Visit of the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria, Mr. Sebastian Kurz, visited Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje on 27th February 2014 in the context of the support of the Austrian Development Agency to the project “EDI – Integration of Kosovo minorities through education, dialogue and involvement in the municipal decision-making process”.
New EVS volounteers in BSFK
EVS, or European Voluntary Service, is the EU project that enables a young person (18–30 years) to become a volunteer in another country for between 2 to 12 months. The fields of service vary from environment, arts and culture, activities with children, young people or the elderly, heritage or sports to leisure activities. The project has to take place in a country other than the country of origin of volunteers. The basic condition is that it is non-profit-making and the volunteers remain unpaid. This year EVS has become incorporated into the new Erasmus+ .
BSFK Researches Kosovo Health System
Solidar Suisse, an international NGO long active in Kosovo, is supporting Civil Society Organizations in developing research and advocacy positions to influence outcomes and applications of Kosovo’s projected national health insurance. National health insurance is provided for in the recently enacted Health law, but the path to implement it will be challenging indeed. With a very challenged economy and a very high birthrate, Kosovo health institutions are working hard to catch up after many years of isolation and under-funding, high unemployment, low average income. Designing a system that will guarantee universal access and lift the general level of health care is a daunting challenge.
What human right is more important than the right to life? What says more about the success of a so-ciety?
Kosovo, among the poorest countries of Europe, if not the poorest, ranks well behind. As of the 2011 census, Kosovo projected a 70.75 year life expectancy compared to, for example, Sweden at 81.8. New studies show that Kosovo is progressing.
BSFK YouTube Channel already active
Balkan Sunflowers Kosova set up a new YouTube channel in February. There you can find a number of documentaries and films promoted by Balkan Sunflowers from all BSFK’s activities. It means since 1999! We have already uploaded 49 videos and for sure more will come soon.
PRECEDE Action Research Workshops
“Action Research” as a method of organized problem solving, was first developed by Kurt Lewin at MIT in 1944, and further developed in many different environments including business but particularly in settings valuing participatory democratic social change. In education this includes moving from a teacher-centered environment to a community model, and in the classroom to participation of colleagues, children, etc. Research becomes part of a change process, whereas in a traditional setting research and resulting action are more separate processes.
We’re always looking toward the future but as we are very proud of the work done in the Learning Centers last year, let’s take a look back at 2013!
Former Volunteer Authors Book About Iran Experience
A Sliver of Light A Sliver of Light is a new book by Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal, and Sarah Shourd describing the situation that led to their captivity in Iran’s Evin Prison - for 14 months for Sarah and almost 26 months for Shane and Joshua. Shane, who is a freelance journalist and photojournalist, was a Balkan Sunflowers volunteer in 2001.
When I came to Kosovo over a year ago, I didn’t have any expectations. I came here with an open mind to meet new people, to learn about a new culture and to explore a truly newborn country. I started my Kosovo-life together with Balkan Sunflowers and moved to Gracanica.My mission was to work as a volunteer to help the kids there to manage their homework and increase their interest to stay in school. Furthermore, I could even say that my mission was to be their assistant; they are the reason why we exist.