This week, I was able to visit the office of the Blind Women’s Committee of Kosovo, here in Pristina. The timing was essential, as in a few more weeks they will no longer have an office for anyone to visit.
The Blind Women’s Committee of Kosovo has existed since 1948. Its mission is to advocate for the emancipation of blind women in Kosovo and their full integration into Kosovar society. It is one that the Blind Women’s Committee is dedicated to, even in the face of war. Forced out of their office during the conflict, the members of the Blind Women’s Committee carried out their work from private homes, never wavering in their commitment.
Now, the Blind Women’s Committee faces an equally devastating challenge – a lack of funding.
The Blind Women’s Committee’s office is bare, with just one room and a long table with chairs. There is just one computer in the whole office, a donation from the Kosovo Women’s Network. Staff members come to the office every day, even though they currently have no project to work on. But that will not continue for much longer, as the rent is only paid for until the end of July.
The few projects the Blind Women’s Committee has implemented, including blind training (such as mobility training and teaching Braille) have been very successful. So why can’t they find donors? They have even repeatedly requested support from the government of Kosovo without receiving even one reply.
Watch the video below to hear Bajramshahe Jetullahu, the Executive Director of the Blind Women’s Committee of Kosovo, speak about possible reasons behind this lack of funding.
And what will Bajramshahe do when she can no longer go to her office and work? She will position her table in front of government buildings in Pristina and work from there! She will not abandon her mission to protect the rights of blind women in Kosovo.
Posted By Tiffany Ommundsen
Posted Jul 16th, 2009