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CONFERENCE: PAST, PRESENT, FORUM FUTURE: THE STATE OF RECONCILIATION IN KOSOVO

15.04.2022

NGO AKTIV, in cooperation with members of the Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation, organized a conference “Past, Present, FORUM OF THE FUTURE – State of Reconciliation in Kosovo”, held on the 12th and the 13th of April 2022, at the Civic Energy Center in North Mitrovica.

At four panels, 15 experts from various fields discussed the topic of reconciliation from the perspective of the media, civil society, security and the position of Kosovo’s smaller non-majority communities, in the presence of representatives of the diplomatic community, media, civil society and youth from different ethnic communities. Representatives of the media, civil society and human rights experts said that it was necessary to build reconciliation through direct dialogue of all communities, with the active participation of institutions.

The conference was opened by the Executive Director of the NGO Aktiv, Miodrag Milićević, who initially asked whether the entire society had done enough in the process of reconciliation between Serbs and Albanians, but also other communities, in Kosovo.

„The expectation of many of us today is that as a society we are sufficiently able to face all the problems that burden our communities, and that we have enough strength and a high degree of commitment to overcome many challenges we face as a society for more than two decades”, said Milićević.

As he assessed, without the support of political and public representatives, the international community, civil society and the media, full normalization of relations cannot be achieved.

Goran Avramović, a journalist of Radio KiM, Xhemail Rexha, president of the Association of Journalists of Kosovo, Tatjana Lazarević, editor-in-chief of the KoSSev portal and Besa Luci, editor-in-chief of the Kosovo2.0 portal, spoke at the first panel.

The journalists assessed that the media are not a serious obstacle to reconciliation, but also that they do not make a great contribution in that process. They pointed out that problems from the angle of the national narrative are most often reported, while stories about citizens and their everyday problems are less present in the media.

“The role of the media is not to work on reconciliation, but they should not work on deepening differences,” it was assessed.

At the second panel, Nora Ahmetaj, founder and director of the Center for Research, Documentation and Publications, Marigona Sabiu, director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Darko Dimitrijevic, journalist and executive director of the Center for Minority Rights, and Milica Jakovljevic, a project manager of Community Building Mitrovica, spoke about the role of civil society in the reconciliation process.

The panelists assessed that the progress in reconciliation was noticed on an individual level as people communicate in different ways, as well as among certain groups, such as the business community that has been cooperating for a long time, and the non-governmental sector. It is estimated that the most problematic is the political level.

“It is a level that makes decisions and opens the way to general reconciliation, but there is no progress for now,” the participants said, adding that “however, there is a little progress with the fact that two sides have started to discuss the problems”.

The panelists pointed out that the reconciliation process had begun, but that the whole society was not involved. They pointed out that NGOs contributed the most to reconciliation, but that it did not go far.

The issue of the connection between the security situation and the reconciliation process was analyzed by the participants of the third panel, with Dušan Radaković, Executive Director of the Advocacy Center for Democratic Culture, Bekim Blakaj, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Center of Kosovo, Aferdita Sulaj Shehu, Executive Director of Community Building Mitrovica and Igor Marković, Senior Researcher and Project Manager NGO AKTIV.

The panelists assessed that security incidents and the political situation make life and reconciliation between communities, primarily between Serbs and Albanians, difficult, while political elites contribute to tensions with their narratives.

“We need to invest in peacebuilding, especially today when we are witnessing great instability on the continent of Europe,” the panelists said.

The participants in the fourth panel were civil society representatives of the Turkish, Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian and Gorani community. Fatir Berzati, activist and editor-in-chief of Kosovo Info for South Slavic Languages, Gorani Community in Kosovo, Sejfi Kodra, translator, political expert and activist from the Turkish community in Kosovo, and Mimoza Gavrani, policy expert from the Regional Cooperation Council on behalf of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community, spoke about the position of these communities.

The panelists assessed that more needs to be done in order for smaller communities to feel free. It was pointed out that these communities are especially sensitive because they encounter various stereotypes, although there are good legal solutions that guarantee them all their rights.

“It is very important to involve smaller communities in the process of reconciliation and building the future. We need to restore trust in institutions. Smaller communities want to be part of initiatives related to reconciliation, peace and stability,” the CSO representatives stated.

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Public call for student/youth groups to take part in a grass-root youth cooperation initiative;

17.03.2022

 “Tackle the existing stereotypes and prejudices in Kosovo”

NGO AKTIV invites all student/youth groups from of all ethnic backgrounds to propose youth cooperation initiatives that will be supported through the project Transforming Conflicting Perceptions through Increased Civic and Community Engagement in Kosovo and implemented by student/youth groups.

Within the framework of the project, and after the production of the Index of Ethnic Stereotypes in Kosovo (a consolidated record of documented stereotypical characteristics that influence ethnic relations in Kosovo) and The introduction of mutual language learning in Kosovo: A tentative Roadmap (paper addresses the issue of the language gap existing between Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs),  students will be offered the opportunity to propose and implement activities based on the problems identified by the studies.

Students are invited to propose grass-root youth cooperation initiative that will be supported through this project and implemented by student/youth and members of the Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation (KCR).

The best initiative will be selected and supported with a grant of up to 5,000 EUR.  This initiative will be implemented by KCR in close cooperation with student/youth groups. Under this call one (1) initiative will be supported.

The types of activities that may be supported by this call are as follows:

  • Local capacity-building and awareness-raising projects that support/encourage youth participation in monitoring reforms, in promoting rule of law and EU values;
  • Civic dialogue with local stakeholders;
  • Organizing local public events, debates, workshops, seminars, study visits;
  • Conducting research work and local public-opinion surveys;
  • Events that promote youth participation – exhibitions, film/video materials or other similar activities;
  • Advocacy events and activities;
  • Other activities that support interethnic cooperation and reconciliation.

The following types of activities will not be supported:

  • Any activities that take place outside of Kosovo;
  • Activities that only or mainly involve individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and congresses;
  • Activities that only or mainly involve individual scholarships for studies or training courses;
  • Activities focused on construction activities, the purchase of equipment, and the purchase and/or renovation of buildings or offices;
  • Activities aimed at collecting charitable donations or other similar profit-generating initiatives;

Application Procedure

All initiative proposals should include:

1) A description of the applicant(s) (one or more), including basic background information (CVs of all applicants), a short motivation letter and a copy of Kosovo ID;

2) An outline of the project, including:

  • Direct beneficiaries.
  • Project activities
  • Expected outcomes

3) A brief (two to three sentences) overview of the estimated expenses that will be incurred by the activities.)

Please fill in the application form attached to this call.

The KCR will support and implement a limited number of initiatives (1) that may last up to two (3) months in duration and that will have a maximum budget of 5,000 Euros.

The deadline for the submission of project proposals is 25.03.2022.

Applications should be submitted to:

info@ngoaktiv.org

You can get receive information via email igor.markovic@ngoaktiv.org or by calling +38349614908 and + 381642585592.

Photography Exhibition as Social Connecting

04.03.2022

Solo photography show of Adon Pajaziti has been on display in North Mitrovica and Pristina for the last six days. Visitors were able to see the works of the young Prizren artist from February 24th to 27th, at the Civic Energy Center in North Mitrovica, and from February 28th to March 2nd, at the Monet Gallery in Pristina.

The exhibition was a presentation of the Prizren region’s nature, as well as of everyday lives of the Bosniaks, which shed light on social diversity and natural beauty of the southern part of Kosovo.  At the same time, Pajaziti’s short documentary “The Wealth of Nature” was screened at both introductory events with the aim to visually explain urgent need to preserve the environment and to acquaint the public with the species of birds which inhabit Kosovo.

Upon the introductory ceremonies, the exhibitions were open to the public view.

These events were also an opportunity to promote Kosovo Reconciliation Coalition’s work and goals, among both the visitors and the media which reported on the event.

This activity was supported by the European Union in Kosovo through the project “Transforming Conflict Perceptions through Increased Engagement of Citizens and Communities in Kosovo”, implemented by the NGO AKTIV, a member of a broader Kosovo Reconciliation Coalition (KRC).

NOTE: All the visitors were required to present proof of vaccination with at least 2 dozes and the activity was held in accordance with the Guidance on Protection Against Covid-19, published by the Ministry of Health and the Draft Law on Prevention and Control of Covid-19 Pandemics.

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Public call for student/youth groups to take part in a grass-root youth cooperation initiative;

01.03.2022

“Tackle the existing stereotypes and prejudices in Kosovo”

NGO AKTIV invites all student/youth groups from of all ethnic backgrounds to propose youth cooperation initiatives that will be supported through the project Transforming Conflicting Perceptions through Increased Civic and Community Engagement in Kosovo and implemented by student/youth groups.

Within the framework of the project, and after the production of the Index of Ethnic Stereotypes in Kosovo (a consolidated record of documented stereotypical characteristics that influence ethnic relations in Kosovo) and The introduction of mutual language learning in Kosovo: A tentative Roadmap (paper addresses the issue of the language gap existing between Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs),  students will be offered the opportunity to propose and implement activities based on the problems identified by the studies.

Students are invited to propose grass-root youth cooperation initiative that will be supported through this project and implemented by student/youth and members of the Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation (KCR).

The best initiative will be selected and supported with a grant of up to 5,000 EUR.  This initiative will be implemented by KCR in close cooperation with student/youth groups. Under this call one (1) initiative will be supported.

The types of activities that may be supported by this call are as follows:

  • Local capacity-building and awareness-raising projects that support/encourage youth participation in monitoring reforms, in promoting rule of law and EU values;
  • Civic dialogue with local stakeholders;
  • Organizing local public events, debates, workshops, seminars, study visits;
  • Conducting research work and local public-opinion surveys;
  • Events that promote youth participation – exhibitions, film/video materials or other similar activities;
  • Advocacy events and activities;
  • Other activities that support interethnic cooperation and reconciliation.

The following types of activities will not be supported:

  • Any activities that take place outside of Kosovo;
  • Activities that only or mainly involve individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and congresses;
  • Activities that only or mainly involve individual scholarships for studies or training courses;
  • Activities focused on construction activities, the purchase of equipment, and the purchase and/or renovation of buildings or offices;
  • Activities aimed at collecting charitable donations or other similar profit-generating initiatives;

Application Procedure

All initiative proposals should include:

1) A description of the applicant(s) (one or more), including basic background information (CVs of all applicants), a short motivation letter and a copy of Kosovo ID;

2) An outline of the project, including:

  • Direct beneficiaries.
  • Project activities
  • Expected outcomes

3) A brief (two to three sentences) overview of the estimated expenses that will be incurred by the activities.)

Please fill in the application form attached to this call.

The KCR will support and implement a limited number of initiatives (1) that may last up to two (3) months in duration and that will have a maximum budget of 5,000 Euros.

The deadline for the submission of project proposals is 15.03.2022.

Applications should be submitted to:

info@ngoaktiv.org

You can get receive information via email igor.markovic@ngoaktiv.org or by calling +38349614908 and + 381642585592.

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Forum Theater Program Training brought together the youth of Kosovo communities from 11.02 –14.02.2022

11.02.2022 –14.02.2022

Many young people from different communities living in Kosovo responded to
the call for training, but only 16 of them were selected to participate and
receive basic theatrical techniques lessons in the culturally diverse city of
Prizren.

Education on theater and human rights, acting, relaxing games, discussions,
physical exercises, improvisation, and many other activities completed the 4
(four) days of training. Walks and companionship between them, even after
training were an integral part of these days. Forum Theater, as a special form
of theater, aroused interest among the participants, because they realized that
this is the best way to raise awareness and address issues of social
importance.

“When I speak, now I will look at the other person as a public, so that
I can be understood more easily.”

“I would have changed the duration because this is a small
companionship but the beginning of a great friendship between us.”

“I liked the tolerance and understanding for each other, the peaceful
space we created, the opportunity to be yourself and express the emotions you
did not know you had through different characters.”

“I have learned above all what a theater forum is, many acting skills,
that it is not necessary to speak to say something.”

These were some of the impressions and evaluations from the participants of
the training.

Meanwhile, the participant Fatmir Menekshe says: “Forum Theater Program
Training ‘was one of the trainings that I applied with great pleasure and I
attended with great passion. Apart from learning new things about acting,
theater and forum theater, I socialized with young people who were enthusiastic
about art.”

This activity is supported by the European Union in Kosovo through the
project “Transformation of Conflict Perceptions through Increased Civic
and Community Engagement in Kosovo” implemented by Artpolis and the NGO
AKTIV as members of the Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation (KCR).

NOTE: This activity was conducted in accordance with the “Manual
for protection against the spread of COVID-19 virus” published by the
Ministry of Health, as well as the “Draft Law on Prevention and Combating
the COVID-19 pandemic”.

#artpolis #kcr #aktiv #eu #thbe

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OPEN CALL FOR EXTERNAL EXPERT

04.02.2022

Midterm evaluation of an ongoing project

Project:
Transforming conflict perceptions through increased civic and community engagement in Kosovo

Period: 
January 2019 – December 2021

Date:
As soon as possible or latest 1st of March 2022

Background:


Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation (KCR) was established in January 2019, by HLCK, Artpolis, NGO Aktiv and Documenta, through the support of the European Union Office in Kosovo with the project “Transforming conflicting perceptions through increased civic and community engagement in Kosovo”.

KCR seeks to contribute to overall improvement of ethnic relations in Kosovo and increase understanding and participation of grass-root community actors in initiatives fostering the reconciliation process in Kosovo. Through vigorous efforts in facilitation of respectful ethnic dialogue, promotion of cultural diversity values, increased opportunities for inter-ethnic cooperation in promotion of peace and tolerance and amplified inclusion women and youth groups in reconciliation process in Kosovo, KCR aspires to introduce genuine and sustainable changes in reconciliation dynamics in Kosovo. 

The selected expert/consultant will have to conduct a programmatic evaluation, which will autonomously measure overall progress of the project, assess the indicator fulfillment, collect and review quantitative and qualitative data to determine evidence of the project impact and suggest the changes/amendments that lead to better result delivery in the continuation of efforts. This will have to be done in close cooperation with the programme manager and the KCR members. 

After more than 3 years of work, the Coalition seeks to engage an external expert who will work closely with us to:

  • Carefully review the work of the KCR for the period of 1st of January 2019 – 31st of December 2022.
  • Prepare and conduct a midterm evaluation of the partnered organizations, based on meetings with HLCK, Artpolis, NGO Aktiv, the expert’s own research and feedback collected from stakeholders and discuss the findings with the organizations.
  • Explore and recommend which interventions are most appropriate at which level(s) to achieve the desired change.
  • Analyze which organizational capacities should be strengthened in order to improve the implementation and the results of the project.
  • Define all necessary adaptations for the future project design.
  • Deliver a final report on findings and recommendations for internal use for the KCR.

Qualifications:

  • No less than five (5) years of professional experience working in the civil-society sector in Kosovo and region.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with Transitional Justice and Dealing with the Past concepts and demonstrated experience in these field.
  • Past experience in evaluating projects.
  • Fluency in English and local languages.

Interested parties should submit the following documentation to office@hlc-kosovo.org no later than the 18th of February 2022:

  • A detailed curriculum vitae;
  • A letter of interest outlining the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for the position and examples of past similar work;
  • A proposed methodology and timeline for the completion of work;
  • A financial offer;

Deadline for questions and further clarifications for the open call is 9th of February 2022 via email. All questions and answers will be available for all applicants no later than 14th of February 2022 on the webpage of KCR.

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Call for Application – Theatre Based Education Training with peers

02.02.2022

Art and Community Center – Artpolis within the Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation is organizing a Theatre Based Education Training with young peers from Albanian, Serbian, Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.

This training will be organized between the 11th to 14th of February in Prizren/Kosovo. All expenses are covered by Artpolis including transportation, accommodation, food, and training.

As a continuation interested persons/groups from this training will develop a theatre performance, which will be presented in front of audience members.

Link for more information and application 👉 https://bit.ly/3oglivs

Only selected candidates will be notified through phone or e-mail. For more information contact: venera.it@gmail.com or in 044 169 080.

#artpolis #aktiv #kcr #art #community #THBE #ForumTheater

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Call for a Transitional Justice expert with focus on Kosovo and the Balkan region

01.02.2022

Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation (KCR) is seeking an expert with extensive knowledge on the transitional justice process in Kosovo and in the Balkan region to draft a National Strategy on Transitional Justice in Kosovo.

Background:

KCR with the financial support of the European Union seeks to contribute to overall improvement of ethnic relations in Kosovo and increase understanding and participation of grass-root community actors in initiatives fostering the reconciliation process in Kosovo. Through vigorous efforts in facilitation of respectful ethnic dialogue, promotion of cultural diversity values, increased opportunities for inter-ethnic cooperation in promotion of peace and tolerance and amplified inclusion of women and youth groups in the reconciliation process in Kosovo, KCR aspires to introduce genuine and sustainable changes in reconciliation dynamics in Kosovo. 

Purpose and objectives:

The KCR seeks to engage a high-level expert on Transitional Justice to draft a model for National Strategy on Transitional Justice. The expert shall coordinate the research done by the Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo and the KCR partners and use the research (qualitative and quantitative) in order to draft an accurate strategy on Transitional Justice.

The expert will have the full responsibility, in close cooperation with the programme coordinator of the KCR to:

–          Gather necessary and relevant data about the transitional justice process in Kosovo (and the region if necessary);

–          Conduct desk and field research, including conducting interview with relevant stakeholders;

–          Draft a short report concerning the transitional justice process in Kosovo from the end of the conflict in 1999 until today;

–          Study and compare strategies of different countries and assess the impact of these strategies in the process of TJ in those countries;

–          Analyze and extract experience of these countries by identifying relevant successes and shortcomings;

–          Draft proposal/model for a National Strategy of Transitional Justice for Kosovo

Qualifications and required profile:

The applicant will have a proven track record of:

–          Significant expert knowledge demonstrated through academic qualifications or the equivalent and substantial professional experience of Transitional Justice, Dealing with the past, International law, post conflict societies or/and peacebuilding; 

–          Excellent research, analytical and writing skills;

–          Strong analytical skills and demonstrated experience of conducting and managing research, including field research;

–          Proven experience of drafting research papers targeted at different audiences;

–          An extensive knowledge of Kosovo recent history and that of the ex-Yugoslavia countries;

–          Have a strong knowledge of strategies drafted by authorities of other post-conflict countries (e.g. South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina etc.) who have already drafted their national strategies on TJ and Dealing with the Past. 

How to apply:

Interested candidate should send the following documents to Office@HLC-Kosovo.org

–          Short description about the applicant and how you plan to approach the task (max 2 pages);

–          Example of previous work done in the field;

–          CV and cover letter.

Please find more on the Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation on the website www.kcr-ks.org  and on www.hlc-kosovo.org about Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo. If you have any questions you are welcome to address them to the Project Manager Kaltrina Shala on Kaltrina@hlc-kosovo.org.

Deadline for application is 9th of February 2022

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Kosovo Youth Through Art… of Reconciliation

Between early February and the end of March 2021, twenty young individuals aged from 13 to 22 years old and belonging to the Kosovo Albanian, Kosovo Roma and Kosovo Serb took part in the project activity Youth Check In, within the framework of the project Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation which is financed by the EU Office in Kosovo.

Many participants, across different communities of belonging, portrayed in their own creative way numerous issues – poverty and the environment above all – that still plague Kosovo society as a whole. This gives a hint about the sense of commonality and civic engagement that brings them together despite their community affiliation.

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Feminist Spring School 2021 – Second part

4-7 November, 2021.

“Young women building peace” is the motto under which took place the second part of the Feminist Spring School 2021, gathering 18 girls from Kosovo and Serbia from 4-7 November, 2021.

Given the stagnant situation of the dialogue process between Kosovo and Serbia, the recently created tensions between the two countries and the great impact that the situation plays on the daily life of the population of both countries, as well as the effect it all has in their interethnic relations, initiatives like Feminist Spring School undoubtedly play a key role in constructing a narrative without political distortions within the bigger picture of peace building among the citizens of Kosovo and Serbia.

The program of Feminist Spring School is created in such a way that it includes activist and feminist trainers and guests, from Kosovo and Serbia, who present their work to the participating girls. And this year’s program was no exception.

During the four days of our (informal) school / seminar that brought together young women from Kosovo and Serbia we tackled different topics, engaging participants in practical learning processes and exploring more about themselves, their feminist future and the peace building process.

From ‘law and feminism’ to ‘peace and activisms’ to ‘transitional justice and reconciliation’ to ‘women’s contribution in peace and security’ to ‘women’s movement since the 1990s’ to ‘women climbers breaking taboos’ to ‘women at the negotiating table in Kosovo’ were the topics that enriched the program of the second part of the Feminist Spring School 2021.

Well-known names of activists and institutions’ representatives including Nasrin Pourghazian, Ariana Qosaj Mustafa, Valdete Idrizi, Kaltrina Shala, Donika Emini, Igballe Rogova, Mrika Nikçi and Jovana Radosavljevic lectured on the aforementioned topics.

Creating a safe environment for participants to express themselves and enabling them to do it in their own respective language are among the core principles of the Feminist Spring School that of course came to the fore this year as well.

Below we will enumerate some short sentences of evaluation answers to the question “What’s the feeling you are concluding the Feminist Spring School with?”

“Inspired, empowered and loved.” – Valëza

“I am leaving this training highly motivated to work even harder for women and girls.” – Drenueta

“I am leaving with more knowledge about the importance of women’s history and I cannot wait to share this knowledge I have.”- Jelena C.

“If we ever forget how strong and knowledgeable, we are, or because of the circumstances in which we live we are sometimes discouraged, I think that trainings like these remind us of many things and give us courage to continue.”- Saranda


The project “Young Women Build Peace in Kosovo and Serbia” is implemented in cooperation with Artpolis – Art and Community Center and the “Alternativni centar za devojke” while supported by the European Union in Kosovo and Kvinna till Kvinna foundation.