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Transforming Lives

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USAID initiative challenged communities to break down cultural barriers and empower women leaders.

Ružica Milutinović is quick to point to her husband’s accomplishments as an activist and president of the assembly in their rural north Kosovo village of Grabovac/Graboc, but one need not spend much time with her before it is clear that she is a community advocate in her own right.

Flowering plant valued as a cosmetic ingredient provides regular income for rural poor

A flower prized by the skin care industry is also key to long-lasting financial stability for a multiethnic group of women who recently started growing it in Kosovo.

The AgriCard – developed with assistance from USAID – reached 1,000 agribusiness users in its first five months.

Access to finance is a constant challenge for Kosovo’s small farming businesses, with profits from a low sales year often drying up before they can be put to use in growing the following year’s bumper crop. To address this, USAID recently partnered with TEB Bank to unveil the Agricard—a credit card specifically designed to increase cash flow for farmers before the spring growing season.

USAID worked with local government officials and the community to bring a water system to villages that never thought the day

Aug. 2014—The villages tucked into the hills outside the town of Malishevë/o in central Kosovo are like many in the landlocked country—difficult to access by road—but many who live there prefer the quiet agrarian life to the faster pace of the country’s bigger cities.

Residents of Staro Gracko/Grackë e Vjetër gather around their newly-renovated Community Center.

For the people of Kosovo, family is the foundation of a vibrant culture that values bringing people together regularly to celebrate the big events, like holidays and weddings, as well as the commonplace, like traditional family lunch on a Sunday afternoon. In many of the country’s remote villages, community is a vital extension of the family unit—with families regularly working together in farm cooperatives and town councils.

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Last updated: October 01, 2014

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