Ergotherapy in Kosovo
In 2012, there was only one qualified ergotherapist in Kosovo (Ms Diana Ullrich), she had 15 years’ experience as a certified occupational therapist assistant in the United States of America and 16 years’ experience as an ergotherapist in Kosovo. Ms Ullrich is fluent in both written and spoken Albanian, this enabled her to understand the heart of the Kosovar people while gathering data from Kosovar ergotherapy clients, their families and other Kosovar agencies. She had run an occupational therapy clinic (The Agape Centre, Gjilane) for some 10 years.
Ergotherapy education in Kosovo
In 2012, when the BSc Ergotherapy program started at QEAP Heimerer now Kolegji Heimerer, Pristina Kosovo, there was only one qualified ergotherapist in the country working within a charity supported clinic in Gjilan. There was no training for ergotherapists, the profession was unknown and unrecognised within the country.
Kolegji Heimerer developed and started the BSc Ergotherapy program based on the experience of running several similar programs in Germany. The ergotherapy program in Kosovo was initially based on the Germany curriculum with cultural and societal adjustments being made for the country of Kosovo. The ergotherapist based in Gjilan was recruited by Kolegji-Heimerer in 2012 until they recruited an ergotherapy educationalist (with 25+ years of occupational therapy education) from UK to be Head of Programme in 2014, Dr Jennifer Caldwell, was Pro-Dean with responsibility for ergotherapy until 2017.