Recently, the Kosovo Women’s Network hosted 15 members of German civil society as part of German-run workshop entitled “Civil Society in Kosovo.” The group consisted of a vast array of professionals, including journalists, teachers, psychologists, sociologists and an electrical engineer. One gentleman even identified himself as a grandfather. All spoke of their interactions with refugees and immigrants from the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo in particular as the inspiration for their trip to the newborn country.
In particular, the group was interested in the activities of civil society in Kosovo both during and after the war. The Kosovo Women’s Network’s Executive Director Igo Rogova spoke inspirationally on the strength and spirit of Kosovar civil society during this period.
Incredibly, members of Kosovar civil society, including the Kosovo Women’s Network, recognized the reality of the situation of Kosovo immediately after the war. While they needed time to heal, the importance of reconciliation between ethnic groups was never forgotten. That is why, from the very beginning, the Kosovo Women’s Network implemented a policy of inclusion. For example, even before the network had any Serbian member organizations, funds were used to translate documents into the Serbian language. Soon after, Kosovo-Serbs began reaching out to the Kosovo Women’s Network for help in launching their own organizations. Recently, 15 Kosovo-Serb women’s organizations banded together to form the Kosovo Serb Women’s Network and have joined the Kosovo Women’s Network.
The workshop resulted not only in the dissemination of information about the activities of the Kosovo Women’s Network but in the forging of new relationships. Many members of the group came with questions on how to aid the Kosovar refugees and immigrants they worked with and befriended and left with the contact information of KWN member organizations. The group was encouraged to contact the Kosovo Women’s Network and its members in the future to maintain the newly established ties.
Posted By Tiffany Ommundsen
Posted Aug 3rd, 2009