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.”

The War and the Road

20 Jun

I’m back in Prizren, home of the best “qebops” in Kosova. I had a long chat with my boss, Igo, on the road here. We passed by a torn structure that she explained was a former Serb, and then KFOR, checkpoint. She explained that by 1998 there were checkpoints everywhere along the road, and many roads were closed off as they led to areas that were under siege because of KLA activities. Meanwhile, people in these areas suffered shortages of everything, including medicines. More than once, Igo risked getting stopped while carrying medicines to Prizren and surrounding towns… This activity was prohibited, as Serb soldiers believed these provisions were for KLA fighters.

On a more positive note, the road is beautiful and pleasant with much fewer checkpoints. It is somewhat dangerous with only two lanes and drivers inspired by speed. The downside to fewer checkpoints is that drivers tend to speed more, and there are many more accidents. A piece of interesting trivia for women out there: last week, while reporting on accidents on the roads of Kosova, the police cautioned drivers to slow down and encouraged them to drive like women…women rarely cause accidents here. Good job.

Posted By Claudia Zambra (Kosovo)

Posted Jun 20th, 2003

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