Hana Shahini (32) is a single mother of 5 children, who lives in Fushe Kosove / Kosovo Polje, Kosovo, together with a family of her brother-in-law. Her oldest child is seven, and the only one who currently goes to school.
The house she has been residing has never been fully completed, with the entry door missing, open ceiling and damaged windows, the life has been quite hard for this family, especially during the harsh winters, which are very common in Kosovo.
While the house has been connected to the main water line, the house didn’t have the bathroom, and the clothes have been washed outside during every season. ‘During the winter, we had it hardest to live, with no water and bathroom inside’ she has said and added ‘During the whole season, the children were sick’.
Running the life on a social assistance only, which is 75 EUR per month, it was unrealistic to expect that she would be able to complete the house works by herself. ‘When I’ve heard that I’ve been selected as a beneficiary’, I was extremely happy and I knew that my children will enjoy better future’, she said.
The Selection Board has put her in a list of beneficiaries among 48 other vulnerable Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian families in Fushe Kosove.
Fushe Kosove is small city in the central Kosovo, very close to the capital Pristina and a home to approximately 3.500 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians. Most of these families are extremely poor, depending on social assistance, which also reflects in the poor housing conditions.
The family of Hana Shahini has been granted 1.500 EUR in construction material to construct the bathroom and make minor improvements to the house. The house up-grading model has for an aim to improve the housing conditions of vulnerable Roma families, giving a particular attention on water and sanitation first.
The intervention in the house is developed by a professional team of architects and engineers and in close consultation and cooperation with the recipient family. Finally, all the works are exercised by the family (based on the owner’s driven approach principle), under a close eye of supervision by professional masons in order to ensure the minimum standard of quality appliance.
Between the June 2014 and August 2014, the house of Hana Shahini has been a very busy place. She has been able to build a functional bathroom with running and hot water; managed to install an entry door, close the ceiling and replace the broken windows.
She has now a more comfortable place to live and raise her children. ‘I wish to thank you very, very much’, she said, ‘for making this better life possible for me and my children. I will be very careful in taking care of the house as my children’s health is a top priority’ she concluded.