Kosovo Youth Dialogue Activity

KOSOVO YOUTH DIALOGUE ACTIVITY
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USAID

Kosovo Youth Dialogue Activity aims to empower young people from all communities in Kosovo.  Specifically, the activity focuses on the active participation of Kosovo-Albanian and Kosovo-Serb youth in dealing with the past and reconciliation processes by encouraging inter-ethnic communication, interaction, and cooperation; addressing common interests; building confidence; and promoting mutual understanding and positive attitudes.  Through increased dialogue, the Kosovo Youth Dialogue Activity intends to come up with better ways of dealing with the past, challenge nationalist propaganda, and increase social resilience, so past conflicts are never repeated.  The activity will achieve this through: 

STRENGTHENED CAPACITIES AND COOPERATION BETWEEN GRASSROOTS NGOS

The activity will focus on NGOs that work with different ethnic groups in Kosovo and are interested in dealing with the past and transitional justice.  Currently, few organizations have capacities to undertake proper programs in these fields.  Therefore, we aim to increase the capacities of NGOs, particularly at the local level, through capacity-building activities to become more active and contribute to the reconciliation process in Kosovo.  Furthermore, the activity will financially support local initiatives and NGOs that work with different ethnic groups in Kosovo, simultaneously supporting the reconciliation process in Kosovo.  The activity's small grants scheme will accomplish this. 

INCREASED COMMUNICATION AND COOPERATION BETWEEN YOUNG PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS IN KOSOVO

Kosovo Youth Dialogue Activity will increase communication and cooperation between young people, in particular Kosovo-Albanians and Kosovo-Serbs, by breaking stereotypes and challenging dominant narratives of the past through multi-ethnic youth exchanges, multi-ethnic arts workshops, fellowships, and exhibitions that enable them to learn and exchange with each other.  The activity will also engage young people and the general public in street actions that tackle issues of dealing with the past in Kosovo.  This will increase the cooperation between young people from different ethnic backgrounds in actions for common causes, such as the issue of missing persons from the last war in Kosovo. 

ENHANCED COLLECTIVE MEMORY ABOUT THE RECENT WAR IN KOSOVO

Building a multi-perspective collective memory is one of the most important aspects of the Kosovo Youth Dialogue Activity.  Exclusive ethno-nationalist narratives dominate Kosovo’s recent wartime history, with very little importance given to the unarmed resistance during the war and the personal experiences of most women, children, and non-Albanian Kosovo citizens.  Collective memory in Kosovo still fails to remember survivors of sexual violence, missing people, stories of children, and other civilian experiences.  Thus, the activity will develop a critical and inclusive approach toward different narratives about the recent past through research and documentation of wartime experiences and stories.  Furthermore, it will establish the War Childhood Museum in Pristina (based on the idea of the Childhood Museum in Sarajevo) in order to present the experiences of children during the war in Kosovo.  The activity will accomplish this through public talks and a childhood memories book and video.  Additionally, the activity will incite public discussion about the dominant political and ethno-nationalist narratives of the recent war in Kosovo through promotion of grassroots dealing with the past initiatives of young people.

EXPECTED PROGRESS TOWARD SELF-RELIANCE

●            Grassroots NGOs working with different ethnic communities improved and increased their capacities to cooperate and actively contribute in the processes of dealing with the past and reconciliation in Kosovo;

●            Improved relations between young people from Kosovo-Albanian and Kosovo-Serbs contributed toward creating long-lasting peace and prosperity in Kosovo; 

●            Young people from different communities became proactive agents in promoting a constructive and victim-centered approach in dealing with the past processes in Kosovo;

●            Increased awareness among the general public in Kosovo about the importance of reconciliation and dealing with the past;

●            Collective memory about the recent war in Kosovo enhanced through inclusive and multi-perspective research, documentation, and memorialization.
 

Project Duration:         December 2, 2019 – June 2, 2022

Partner:                            Youth Initiative for Human Rights - Kosovo (YIHR KS)

Contact:                            Albana Kusari

 

Last updated: September 17, 2020

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