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Get a Kosovan Kid to School

by The Ideas Partnership
Get a Kosovan Kid to School
Get a Kosovan Kid to School
Get a Kosovan Kid to School
Get a Kosovan Kid to School
Rrahim in front of his house
Rrahim in front of his house

Rrahim was sleeping when we paid a visit to his family in one early sunny morning in May. As we and his mother, Nurije, were talking, Rrahim woke up and said hello to us blushing.

Rrahim is 7 years old. He is the son of an 8-member family living in Fushe Kosove in a difficult economic situation. He lives in a 3-bedroom house with his mother, three sisters, and three brothers. His father passed away six months ago after losing the battle with cancer. Their only income is the social assistance given by the municipality – a small amount of money that doesn’t cover school expenses for all the children.

The Ideas Partnership, thanks to your generous donations, has for some years now been providing this family with school materials, books, bags so the children do not abandon school.

TIP also provides transport from home to school for all children of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Fushe Kosove who cannot afford to pay the bus to go to school during winter. Your donations make it possible for many children like Rrahim to attend school regularly and continue their education.

 “I really like going to school. I have lots of friends there and we learn so many new things. My favorite part is when the teacher asks me to read out loud in front of everyone. I love reading”, says Rrahim.

His mother, Nurije, explains that Rrahim always looks forward to attending TIP’s Saturday Learning Activities where he gets to meet with his friends regularly and learn all together. Last week, they colored pages with different animals and figures in it.

In his free time, Rrahim likes to play football with his friends.

“My favorite football player is Ronaldo. He is very fast and scores lots of goals”, says Rrahim.

“I would like to be like him one day. I don’t have a football yet, but when I do, I will practice very hard and maybe one day I will play like him”.

He gladly approves my request of taking his picture. Maybe next time I’ll see him, he’ll be as successful as his favorite football player. Between now and then, he only needs a football.

Hysni, Ramadan and his son, Ahmet
Hysni, Ramadan and his son, Ahmet

   “The Ideas Partnership (TIP) really helped us in the very beginning, as we were settling in. To register the kids at school, we had to get ourselves to the ministry for paperwork every two, three days. It was them that finally helped us sort this whole mess out. They were asking for grades and transcripts and getting everything signed and stamped and nostrified, which would cost us a fortune. The Ideas Partnership helped us through it all: the documents, finances, problems. God reward them. They also gave us pencils and notebooks, bags, and shoes, and set the kids on way to school. One of our smaller ones is in kindergarten at TIP.”

I smiled. “And how many years has it been since then,” I asked.

“Oh, just been a few months.”

I was shocked. I was convinced that Ramadan and Hysni, who works for The Ideas Partnership, had known each other for years. Ramadan's family was so deeply involved with TIP, that I was not expecting to hear that they’d only been in Fushe Kosove since October. "10th of the 10th of 2018," to quote the exact witty chiming in of his child.

Ramadan, with his warm smile, who welcomed us into his small grocery store/coffee house, quickly brought along his son, Ahmet, who was the self-proclaimed "best footballer in the neighborhood." His dad attested to his success when they had been in Frechen, Germany, up until a few months ago.

He spoke of Germany like it was heaven. "Everyone is the same there" he would repeat. "The respect, the education...everything. No difference."

"Elizabeth even visited us there once." Elizabeth, the co-founder of TIP.

“Now we can’t even afford the participation fee in the football club,” he complained.

Hysni immediately set his mind to work and said he would look into it. In another instance, during the conversation, as Ramadan was speaking about how this small store is the sole financial support for 21 family members, Hysni politely asked to interrupt and used the opportunity to let Ramadan know that they had a new wave of clothes donations at the office. He suggested that the family could drop by later and see what they need.

Looking at Hysni like a big brother figure, Ahmet ran outside after we left, to ask if perhaps any of the donations included shoes. He pointed down to his sneakers that had ripped fully open and stuck to the mud.

"Hopefully," said Hysni, eyebrows knitted in worry, "Do come by later."

Naxhie at our center in Fushe Kosove
Naxhie at our center in Fushe Kosove

   Meet Naxhie. She is 16 years old and lives near The Ideas Partnership center in Fushe Kosove.
When she was 10 years old, her family moved back to Kosovo from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moving back to Kosovo was very difficult for Naxhie’s family, especially for her parents, since their economic situation was bad and they weren’t able to provide for their children. Their situation got even more difficult when Naxhie’s father died. They turned to The Ideas Partnership for help. Our staff in Fushe Kosove made sure to give Naxhie’s family a warm welcome and due to your generous donations, we were able to support Naxhie and other children of the family to go to school. Thanks to our mediators’ efforts, we were able to register Naxhie to the 5th grade in one of the primary schools in Fushe Kosove.

Since then, Naxhie has been an excellent student and has continued her education with a great enthusiasm. This year she has started the first grade in the Fushe Kosove high school that prepares students to major in economics. On Saturday afternoons, she attends the Young Teachers activity in our center, a scheme that aims at preparing 15 teenagers to become the first teachers in their communities in the future. Naxhie is also a part of our Girls Club that gathers around 50 girls from different communities in Fushe Kosove to teach them about the importance of education and tackle the early marriages phenomena. She tells us that being a part of the Girls Club helps her a lot in everyday life but also for her plans in the future.
Apart from attending school and extracurricular activities in our center, she also does volunteer work in her community by helping little kids with their homework.

Naxhie is very thankful that The Ideas Partnership helped her get back to school and sends the warmest greetings to all of you who have helped her continue her education. Thanks to your donations, we support Naxhie’s education with school materials and encourage her to become an educated and independent woman. She is grateful that her dreams are coming true.

Your donations are shaping a young woman’s future!
Thank you!

Siblings, Elham and Elhame
Siblings, Elham and Elhame

   The children in this story are called Elham and Elhame. They are the light itself – the biggest hope that things will get better in the future in the communities they live in. It is so inspirational to meet children like them: polite, responsible and well-behaved. They are very proud of their school results, as are their parents.

 Not everyone likes all subjects taught at school but for Elhame, 11, school is the most favorite place in the world. Her favorite subject is Art. She would like to be a painter when she grows up, following the inspirational Sylejman, a talented painter in the neighborhood. Elham, 11, on the other hand, loves Math. This year he started learning about fractions, which he found quite easy. He likes learning new things in school and then passing that knowledge to his friends and family.

 Both of them appreciate their teachers and volunteer-teachers at The Ideas Partnership center in Fushe Kosove. They have been attending TIP’s extra-curricular activities for a few years now, appreciating the opportunity to meet new friends and be a part of different activities each week.

 Elhame and Elham are both eager to make changes in the community they live in, starting from the environment protection and raising awareness among their friends about its importance. They are thankful to have the opportunity to start doing these changes as a part of a bigger community at The Ideas Partnership where people work together to improve things that matter most.

 Thanks to your donations, Elham and Elhame will be able to further attend school and TIP’s activities and become those people in the future who work for the betterment of the community they live in.

Nerxhivane and her cousin, Albiona
Nerxhivane and her cousin, Albiona

  On a scorching April day, we met and chatted to Nerxhivane, a young girl who has lived here in Fushe Kosove with her family her entire life. Straight away it was clear to see her intelligence and a sense of confidence in the way that she eagerly wrote down her name on to a piece of paper. “I am 9 years old and I have 4 brothers and 3 sisters.” It was evident that Nerxhivane felt a lot of pride being able to speak English, her second language, at such a young age and was excited to tell us more about her life.

 When speaking to Nerxhivane’s mother and many of the poorest families in Fushe Kosove, the issues they talk about are consistent throughout. They describe the poor sanitation of the community, the lack of employment and the poor state of the economy.

 However, they are very excited and grateful for the opportunities their children have been given through the work of The Ideas Partnership. Nerxhivane goes to every Saturday activity at the Ideas Partnership centre without fail, insisting she doesn’t have a favourite subject and loves each one. These include lessons in Maths, Albanian grammar, English language, but also the ‘Girls club.’ A club that allows the young girls of Fushe Kosove to be educated around wider issues such as hygiene, sexual health, and early marriage – some of the major problems affecting the community. Every one of these subjects gives the girls the knowledge and tools they will need to make the best decisions in their future lives. After asking Nerxhivane what she would like to do when she’s older, she replied that she’s determined to be a policewoman. This is met by cheers and applause by multiple family members who clearly show a sense of pride from her high aspirations. There’s a sense that Nerxhivane’s ambition to be a policewoman in the future, wanting to help the people of Kosovo, likely stems from her time at The Ideas Partnership. Girls like Nerxhivane who have been aided by The Ideas Partnership have such high standards for the future and such confidence in their present lives.

 These families cannot thank you enough for your continued support, this is the difference your donations are making to the lives of children in Kosovo. Inspiring young children to have high ambitions, like being in the police force and knowing that with your support and the help of The Ideas Partnership this can be a realistic goal.

Volunteers with Nerxhivane and Albiona
Volunteers with Nerxhivane and Albiona
 

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Organization Information

The Ideas Partnership

Location: Prishtina - Kosovo
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @kosovarngo
Project Leader:
elizabeth gowing
Prishtina, Kosovo
$19,351 raised of $22,649 goal
 
505 donations
$3,298 to go
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