Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering

by The Kosovar Organization for Talent and Education TOKA
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Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Support 500 Kosovo Youth Learn by Volunteering
Manifesta workshop with Petrit Halilaj
Manifesta workshop with Petrit Halilaj

Dear friends,

This year marks the 5th year of our Volunteer Clubs (Service Learning Clubs) and we couldn’t find a better way to celebrate this 5th generation: Close to 500 NEW volunteers will start their journeys in 28 NEW volunteer clubs, in 12 cities across the country. These new volunteers will be part of volunteer clubs, where they will learn new skills that will enable them to deliver a community project - benefiting many.

What’s more important is that 12 volunteer Clubs from last year, decided to continue into their 2nd year, even after they officially completed their program! This long-term volunteering is what we wanted to achieve, and it is slowly happening.

Amazing fact:

Out of all volunteer Clubs, there are 2 which are active for MORE than 5 YEARS! 13 other Clubs are active for more than 2 years (the regular Club program is for 1 year).

Featured Community Project:

Youth volunteers install a new water-reservoir for their school. During the second and third week of November, one of the winners of the “Youth Activism Competition” from Hani i Elezit and was financially backed with 100 EUR by their municipality, managed to work as a team, fundraise, and install a water reservoir for their school - at the SHFMU “Kështjella e Diturisë”. Starting from next spring season, the new reservoir – with its irrigation-system – will water 1,000 square meters of grass, plants, and flowers in the school’s yard.

More good news:

Youth are to be part of the international Solidarity Action Day. More than 40 youth volunteers are working on setting up the 1st edition of the Solidarity Action Day, an event originating from Sweden, that happens across Europe and Region, where youngsters work for a day and dedicate the salaries from that day to an organization they choose. They will recruit more than 500 volunteers and The event is organized in conjunction with the network of organizations from The Solidarity Action Day Movement in Europe (SAME).

The volunteers worked on two art installations for Manifesta 14 Prishtina Biennal. “When the sun goes away, we paint the sky” commissioned by Manifesta 14 Prishtina and led by the world-renown artist - Petrit Halilaj and with artists on the "Golden soundtrack" project.

Learning-by-doing, or our Service Learning program, is being integrated into the syllabus of the Faculty of Education. New teachers are being trained on ways to introduce the combination of volunteering and learning to their classes when they actually start teaching. What’s important here is that the method that we use for our after-school activities, is being integrated and will be part of official school curricula - meaning that more children will be exposed to the learning-by-doing methods.

Youth volunteers become Volunteer Club and Junior Camp Leaders. In our call for the 5th generation of Club Leaders and Junior Camp Leaders, we’ve had many applications from existing youth volunteers willing to take these roles. This shows that the volunteer youth, through various educational programs that we offer, are acquiring new sets of skills that make them capable of taking more advanced roles.

Learning youth-exchanges proved to be beneficial for our volunteers, as 13 of them that were in an exchange in Romania, managed to engage 88 NEW volunteers to work on community projects. This shows that exchange-programs serve as a good learning experience that can be put to good use by our volunteer youth.

Three community projects made it to the final of the Regional Service Learning Award. In the event that recognizes volunteer community projects from the region, we’re happy to see that three community projects from Kosova were shortlisted as finalists in the event. It is great to see that community projects from our youth volunteers keep getting international recognition and praise.

There is so much more that we would like to share, but you can always follow us on our newly-designed website, or Instagram, Facebook, and now on TikTok as well!

We’re so proud of how the volunteers are learning and using that knowledge to make our society a better one for all.

Until next time, I wish you good health to you and your loved ones. 
Thank you for trusting us.

Sincerely,
Jehona

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Service Learning Club Leaders
Service Learning Club Leaders

Dear friends,

Our Super-Volunteers have been quite busy this time of year - and we're super proud of them! Close to 300 of them, from 15 municipalities, completed more than 30 Community Projects, benefiting more than 5,000 people in those communities. With all this fantastic work from SL Clubs Leaders and youth, we can conclude that it was a successful season. These Community projects included:

- Raising awareness among youth for social issues such as religious tolerance, mental health, barriers that people with disabilities face in everyday life, and sexual education,
- Improving their schools’ facilities such as building a toy park, building two outdoor classes, building seats for the schools’ yard, cleaning the yard or parts near the schools, planting flowers or trees, fixing the water system, placing waste baskets, coloring seats and walls, and buying sports equipment for the sports hall,
- Helping vulnerable groups by preparing gifts for 46 children from “SOS Fshatrat e Fëmijëve,” sending packages of food and hygiene items to The Center for Children in Street Conditions, collecting obsolete clothes from some schools to send to the children in need, preparing gifts, collecting toys and clothes for children with cancer who are hospitalized in Prishtina.

In addition, here's a few highlights that we would like to share with you:

- We has been awarded with the Quality Label as a Receiving and Supporting Organisation within the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) - Europe's largest Volunteer network. This means that we will now be able to host volunteers from other European organizations and send our members to other European organizations on volunteering projects.

- Launched the Annual Open Call (recruitment campaign) for new SL Club Leaders – Generation 5, where we accepted 272 applications, from which 142 were teachers and 131 mentors - an incredible number, considering that this is the 5th year!

- On Earth Day, two Super-Volunteers, Edolind Topalli from the Club in Kacanik and Elma Preniqi, from the Club in Obiliq, addressed the audience during the official, where the Prime Minister, high-ranking government officials and from the International community were included.

- We are now part of the official Commission that will choose Directors and Vice Directors in the Municipality of Prishtina.

- Arranged and sent Youth Mentors to a training in Orvieto, Italy organised by the ARTEMIDE Association in Italy. On this training, they gained skills on the theatre of the oppressed, non-formal use of art and theatre and conflict resolution.

These are just some of the incredible activities our Super-Volunteers were involved with. We are tremendously happy with their growth, their leadership, but most importantly, how much they care about their communities and their willingness to improve them.

Your support continues to inspire more and more super-volunteers to get involved in their communities and to provide a strong backbone to our existing volunteers and their projects.

Thank you for your support.

Best regards,
Jehona

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Dear friends,

This new Year brings new hope, and with the COVID-19 restrictions slowly subsiding, our volunteers have stepped up their activities even more - and they're super excited about it! A total of 30 SL Clubs continued their meetings after winter break, including Clubs from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Generation and the new 4th Generation of super-volunteers. Our efforts continue to be focused on supporting them in every step of the way, as they progress towards implementing their community-based projects.

Here are a few of many works done by our super-volunteers, which you so generously continue to support:

Super-Volunteers kicked-off the new Year with new community-based projects. This time round, they were focused on specific themes, which they identified during their community meetings and research they conducted as part of the preparations for the project. Here are a few projects they implemeneted:

- Building a wind power to be used at Loyola Gymnasium Campus;
- Building an open mini-library which was placed in the center of Podujeve,
- Facilitating all-day non-formal activities with children from the RAE (Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian) community in Janjeve,
- Painting a mural on the school “Sylejman Vokshi” in Gjakove,
- Supporting women on the occassion of the International Woman day in Prizren with three sub-projects: (1) Participating in the protest-march for international women’s day; (2) Buying products from a self-sufficient mother, (3) Sending those products to the women with cancer to support them emotionally during this challenging time that they are passing.

Two volunteer Clubs (Prishtine and Gjilan) had fundraisers for their projects. The Volunteer Club from Prishtina organized a concert at "Termokiss" (a cultural venue) and managed to raise 250 euros for their project on Mental health. The SL Club from Gjilan sold home-cooked food in the city’s main square and raised close to 500 EUR to add to their project budget.

Our activities attracted the attention of local and national media outlets, who featured volunteers on their shows, magnifying the message of volunteering to an even larger audience.

This new year shows signs that it will be a year to remember - and we are really excited to see our super-volunteers really progress with their work. After a turbulent period as a result of the pandemic, they are ready to rock again!

Your support continues to inspire more and more super-volunteers to get involved in their communities and to provide a strong backbone to our existing volunteers and their projects.

Let's make this year our year.

Warm regards,
Jehona

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Dear friends,

As we reflect on another strange and tiring year, we could not be more proud with what our Youth-led Clubs managed to achieve. They held on together through tough times and marched forward with their projects for the benefit of their community.

Here are a few noteworthy developments:

Volunteer-based Community projects bloomed. 41 community projects in 11 municipalities were completed! The volunteers at the Clubs gathered, discussed, and then implemented at least one Community project - fixing benches in their school yard, cleaning the river beds near their houses, raising awareness on mental health in their schools, assisting in their town’s community centers or anything else.

Prepared the youth for the labour market. We’ve successfully joined a multi-module, regional program that will offer free digital-skill and career development courses to 56 highly-motivated youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds. The 6-month program includes courses on web development and social media management, career counseling, training in neighboring countries, and the opportunity to work for leading regional companies.

Learned and laughed at Summer Camps. The shakes, laughs and sounds finally returned to Gërmia Park Campsite as our Super Volunteers and Leaders roamed through soft-skill building activities. During this time, they learned how to collaborate, lead, develop and manage projects -while having an incredible time together. After the sunset, these Super Volunteers and Leaders headed out to start making a long-lasting impact in their communities.

Quick stats:

660 Super-Volunteers and Super-Active-Citizens working on their next community projects. If you see an improvement in your neighborhood, it is probably a result of their Super dedication!

1,400 Youth applications received for the 4th generation of Service Learning Clubs. In 2021 only we have established 33 new Service Learning Clubs in 14 municipalities.

I hope you had a safe and joyous New Year and that the new one brings happines to you and your loved ones.
We are thankful for your support and we could not have done it without you. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.

To a great year!

Warm regards,
Jehona

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Dear friends and supporters,

As we entered the new school year - the footprint of our Service Learning Clubs spread further accross Kosovo. 

I take particular pleasure in seeing the Youth-Led Clubs grow. These are Clubs founded by former Club participants, who have steped up to take a leadership role. When we contacted eligible youth participants to ask if they were interested in leading their Club - over 70% of them said yes! I could not be more proud of the confidence, skills and mindset we have helped develop in these youth - they are not just leader of the future, but of the present.

All this progress would be very hard to achieve without your support. Thank you!

Warm regards,

Jehona 

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Organization Information

The Kosovar Organization for Talent and Education TOKA

Location: Pristina - Kosovo
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @n/a
Project Leader:
Jehona Gjurgjeala
Pristina, Pristina Kosovo
$11,609 raised of $15,000 goal
 
111 donations
$3,391 to go
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