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Women's Aid to Former Yugoslavia
WATFY KOSOVA APPEAL - Update May 1999
Women's Aid to former Yugoslavia was founded in 1992 as a humanitarian organisation prioritising the needs of women refugees. We have worked in conjunction with locally-based women's and refugee organisations in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenija - and now in Albania and Maccedonia - providing appropriate humanitarian aid, funding and other resources in response to requests from our partners in the region.
We are appealling for funds to support the work of two Kosovan women's organisations, now based in Macedonia, and a German/Bosnian/Albanian partnership working in Albania (details below).
The Kosovar Centre for the Protection of Women and Children
Funds will be used to set up a Centre to provide medical, counselling and support services to deported Kosovan families in Tetova, Macedonia. The Kosovar Centre for the Protection of Women and Children in Pristina, Kosova, was destroyed by Serb forces in March 1999. The Centre was originally founded in 1994 as a community clinic by Dr. Vjosa Dobruna, a paediatrician and human rights advocate, along with other Kosovar women. They have worked extensively with Kosovans displaced by Serbian military and police aggression, particularly following the Drenica massacre in 1998.
In collaboration with a local Macedonian women's NGO in Tetovo, Macedonia, the new Centre will establish a clinic, offices and mobile refugee support. They will provide medical, counselling, legal and human rights protection services in Tetovo and surrounding communities.
Their work will focus on:
The Centre for the Protection of Women and Children will be staffed by both Kosovan and local women until the time when refugees will be able to return to Kosova. The Centre then hopes to reopen in Pristina, leaving a small Macedonian staff to continue providing services to local women and children.
Motrat Qiriazi (Qiriazi Sisters) was founded in Pristina in 1995 as an education project working to empower rural women, particularly in villages in the Has region of western Kosova. Their work has also included income generation projects, education projects for young women and women's health care work and advocacy. Now refugees themselves, women from Motrat Quirazi have started working in conjunction with local women's groups in Skopje, Macedonia, providing support to women refugees. Their projects include:
Medica Kosova -Woman to Woman Medica Kosova is a purpose-built partnership between Medica and Albanian and Kosovan women's organisations. Medica Kosova will be working in Albania to provide support by women for women traumatised by rape and other acts of violence and terror in Kosova. Their work includes: -training of professional Albanian and Kosovan women in appropriate, gender-sensitive, medical and psycho-social responses to rape and other forms of war trauma. Training will be provided by Bosnian women from the Medica Women's Therapy Centre in central Bosnia, using the knowledge and experience gained during the war in Bosnia, where they have helped more than 20,000 women and children since 1993. -establishing six tent-based clinics in refugee camps in Albania where the Medica team can locate women in special need and administer emergency psycho-social care. -obtaining, equipping and operating a Mobile Clinic to take women's reproductive health care and trauma therapy to refugees in other areas of Albania. -documenting violations of women's human rights in the ethnic aggression in Kosova, to enable prosecutions. Lawyers will work closely with psychotherapists to ensure the necessary sensitivity to women's feelings, self-respect and future safety.
Medica believes that women who have been sexually abused need care from women; that they must be respected and their stories believed; medical treatment should always be accompanied by social care; and self-healing is possible with the help of skilled and appropriate therapy.
HOW TO DONATE
WATFY is a women's,voluntary, anti-war group. We have been working in former Yugoslavia since 1992 delivering aid to refugees and displaced people in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia & Slovenija, irrespective of nationality, ethnicity or religion. WATFY supports women's, peace and anti-war groups in the region.
For further information, details of aid needed, appeal leaflets & posters or a copy of our latest report, contact us at the address below.