The new playground is a great facility for children of the neighborhood, full of brightly colored new equipment. The climbing tower is an obvious hit! Photo Credit:Ruzica Bozovic of the USAID/DEMI program

During a recent visit to Kosovo, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker spoke in support of the process of decentralization and community engagement to improve life for everyone. Reeker told reporters in Mitrovica North that it is important that local communities determine “how your lives will be led, how your children will be raised and how the international community can support that effort.” Mitrovica North is a Kosovo Serb majority region that has been resistant to cooperation with the central government in Pristina.

Reeker visited the community, along with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Dell, to inaugurate a playground constructed by USAID at the request of local residents. Reeker also met with local business leaders at a new Regional Community Resource Center that is supported by USAID. It was thehighest level U.S. Government visit to the tense region since ethnic violence erupted last summer.