The second day of our study tour with Diaspora Professionals took us in a journey in the region of Mitrovica and Skënderaj.
We began our journey at Agro-Florentina, an organically certified company, where we were welcomed by Blerinda Veliu, Export Manager & Sustainability Associate. For three decades, the Veliu family has been constantly upgrading their business operations. They began by collecting wild mushrooms in the 90’s and now they also cultivate and collect forest fruits and medicinal aromatic plants. During our visit, we were able to learn more about their regenerative agricultural practices, the products they offer at Botanic, and their plans for a more sustainable and innovative agriculture.
Our second stop in the region took us to one of the most interesting and picturesque regions in Kosovo, Shala e Bajgorës. There we stopped at Villa Vllahia, which is built 80% by reused materials from the region. What we admire most about the guesthouse owner, Fehmi Ferati, is that he has set clear action steps to make his idyllic villa more sustainable meanwhile contributing to youth employment in the area.
Our final visit in the region took us to Hotel Dardani, a family owned business, where the owner Ilmi Sadiku, together with his two sons Durim and Dardan, managers at the hotel welcomed us and told us about their journey. They, being former Diaspora members in Finland, decided to come back and invest in Kosovo in order to bring back the best practices from their former country of residence. They explained to us their current efforts and previous experiences in investing in alternative energy at their hotel, despite the lack of financial incentives from the banks in Kosovo towards renewable energy investments.
This project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora. These visits give our diaspora professionals an opportunity to understand more about the strategies, goals, and business operations that these enterprises have in place and opens the doors for further cooperation in the future.
This activity/report/publication was carried out within the Civic Engagement Program, which is implemented by the Kosovo Foundation for Civil Society (KCSF) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kosovo. GERMIN is a partner of KCSF in the implementation of this activity