Xhemshir with his children, working to sell mushrooms

Kosova – Xhemshir’s Story

Xhemshir Veliu, 43, lives in Skenderaj, Kosova with his wife and five children. With his home and livelihood destroyed in the war, he struggled to meet the needs of his family.

Before the devastating war of 1998-99, he had a small business, growing and selling mushrooms. During the conflict, Xhemshir’s house was burnt to the ground, and all his equipment destroyed or damaged.

When the war ended, Kosova faced some of the highest unemployment rates in Europe. Thousands of people lost both their homes and their livelihoods. Xhemshir began to rebuild his home, but could not afford to repair or replace his equipment to restart his business.

Like Kadric and Nuria, Xhemshir took a loan of 1,097 Euros from Islamic Relief Waqf, and used it to repair and buy equipment for his business. He now grows and sells fresh mushrooms once more. He now employs five regular workers, and sometimes more for night shifts – and he exports some of his produce to countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and Austria.

The loan has enabled Xhemshir to provide for his family, and to create jobs for others in his community – contributing to the local economy.

Read more of the case studies from our general sector.

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