Site Profiles: Interviewee Areas of Kosovo
Obilic/ Obiliq & Vučitrn/ Vushtrri Municipality: Plemetina Village, Plemetina Camp, Crkvena Vodica and Prilužje
Plemetina lies 3 KM north of Obilić town.
Economy & Infrastructure
is terrible. When the power is on, it is usually too weak to power larger
appliances. Water quality is also poor. Phone service must be paid for. UNMIK
ordered PTK to reduce overdue bills by half. The majority of Plemetina’s
villagers have no phone service, nor can they afford to have it restored.
Serb and Roma homes in outlying areas were destroyed after the NATO war’s end.
For those that did not actually flee Kosovo after the cessation of hostilities,
receiving grants for reconstruction has proven difficult.
to the pollution caused by KEK’s Kosovo A & B plants, health problems
abound in the immediate population. The snow turns grey after a few hours.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders are common among older residents.
Children are born with breathing problems.
Roma are a fractured lot, with competing community leaders and the families that
support them. One supposed leader attempted to expel an NGO when they
refused to hire him as a manager. He also threatened to
burn down the homes of those who attempt to utilize the Pax Christie fund.
Roma have completed primary school; a minority have completed secondary school.
Several Roma are employed by the OSCE, Balkan Sunflowers and other groups. An
uncharacteristically high percentage of Plemetina Roma children attend school.
Many of them have difficulties in the Serbian language. At least 25 school-age
children have never attended school.
Serbs and Roma used to receive WFP parcels from Children’s Aid Direct. None
now do. Other groups have reduced firewood distribution and other winterization
policies. The OSCE has appointed local Roma community advocates to represent
Plemetina Village and Camp; Balkan Sunflowers runs a Roma resource center that
offers remedial education, homework and language assistance, computer classes
and other programs; the group formed a boy scout troop and offered Tai Chi
classes. A Belgian Group, Pax Christie, has created a community reconstruction
fund for Serbs and Roma.
186 Serb families (about 990 individuals; 220 children under 15 years old) and
10 Serb IDP families live in Plemetina
are between 15 and 20 Albanian families in the village.
under 18 (2001): ~220
under 18 (2002): ~229
over 18 (2002): ~181
camp’s inhabitants can access train services from
camp population is unemployed and unemployable, due to the camp location and the
ethnicity of its residents. A few Ashkalija are members of the Kosovo Protection
Corps- the demilitarized version of the Kosovo Liberation Army. KPS was forced
by UNMIK to demographically reflect Kosovo’s ethnic breakdown. The rest of the
camp is solely reliant upon international aid.
aid impedes return to the point-of-origin communities of camp residents. Camp
residents, should they return to Kosovo Polje, would lose a significant amount
of food aid and free firewood. Camp residents received better quality food, and
more cubic meters of firewood, than did other minority areas. This aid makes the
camp residents an object of scorn to many Plemetina Village Roma.
Camp was established by UNHCR; the camp has been run by the Italian Consortium
of Solidarity, Children’s Aid Direct, and now the Albanian Mother Teresa
Society. The camp was absolutely overloaded with NGOs carrying out job training
and educational programs. At one time a dozen international organizations
carried out programs there. Now the camp has faded in programming popularity;
the NGOs have essentially left them. Food aid and NGO activity has acted as an
economic impediment to return; especially because the Kosovo Polje Ashkalija are
now accepted within KP town.
primary or secondary schools exist in the camp.
International Rescue Committee has carried out numerous educational programs for
camp children and teens, with lasting effects. IRC’s ultimate goal was to
integrate Ashkalija children into Albanian-language Obilić schools; they
have done this with nearly 90 children.
of late 2002, a kindergarten was operating in the camp.
Camp- Roma & Ashkalija
few Serb refugees, expelled from
Who We Were, Who We Are: Kosovo Roma Oral Histories
©Bobby Anderson 2003-2009. All rights reserved.
This project was made possible by the generous financial support of the Open Society Institute Roma Culture Initiative.
Additional thanks to all other
donors & implementers
This study may be freely distributed, in whole or part, so long as the source is cited:
Who We Were, Who We Are: Kosovo Roma Oral Histories © Bobby Anderson 2003-2009
Is there something you feel we're missing? Do you have any comments, suggestions, or need additional information? Please write Bobby Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org