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
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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Hooray, we got new bags and notebooks
Hooray, we got new bags and notebooks

School is the place for sowing the love of learning, teaching, and life. When the school doors opened and the bell started to ring, the feelings of joy, laughter, and excitement were sparkling everywhere.

Thanks to your donations, we were able to distribute new bags and school supplies to 350 children who are attending activities in our four centers (Fushë Kosovë, Janjevë, Obiliq, and Graçanica). ''Look, I have a new bag, notebook, and a pencil'' I heard a voice coming from a cute little boy. It was one of the best feelings to see them happy and being surrounded by their love.

We're grateful, to have all of you donors part of the education journey of these children. It is your generosity that it's creating opportunities where these children can go to school. It is every child's right to go to school and be educated. As long as there are people with big hearts like you, we can bring children out of darkness and put them into bright.

Just like Marian Wright Edelman once said: “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.“ So while we are here and we can, let's try to improve the lives of others and send a good message in the future.

Thank you, all of you donors for being the reason to keep these children in school and to see so many smiles on these children's faces.

 

With Love,

The Ideas Partnership :)

Distribution of school bags and school supplies
Distribution of school bags and school supplies
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Gjylizare and her son Muhamet
Gjylizare and her son Muhamet

The freshly white-washed walls of widow Gjylizare’s home enclose a small yard where chickens scratch and red roses grow. It is a place of retreat from the tightly packed alleyways of the Roma enclave of Fushe Kosove and a source of pride for her and her sons. Muhamet, her youngest son of fifteen years, explains how the Get a Kosovan Kid to School project provides extra lessons and a reading club to assist him in getting back into elementary school. He has obvious abilities in languages, speaking both Albanian and Turkish, but did not pass his exams. However, “He is smart!” his mother says with a smile; and he proves it by switching to English to tell us that learning German and English were his biggest challenges.

Muhamet’s older brothers work intermittently in construction or in any other labor they can get their hands on. He has no definite ambitions himself, other than the popular but precarious route of making music for a living. As well as facilitating extra classes the Get a Kosovan Kid to School project provides the community with basic school materials and a library – the raw resources for opening up educational opportunities now and employment options later.

During our visit with the Gjylizare’s family an incapacitated older son and his young daughter join us on an old sofa in the yard. Ermine is a bright shy girl of twelve years; the project’s activities support her educational engagement in a culture where there is often pressure to marry at a very young age. However, her aspirations are more certain than her cousin Muhamet’s: she wants to be a teacher and enjoys learning Albanian.

Besides any income from her working son’s insecure subsistence efforts Gjylizare stretches a benefit payment of ninety euros per month as far as she can. Unforeseen scenarios, such as ill health, can be financially debilitating. Although the extended family always rallies to help out the chances of successfully stabilizing their future livelihood is increased if Muhamet can reengage with school and Ermine can fulfill her aspiration to become a teacher.

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It was a rainy day when I was going to Fushe Kosova to meet this wonderful and such a kind girl. Her name is Egzona and she is ten years old. She is living with her parents, her brother and three sisters. For her, living with them it was taught to share joy, happiness, and sadness. Even on that rainy day, Egzona was full of light and had a bright smile that made my day by telling me about her dream.

She said, "I have a dream... to be a teacher in my future because I want to impact the community that I live in, just as my teacher is doing with all of us, to spread knowledge with the others".

Her favorite subject in school is Math. She loves to play with numbers but no just math she also loves books, football and learning other languages like English, German and Turkish.

In her eyes, I could see the excitement when she talks about school, books and family. Oprah Winfrey once said: "Education is the key to unlocking the world and a passport to freedom". She figured it out. Just like a butterfly, she is trying to represent change, hope, life, and endurance.

I admire her joyful, optimism, and kind nature of being a child. While we were talking and discussing together, she was holding in her hand her favorite book and she said to me that one day when I grow up, I'm going to make proud my parents, I'll help the others to study just like the others did for me.

And I know she will, I believe that she will achieve a lot of things because she is such a hardworking girl and I hope that all the doors of success will be open to her because she deserves it.

Without your support, none of this would have been done. Thanks to your support, children like Egzona can go to school and dream about a brighter future.

Together along this way, we can build a better life for these children.

A warming thanks to all of you donors and your generous hearts.

 

Gratefully,

The Ideas Partnership

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Even though there's so much physical distance between the sun and Elmedina, they manage to have a very special friendship and even share things in common: they rise and wake up at the same time and they never fail to shine!

Elmedina loves her school so much. She barely sleeps from the excitement to go to school the next day. The moment the sun shines, she immediately wakes up and goes outside to say hi to the sun, her best friend. Right after that, she jumps into the living room and starts reading and preparing herself to go to school. “I love school extraordinarily. I learn many things there and spend time with my friends”-Elmedina says while showing us her homework proudly and excitingly. 

She is so full of life. Her favorite subject is mathematics and she seems to have calculated the plans for her future pretty well. As she explains, she is going to become a successful woman and take care of her big family of 8 members.

Being the sister of 2 other sisters and 3 brothers is fun for her, but she knows that it is also hard for her family to cover the expenses of all of them, as her parents are unemployed. Her father, Kemajl, is willing to work anything just to be able to help his kids get an education. Likewise, Elmedina’s mother, Aferdita, encourages her kids to go to school all the time. “I have never been to school and am ashamed that I don’t know how to write my name and surname”-Aferdita said while breastfeeding her baby.

Thanks to your help, we have been able to provide the needed school supplies for Elmedina and help her achieve her goals and accomplish her plans for the future.

Even though, this bright young girl continues to lack some school materials she is committed to her school work and thankful to the people who support her studies so she can continue studying and dreaming for a prosperous future ahead.

Thank you for helping and providing Elmedina with the opportunity to use her potential for a better future! 

Gratefully,
The Ideas Partnership

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Organization Information

The Ideas Partnership

Location: Prishtina - Kosovo
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @kosovarngo
Project Leader:
elizabeth gowing
Prishtina, Kosovo
$46,739 raised of $49,000 goal
 
920 donations
$2,261 to go
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