two other countries – Moldova and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – have come to realize that they are being adversely affected by a changing climate. Supported by their governments and by UNDP, they are developing local solutions to deal with the risks.
Senat Demiri is Roma and lives in Shuto Orizari, one of the most economically deprived areas of Skopje.
Mr. Demiri had been without a regular formal job for ten years when he first heard of a programme to help people start and run their own businesses.
"The idea of being my own boss was a big attraction," he says.
MDG and Poverty Reduction, Roma, Social inclusion » Growing Sustainable Business
Bálint-Ábel Bereményi and Anna Mirga
Visitors at a conference to launch the Virtual Museum of Roma in Catalonia (Miquel Jornet - Xarxa Punt TIC)
BARCELONA, Spain – 4 April 2013 – The successful social inclusion of the Roma of Catalonia is generally viewed as worth emulating in Central and Eastern Europe, where Roma are also a significant minority.
The Catalan Comprehensive Roma Plan (PIPG) is believed to have contributed to the growing employment rates, increasing participation in compulsory education and a significant improvement in housing conditions of the Catalan Roma population – commonly referred to as the Gitano.
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – 25 February 2013 – Housing is one of the priority areas of the Decade of Roma Inclusion. The results of the 2011 Regional Roma Survey conducted by UNDP and the World Bank, with co-funding from the European Commission (EC), suggests that this is with good reason. Disproportionate shares of Roma (compared to non-Roma living in close proximity) reside in inadequate housing without access to basic infrastructure, and as such face increased health risks. The right to adequate and secure housing is a key human right and is enshrined in international human rights law.
Various studies have shown that Roma suffer from poorer health than the general populations in the Central and Southeast European countries in which they are most numerous.
This brief analyzes health data from the 2011 UNDP/World Bank/EC regional Roma survey, which compared the living standards of Roma and non-Roma communities living in close proximity in 12 Central and East European countries. >> More on our Roma work
SKOPJE, fYR Macedonia – 13 February, 2013 – Jelena Kostovska showed a talent for designing clothes at an early age. After attending textile vocational school, she got to work with two leading designers and sold her products in boutique shops.
But then she ran into obstacles that many entrepreneurs face in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. A lack of capital, equipment, and the inability to write a business plan prevented her from expanding.
Now all that has changed. Ms. Kostovska, 38, is one of more than 5,000 people who took part in a nationwide training programme offered by the Government and UNDP that helps put entrepreneurs on a path to success.
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – 24 January 2013 – Roma civil society organizations (CSOs) and pro-Roma non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Central and Southeast Europe have frequently called attention to human rights violations, social exclusion, territorial segregation, and inadequate civic and political representation of Roma. However, at national level and especially at local grassroots level, the vast majority of marginalized Roma communities remain detached from CSO activities.
Community in Prizren, Kosovo* built a kindergarten as one of their local projects
Married father of five, Berisha Span held a stable job as a manual labourer at a steel factory in Montenegro for 17 years. After the break up of Yugoslavia he automatically received Serbian citizenship, and in 2008 when Montenegro became a country, he needed to get Montenegrin citizenship, or risk losing his job.
TIRANA, Albania – 17 July, 2012 – On the job and vocational training, together with wage subsidies, has helped more than 300 young and unemployed job seekers in Albania to find jobs.
Over 90 percent of those placed in work-training programmes are now employed by 37 Albanian companies participating in the programme.
One of the companies is “Venice Art,” which produces Venetian masks. The "Venice Art" company employs around 70 people, several from the United Nations supported youth programme.
"I was trained and then I got employed at this factory," said Ilir Domi.
Defining who the Roma are and what is meant by inclusion are important steps with both practical and policy significance. © ternYpe International Roma Youth Network
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – 19 April, 2012 – Roma inclusion is increasingly on the political agenda both of governments and international institutions. In its communication of 5 April 2011 the European Commission requested member states with sizeable Roma minorities to present National Roma Integration Strategies by December 2011. Most of the strategies were submitted – as were National Action plans earlier, in the context of the Decade of Roma Inclusion.
Ivan Usaovski, new business owner
SKOPJE, FYR Macedonia – 11 June, 2012 – “Unemployed doesn’t mean untalented,” says Ivan Usaovski from Skopje, aged 30.
Like many people who are currently unemployed, Ivan only ever had part-time or seasonal jobs.
“You can’t build a career with these kinds of jobs,” says Ivan, “You can’t plan a future.”
Over 30 percent of people in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are unemployed. Almost a third of those currently out of work have not had a job for eight years, and more than 25 percent are between the ages of 15 and 29.
MDG and Poverty Reduction, Social inclusion » Growing Sustainable Business, Local poverty initiatives, including microfinance, Private-sector development
AJDEROVAC, Croatia – 4 June, 2012 – “The milk that we produce, we cannot sell,” says Mileva Desnica, whose family lives on a small farm in the village of Ajderovac in Croatia's mountainous Gračac municipality.
“We don’t have a milk cooling tank and the electricity that would support it. We don’t have a refrigerator, so we can only store food in the cold room for a day or two at most. This is a big problem for us.”
That was before UNDP installed a five kilowatt solar energy station at the family farm, with the possibility of extending the energy supply to the whole community of seven families - cut off from the energy grid during war in the 1990s.
Energy & Environment, MDG and Poverty Reduction » Access to sustainable energy services, Climate Change, Low emission development
PODGORICA, Montenegro – 9 January, 2012 – In an effort to provide equal access to justice for all, Montenegro opened its first legal aid office.
"Opening of the first legal aid office is important in the overall judicial system, because it provides equal access to justice for all, regardless of financial or social status," said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, Duško Marković.
KUMANOVO, FYR Macedonia – 27 December, 2011– Kumanovo, the country’s biggest municipality - and one of its most ethnically diverse - has become a role model for other cities throughout the country on how to improve inter-ethnic relations.
BELGRADE, Serbia – 11 July, 2011 – Meet photographer Djordje Jovic, who takes us on a photo tour of a nursing home for adults with disabilities in Serbia. See: slideshow
All photos and captions by Djordje Jovic, technical support Jelena Vukovic, Serbia, 2011
BELGRADE, Serbia - 30 May, 2011 - The United Nations in Serbia and the Government of Serbia are helping to address youth unemployment – which is currently at 46 percent, according to national statistics. The youth employment initiative is working to increase employment and improve the employability of disadvantaged young people through grants, training and work placements in companies.
SKOPJE, FYR Macedonia – 1 April, 2011 – Domestic violence is a crime. According to the 2006 Domestic Violence Survey (Association for Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women), as many as 50 percent of women in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are affected by domestic violence at some point in their lives. Yet, most suffer in silence – not realizing their legal rights or that help is available. Watch: videos from A real man never hits a woman and Say No to Domestic Violence campaigns
SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzergovina - 7 March, 2011 - Unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most important issues for young people. According to the latest Bosnian government statistics, more than 517,000 people are out of work. Most of them are Bosnian youth. Watch: CNN video about the project
TIRANA, Albania – 23 February, 2011 – After a decade of mine clearance, Albania is officially free from the threat of mines. A total of 12,452 anti-personnel mines, 152 anti-tank mines and 4,965 unexploded ordnance (UXOs) were found and destroyed. Watch: Video on a mine free Albania See: mine action photos