Kosovo return project URA 2
The URA 2 project (Ura means "bridge" in Albanian) offers comprehensive return counselling as well as various measures for the integration, care and support of Kosovan returnees and locals in its Return Centre in Prishtina. Besides the German Federal Government the following Federal Länder are project partners: Baden-Wuerttemberg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt and since 2013 the Federal Land Mecklenburg Western Pommerania and the Free State of Thuringia.
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All returnees and locals can benefit from extensive social counselling or psychological support if needed. Returnees from the Federal Länder Baden-Wuerttemberg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony-Anhalt can also apply for initial aid for the acquisition of living space, furnishing or necessary medical treatment or medicines. Persons, who return voluntarily from the Land Mecklenburg Western Pommerania or the Free State of Thuringia to Kosovo, are also able to benefit from those support measures. Furthermore, returnees from the Länder involved can participate in reintegration measures such as vocational further training, employment-promotion activities or training for business start-ups. Pupils can obtain basic equipment for attending school and take part in special language courses.
Support with initial aid and reintegration measures
The initial aid comprises:
- extensive social counselling and support with administrative formalities, family reunification or finding living space,
- offer of psychological care,
- partial reimbursement of transport costs to the Centre,
- one-off payment of an interim benefit: maximum of Euro 50 per person,
- rent support: up to Euro 100 for a maximum of six months,
- costs for furnishings: up to Euro 600 per person for voluntary returnees, up to Euro 300 for forced returnees,
- reimbursement for necessary medical treatment or medicines: up to Euro 75 per person.
Support via reintegration measures comprises:
- one-off reimbursement of costs for language courses: up to Euro 100 per person,
- basic equipment for attending school,
- offer of additional training/extra lessons for pupils and young persons,
- one-off payment for theoretical job-related training of a maximum of Euro 120 and for practical job-related training of a maximum of Euro 50,
- financial assistance for the cost of living during job-related training of a maximum of Euro 250 for voluntary returnees or Euro 200 for forced returnees,
- placement in employment or job-creation measures and salary allowances of Euro 150 for voluntary returnees or Euro 100 for forced returnees per month for six months.
- For voluntary returnees only: Persons starting up in business may be supported via a one-off job-related training allowance of up to Euro 500, Euro 100 financial assistance for training and awarding a start-up grant of up to Euro 3,000 for promising business concepts.
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The project started in 2009 and is continued during 2013.
Continuation of the successful predecessor project
URA 2 is the successor project of a return project which was promoted by the European Commission and ended in October 2008. This first project already supported the reintegration of returnees.
Because of the frequent lack of support for returnees, German authorities of the Federal Government and of the Federal Länder Baden-Wuerttemberg, Mecklenburg Western Pommerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt as well as the Free State Thuringia have come together to continue this successful first project and to continue to provide support for successful, sustainable return and reintegration management.
The follow-up URA 2 return project is funded at national level only. The project's objectives are to make reintegration in Kosovo easier for the returnees and to further improve the return management in Kosovo as a whole.
Awards for the project URA 2
The project URA 2 was awarded with the "Mother Teresa Prize" on 19 October 2010. This prize, which was given to the project URA 2 by the Minister of Interior, was established by the President of the Republic of Kosovo. The price awards services rendered to the Kosovan citizens, without any distinction based on ethnic belonging. It was awarded on the hundredth birthday of Mother Teresa to ten organizations and persons that provided support during and after the war in Kosovo.
Two years later, the project URA 2 was awarded together with other organizations like NATO and the UN for the support of and assistance to the people of Kosovo.
In honor of these organisations two stone tables were inaugurated on 12 June 2012 in Pristina by Kosovo's Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Memli Krasniqi. Under the names of organizations and persons, who have supported the people of Kosovo, the following text is cited on the stone tables: "Expressing our appreciation and gratitude for your human act by protecting and supporting the people of Kosovo, and the universal values of civilization and humanity in the years 1990–2012".
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