It has been a while since our last update as we have had visitors with us for the last two weeks. Now that we are back to our normal routine we thought we would update you over the next few days on what we have been doing as part of our service with the church here in Gjakova.

24th May each year is “Clean Up Kosova” day where volunteers and local refuse companies work together to make Kosova a nicer place to live. You can see a short promotional video for “Clean Up Kosova” here (subtitles in English).

We joined with volunteers at a school in Berkoc on the outskirts of Gjakove to clear the rubbish that had built up in the community and at the school there. Berkoc is a village that we visit regularly with food parcels and Pastor Jeton teaches an English course there for the children so we are known by the community.

The problem in Berkoc is that most people there are unemployed, have large families and are therefore living on the poverty line. They do not pay for the rubbish to be collected by Qabrati (the refuse company) and simply dump it in an empty field at the back of the village. The village also backs onto the river, Erenik, and the steep banks of the river are also covered in rubbish.

We spent a few hours filling hundreds of sacks with rubbish ranging from clothing to used nappies and food packaging. The refuse company, Qabrati, came with a refuse truck and digger to take away as much rubbish as possible.

After cleaning this part of the village we moved to the local school and cleared the rubbish at the entrance and playground area of the school.

The local news channel SyriVision did a news report on the cleaning at Berkoc which was shown on TV and you can see members of our church who volunteered in the background of the video. Unfortunately there are no English subtitles.

Please pray for the village of Berkoc, Gjakova and for Ksoova as a whole that the message of events such as this will give people the motivation to keep Kosova clean not just one day a year but throughout the year. Please also pray for the children in villages such as Berkoc who are learning the wrong way of dealing with rubbish because of how the older generation behaves. Like many problems in communities like this it simply comes down to lack of money to pay for refuse collection, but at the same time we believe that education is the key to making a change for the future.

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