Loading...
UNICEF: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Kosovo
Now Watching
UNICEF: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Kosovo
Next Suggested Video
Life on the Edge: The Prince
Some 30,000 people in Kosovo who identify themselves as belonging to the Roma, Ashkali or Egyptian ethnic groups are living on the fringes of society. Many lack the identity papers that would entitle them to the benefits available to other citizens: social welfare, unemployment, even schooling.
Flash Player 9.0.115+ or HTML5 video support is required to play this video.
Loading...

Produced by UNICEF Television.

Find out more about UNICEF's work with ethnic minorities in Kosovo.

Loading...

Share this video

Include start time Get current time
Include related videos, articles & actions
Loading...

Segment 1

VOICEOVER
Central Pristina, where street life in the Kosovo capital is as lively as it is in any other European city. And all European cities have their bleaker sides. In Pristina, it’s out at the city limits, hard up against the decaying remnants of a Yugoslav industrial past. Here live Pristina’s most impoverished inhabitants, an ethnic ghetto of people known as Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians, amongst whom unemployment is said to be nudging a hundred percent. For many, this is their only way of life. Every day, scores of men set out to see what they can salvage from the city’s waste. Nor is it just an income they’re hoping for; they search for discarded food to feed their families.
BESNIK HASANIK [Scrap Collector]
We work in the garbage containers, collecting tin cans, copper, scrap metal, aluminium, whatever we can find. Sometimes I can’t find anything because I’m not the only one out there looking for it. We also search the bins for whatever we can eat or drink.
VOICEOVER
In Besnik’s family, at least the bread’s home-baked; in a stove fuelled by old shoes and boots. But the ketchup for the kids, well, that’s been scraped from the bottom of dispensers that richer people have thrown out. Besnik and his extended family of 19 are trapped in a terrible cycle of despair passed from one generation to the next.
TANIA GOLDNER [UNICEF, Kosovo]
This means they will continue to live in this vicious circle of poverty. This means they will not be able to get employed. This means they will not be able to earn income for their own kids, for their own families.
VOICEOVER
At the local community centre, volunteers like Ridvan are attempting to get more kids not only to go to school but to stay there, offering help with homework to children often far behind their peers from other communities. Social workers say Kosovo’s tumultuous past has left many already deprived people in this community without the birth certificates and registration papers they need to obtain government services.
BAJRAM MAROLLI [Social Worker]
There are so many problems because if the children aren’t registered they can’t go to school and within a few years those children will grow up, get married, establish their own families and they won't have documents for their children who can’t be registered either.
VOICEOVER
These are urgent problems because as Kosovo strives to build a nation, as many as 30,000 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians are being left behind, and their despair is growing. This is Peter George in Kosovo, for UNICEF Television. Unite for children.