A series of photo stories on the aftermath of the war in Kosovo.
17 imagesThe Kalaj family came to England as refugees after their lives in Kosovo were torn apart and had no choice but to escape. I met them in East London. They were attempting to rebuild their lives and adapt to a new country, whilst waiting for the Home Office to make the final decision whether or not they could permanently stay in the UK. This situation meant to be a temporary one, is protracting over time. Years have gone by and their fate has not being decided while their lives keep on being on hold. In the meantime, their children have learnt to speak English, going to school and becoming more and more English. The parents instead live in a limbo or half-existence as they describe it, where they cannot seek employment and live on vouchers given by the government, in a home decided by the same. They pray that a decision will come through soon so that they can go on with their lives. One day, in fact they hope to live normal British lives. Their situation is common to many Kosovo refugees in London.
11 imagesThe Roma population in Kosovo was accused of having sided with the Serbian, consequently persecuted and sent away from the Kosovo's towns. In reality the Roma are unwanted by the Serbian too and been forced to live in enclaves. They are unemployable and have no access to education and health care. Mostly to survive they rummage through the city dumps and try to use or sell whatever they found. They depend on humanitarian organisations for any health check, food and education. The Roma community of Zitkovac in the outskirts of Mitrovice is not different. It is forced to live in sheds and they rely on aid organisation for any assistance. Medicos del Mundo is one of the few NGO's left in the region that assist the Roma communities.
24 imagesThe Serbian population that has refused to leave their homes and lands are confined in enclaves. They self sufficient to a certain point as there is a school, a UN clinic but for everything else they would need to be escorted by a UN out of the enclave as deemed unsafe to leave.
19 imagesThe province of Gjacova in Kosovo is one of the most affected by the recent war in the Balkans. It is known for the war starting and ending in this region causing the majority of civilians killings in Kosovo. In some villages, like Meje there are no men left but their widows and children. The fate of these women is uncertain as international charity organisations are slowly moved from the Balkans. The re-construction process has halted leaving most homes half built and unsuitable to be inhabited. The widows and their children have had to seek shelter with relatives, whilst those that couldn't, live in very devastating conditions.