Students Helping Life – Kosovo was set up in 1999 by the German NGO Schüler Helfen Leben (SHL), which founded a Youth Centre in the “divided” municipality of Rahovec/Orahovac, in order to enable young people to meet and be active together.
In the first years after the war in Kosovo the activities carried out in SHL’s Youth Centre were aimed at enabling youth to get together outside school, engage in recreational activities, non-formal education classes and participate in youth peace-building activities in mixed national/ethnic groups.
As time went on, and Kosovo progressed from the humanitarian to the development phase, the needs of the local youth also started to change: more opportunities for their social life developed within the municipality, whereas other needs, such as education and employment prospects stagnated.
For these reasons, and also under the pressure of decreasing funds from the founding organisation, the local team embarked on an organisational development process, aimed at establishing a sustainable local NGO. The registration of the local organization took place on December 18, 2008, while the formal part was organized in April 2009, when the handover from SHL-Germany into SHL-Kosova occurred. From now on SHL-Germany acts as an external donor and funds a limited percentage of the local NGO’s budget, decreasing the amount further in the years to come.
Currently, SHL-Kosova is supported and financed by SHL Germany, as a part of regional network of Schüler Helfen Leben in Europe.