17th January 2014: Visit of Balkan Sunflowers Project

 

about their ongoing activities. 

 

 

Short Description

 

The situation for minorities in Kosovo remains perilous. They suffer from poverty, lack of access to education, and general social exclusion. Attempts to tackle integration issues exist, however there is poor implementation on the ground. Therefore the consortium project partners, Balkan Sunflowers Kosova (BSFK), The Ideas Partnership (TIP) and Sports Sans Frontières (SSF), seek to mobilize Kosovo non-majority communities in securing for themselves full human rights, including the right to education, and integration in Kosovo society. More specifically the consortium aims to facilitate the integration of minorities from 17 municipalities in Kosovo through inclusive education for children and adults, inter-ethnic dialogue activities for youth and access to the municipal decision-making process for members of the communities. The expected results are: increased quality and level of education of children and adults from communities, improved development and implementation of policies for inclusion of communities in 9 municipalities, involving members of the communities and CSOs in the decision-making process, and enhanced interethnic dialogue amongst the communities. It is planned that over the course of this project minority communities will become active citizens, working together to build a more inclusive society in Kosovo free from prejudice and discrimination.

 

1. Summary

Fourteen years on from the conflict, the situation for minorities in Kosovo remains fragile. In particular, Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities suffer with a range of issues and remain on the fringes of society. They are the poorest in Kosovo which is a cause and consequence of their low level of education. Poverty, combined with lack of access to education and training has ensured intergenerational exclusion from wider society. Inter-ethnic tensions persist and neighbours from different ethnic groups rarely interact, often viewing each other with distrust and prejudice.

 

PROJECT DOCUMENT

 

While policy documents tackling integration issues such as the Strategy for the Integration of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in the Republic of Kosovo exist and include appropriate actions to be taken, there is poor implementation and apparent lack of political will to do so, with an urgent need for advocacy for their implementation. The most powerful advocacy would come from the community itself, and there is a need to develop the culture within these communities to ensure that members have not only the education but also the confidence, skills, and belief in civil society processes to claim their rights.

 

The consortium, Balkan Sunflowers Kosovo (BSFK), The Ideas Partnership (TIP) and Sports Sans Frontières (SSF), seeks comprehensive collaboration among CSOs and NGOs operating in the fields of social inclusion, education and integration to facilitate the integration of minorities into Kosovar society. The action is structured in three different components, with each component designed to target a specific problem area as outlined above. The first is the education component, which aims to increase the quality and level of education of children and adults from the targeted communities, transforming attitudes to the importance and accessibility of schooling through four Learning Centres and through bursaries enabling mature students to complete their high school diploma through evening classes, and to encourage university participation. The second is a Strategy advocacy component, which aims to promote the uptake of the Strategy amongst all relevant parties, through awareness-raising and training. The third is the multi-ethnic dialogue component, which aims to increase interethnic dialogue and reduce ethnic stereotyping amongst different communities.

 

The focus areas have been chosen based on the consortium's experience and expertise in the particular areas, as all three organisations work closely with and for local communities and have strong existing relationships in all proposed project target areas. It is planned that over the course of this project minority communities will become active citizens, working together to build a more inclusive society in Kosovo free from prejudice and discrimination.

The project will take place over a two-year period starting in October 2013 and due for completion in December 2015.

 

 

For more photos please kindly refer to: http://www.oekg-ks.org/?cid=2,8

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