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
Children in activities in Janjevo
Children in activities in Janjevo

   What’s different about TIP is the joy, the welcome and a place at every table.  I’ve had the privilege of working and volunteering in many interesting situations. As a lifelong learner, I’m eager to know unique communities and learn from them the lessons and successes amidst great challenges. From the first moment I first emailed TIP telling them of my plans to be in Pristina for a week, they opened their hearts to me. The excellent volunteer coordinator, Elza , immediately responded to my questions and set up a ZOOM interview to talk more. Dates were set and an itinerary put in place.  

     I had the deep pleasure of volunteering in all three sites: Fushe Kosovo, Obiliq and Janjeva.
Fushe Kosovo offered mornings spent in a vibrant, Montessori based kindergarten class. With an excellent lead teacher and assistant, the children regaled us with songs, stories, art work and happy play. Elza also took me on two home visits to nearby Roma families who were receiving clothing and other needed supplies. Afterward, I was invited along to an awards ceremony at a coffee shop in Pristina. The TIP staff had completed a leadership training module and certificates were given out as well as wonderful coffee.  I was able to have a fine conversation with Robert  (and regretted not being able to meet Elizabeth). The TIP staff around the table included me in every conversation and explained their roles and tasks.

    Obiliq was a fascinating mix of three different school classes.  I met with a high school group of Roma leaders and heard their hopes and dreams as graduation approached. Next was a 7th year mathematics class (their favorite class, they said) with a talented teacher who shared that he is Ashkali, and urged students toward academic successes.  (Since they all said they liked numbers, I invited them to guess my age. Guesses varied from 46-75).  Last was the Special Education class, which TIP teachers help with twice a week. These children were deeply loved and cared for with an exceptional teacher. A visit by the principal was the “icing on the cake.” I don’t believe I’ve ever met a wiser, kinder person than she is.

    Janjevo was an extraordinary village, with kindergartners coming to school speaking Albanian, Croatian, Romany and Turkish.  The community center was busy with this class of little ones and a large art class for elementary students.  Industrious work, laughter and the wonder of creating a painting kept the students focused.  I did a walking tour of the village with a grade school teacher and spent time in a beautiful mosque and a very old Catholic church, said hello to several neighbors and noted three cafes serving strong Turkish coffee.  Janjevo was so interesting that I could have stayed for days!

     In all these towns, I was met with great warmth by TIP staff and volunteers, was easily included in all that was going on. Excellent TIP programs, well trained staff and the excitement of students and participants were a joy to be a small part of. I am delighted to support TIP and will return every chance I have. The work being done in these three communities is nourishing and life giving.

Children in activities in Obiliq
Children in activities in Obiliq
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Semra with kindergarten children
Semra with kindergarten children

Every Saturday in Fushe Kosove, in the Azure Learning Center, extracurricular activities are held with children from 1st to 6th grade. Thanks to you donors who donate every month, these children have the opportunity to go to school with all the necessary school equipment. as well as having a place where someone will help them with their homework, explain the tasks they don't understand, learn new things and have fun together through games and different activities.

Since the foundation of the organization, when this activity started, until now, we cannot count how many children have participated in this activity. The main factor for the longevity of this activity is you, dear donors, who have contributed to these children having a better future.

Taking into account that there are and have been so many participants, it is known that in addition to the many challenges, we also had success stories, the story that I will tell now is the stoty of Semra, a young girl from the Bosnian community who lives in Fushe Kosovo and has been participating in this activity, and later also in the activity of young teachers.

As soon as Semra finished primary school, she volunteered in the kindergarten and since the age of 16 she is the teacher's assistant in the kindergarten, as well as the beneficiary of the burssary from our organization since she is a student in the 3rd year to become an educator and then her contribution academic to give it to children in need in her neighborhood and beyond.

Semra is an example of one of the girls from the community who followed her dream and now, even though she is still young, she helps the community but is also independent.

We have other examples like Semra's and many others, so we thank you many donors who are giving these young men and women an opportunity for a better future.


We are forever grateful to you, donors.


With love,

The Ideas Partnership

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Children from 3rd grade with gifts
Children from 3rd grade with gifts

The end of the year is a period of joy for all of us, especially for children, because in this period of time gifts are exchanged with the people we love the most. But for the children of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities, this is difficult due to difficult economic conditions.

Due to their engagement in extracurricular activities and thanking to the donors who, through their donations, which we buy bags, school materials and everything else that children need for school, make it possible for children to have better quality education at school and in TIP's Azure Centre.

This year, the donors made sure to make the children happy at the end of the year with gifts for the New Year, but also to thank them for their commitment and participation in extracurricular activities, as well as to motivate them to continue to follow these activities, where apart from learning and doing their homework, they also have fun with various educational activities.

If you saw the joy on the faces of the children when they were receiving the gifts, you would understand how with so little you can make someone happy.

For Bajrush, this day was different than the others, because in addition to the new things he learned, he also received a gift. He said, "I am very happy today that I received a gift, because inside the gift there are toys that I can play together  with my sisters and brothers at my house".

While Besmirja, after opening the gift, said to her friend with a big smile on her face, "Look at the doll I have in a gift, every time I've seen it on television, I've wanted to have a doll like this just for myself ".


Also, during the month of December, Prishtina High School organized a challenge for students to collect clothes, shoes and other things and brought them to the center on the day of the event for the opening of the Azure center for all students who attend extracurricular activities.


Everyone was happy after receiving their gifts and other donations from Prishtina High School and we were very happy for them.


Donors, thank you for helping the children.


With love,


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Shpresa is a 13-year-old girl who, like too many others in the community where The Ideas Partnership works, dropped out of school. However, Shpresa then changed her mind. In most cases, there would be no going back, but with TIP's support, she has been able to enter an intensive programme which is getting her back to the standard she needs to be a to join her classmates,

Newly motivated, Shpresa is now also a regular volunteer at TIP, helping younger children with their learning at TIP's centre. These children, like Shpresa, have the chance to attend extra classes to boost their skills in English, maths and history, and receive books and schoolbags from TIP when school starts back this month.

Another child who's benefited from this was Niaz, who spoke to me with enthusiasm about how much he enjoys school. 'I get along well with everyone there,' he says as we talk at the centre in front of murals dotted with words like 'adventure', 'hope', and 'think'. Niaz is a regular participant of TIP’s reading club, where children read books in Albanian and English, and attends several other extra-curricular activities at the centre. 'The teachers at TIP have helped me understand concepts I'd struggled with in school, and taught me how to be friendlier as well,' he says. 'My relationship with the TIP teachers is great because they can find the balance between work and play.'

From meeting Shpresa and Niaz I see how TIP is essential in both facilitating access, and inspiring children to stay in school. Among the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities, the rates of children dropping out are appalling and TIP helps to protect the fundamental human right to education for these children. As the mural reminds us, these activities offer adventure and they offer hope,

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Street to TIP centre
Street to TIP centre

We did not know what to expect when we set out from our home in Riga, Latvia. In our car we packed our bags and boxes with donations we had collected from friends, family and businesses in the previous weeks. We drove the two-thousand-kilometer journey to discover that Kosovo was a country of friends.

We volunteered with The Ideas Partnership at the Fushe Kosova district and we could not have felt more welcomed, both by the organization and the community.

The warmth with which we were treated was earnest and authentic. Clearly, we had made the right choice coming to work alongside the lovely people of a community in need of support.It was while distributing the donations that we met the Hatixhe and Isa's family.They welcomed us into their tidy home and we asked about their children and their education.Two of their boys, Florim and Muhamer—13- and 7-years-old, respectively—were not going to school.

Florim had had a traumatic experience with a teacher who had wacked him on the head with a book. The school apparently did not take the situation seriously enough and a deflated Florim had stopped going to classes.

Muhamer should have started his school year, but was afraid to attend after hearing what had occurred to his older brother.

This difficult situation seemingly had no good outcome. Without education, how could the boys hope for a better future?

With TIP’s help we devised a strategy to support the boys’ education remotely and to follow their development.

We had frank and respectful conversations with their parents and agreed that education would be the only path towards a better future for the two boys, their family, and their community.

Today, we feel that our brief period in Kosovo has created an invisible but robust bridge between us and the Fushe Kosova community and the people at TIP.

And we hope that much support, joy, and collaboration will run through this bridge for a long time to come.

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Organization Information

The Ideas Partnership

Location: Prishtina - Kosovo
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @kosovarngo
Project Leader:
elizabeth gowing
Prishtina , Kosovo
$52,000 raised of $54,000 goal
1,121 donations
$2,000 to go
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