Migration is imposed on many young Kosovars as an ambition for the future

Ardita Abazi is just one of many youngsters who left Kosova in the recent years. At 23 she went to Canada to begin a new life.

“I have worked since the age of 18 and I would say that finding a job was not as a big problem as to getting paid at the end of the month. Dire economic conditions and the way of the living made me depart to Canada. Even though very young, and in addition, looked at in disbelief as a girl on her own travelling to the other end of the world, I didn’t stop chasing the dreams I couldn’t while living in Kosovo”,  she says.

This mind set is not so uncommon amongst young Kosovars. Albert Gashi, 22, says that even though he is about to finish his studies at the University of Prishtina, his aim for the future is to live somewhere far from Kosovo.

“If today I were given a chance, I would be leaving Kosovo. To begin with, there is a lack of the practicum at the department where I study, of what I aim to do in the future, something which is essential in order for someone to carry out his profession/passion”, he says.

According to him, what pushes him more to see himself create a new life outside Kosovo is the lack of new jobs.

“…my future plans cannot be realized in Kosovo. Initially, there are no available jobs, and even if there were, it would be difficult to be the one who is selected. Also, even if I were to get the job, wages are too low for the living standard in our county”, adds Gashi.

For the very same reasons, T.E, 27, who has finished his Master studies for Economy at the University of Prishtina and does not exclude the possibility of politics as a career, actually sees Switzerland as a destination of realizing his future plans.

“The main reason for migration are the unfavourable economic conditions in our country and unemployment, especially if you seek employment in your field of studies. On the other hand, I plan to live in Switzerland, since I may have a more affordable and easier opportunity for my PhD studies than here”, he says .

According to a Kosovar Report of Migration of the Kosovo Agency of Statistics from 2014, the number of people who migrated is about 820,000. Most of those who migrated were those of age-group 25-44 who comprise 74.2% of the migrating population, whereas the dominating age-group was 30-34, comprising 12.7%. Most preferred destination for Kosovars are Germany with 35.25% and Switzerland with 22.94%.

According to this survey, main driving factors of migration were diverse: family reunion (46%), socio-economic factors (35%), not leaving aside the politics and better education.

Based on the most recent data provided by Kosovo Agency of Statistics, only 25.2% from the overall number of working age population were employed in 2015.

A research included in the UNDP Human Development Report of Kosovo, based on the survey with citizens between the age of 18-36, shows that about half of the population plans to immigrate.

Thus, E. K., 23, from Lipjan though never thought of immigrating, says that recently the conditions which she lives in are making us take other decisions than she wishes to.

“I never thought of living elsewhere from Kosovo, for it’s not my preference. But I graduated and I still don`t have a job respective of my studies, even though I’ve been searching for quite some time. Thus, this made me apply for a visa aiming to get to Germany where something better may be waiting for me” ,  she hopes.

Fatbardha Terpeza