Claudia Zambra (Kosovo)

Claudia Zambra (Kosova Women’s Network – KWN): Claudia was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Swarthmore College, where she focused on development in Latin America and the Balkans. After graduating, Claudia worked for the Law Offices of Bagia and Morley in Philadelphia, preparing asylum cases. In 2002, As part of a summer job, Claudia helped to produce a website for Globovision, the largest news channel in Latin America. At the time of her fellowship, Claudia was pursuing a Master of Science in Foreign Service at Georgetown University. After her fellowship, Claudia herself concluded that she had only partly achieved her objective: “The website was updated and new material was posted. I was also able to redesign some parts of the website and tailor it more to the needs of the organization, plus I attempted to make it more dynamic by adding a highlights section and making an actual home page for the website. However, only about half of the organizations were profiled. The biggest problem was gathering the information. Most members of the organization do not speak English well enough to sit through an interview. I was dependent on my trainee for translation, but she was frequently absent.” This suggested to Claudia that while the idea of a network is appealing, it can take a lot of hard work, skill and resources to coordinate a diverse group of organizations. Her recommendation? “The network needs to have at least one staff member to take care of the website, coordinate activities and meetings, act as translator if necessary, and serve as a contact person for the KWN. Another Advocacy Project intern could help train this staff member in all necessary areas, including website maintenance.”



Arrival

12 Jun

Finally set foot in Pristina this afternoon. One would think they were rebuilding a city entirely from scratch…the roads leading to the city are lined with construction materials…modest brick houses often appear, mostly unfinished. I can’t understand the signs, but that short ride was enough for me to know that coffee is a staple of the land…I am very pleased. After trying one at an adorable, new cafe outside the city I was even more pleased. There I met some of the board members of the KWN…loud, smiling, laughing women mixing a little business and pleasure.

As for the city, satellite dishes dot every house and building. Something about it reminds me of Latin America…the little stores lined with paper flyers, dusty streets, bumpy roads, dilapidated buildings next to newer ones, many in the process of construction. Everyone is out and about, walking the streets…evidence of the appalling unemployment (60%) that still plagues Kosovo.

UN cars block streets and crowd the sidewalks. There is definitely some tension in their relationship to the local people. There are marked differences between their living quarters and everyone else’s. Their modern looking apartment buildings stand out in a city that seems frozen in the communist period…the Cuba of Eastern Europe. Even so, people seem good natured, friendly and optimistic.

Posted By Claudia Zambra (Kosovo)

Posted Jun 12th, 2003

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