Milica Stojanović Kostić – Storytelling in a form of a podcast

Milica is a journalist, founder, and editor of the portal ‘Ženski info’, chairwoman of the non-governmental organization ‘Pravo na pravo’ – also a mother, a woman who contributes in Kosovo. Her narrative is filled with stories of dreams and efforts. Milica believes that coexistence among different communities in Kosovo is improved through dialogue and that we all must contribute to building a common future.

Tune in to the full podcast:

Join us on our ‘Documentary Screening & Discussion’ evening tonight

Looking for something exciting to do this Thursday night?
Look no further! Join us tonight for a captivating documentary screening of “All of Us”.

Documentary Screening & Discussion
WHEN: Thursday, March 28th, starting at 8:00pm
WHERE: Akvarijus/ Mitrovica north

Bring your friends and let’s make tonight unforgettable with interesting discussions, exciting documentaries, great music and drinks! See you there.

Announcement: Social Space Innovation Grant winners

CBM is exciting to start next round of support through #RCT Social Space Innovation grant scheme. We are ready to embark on another exciting period of supporting small-scale initiatives. In this round, four initiatives were selected to be supported. Namely, NGOs:

  • Inspiracija,
  • Young Active Gracanica,
  • Collective Action for Culture Peja, and
  • BIRN in cooperation with radio Gorazdevac.

Birn – Radio Gorazdevac

The project aims to bridge dialogue and collaboration among citizens of Gorazdevac, with a focus on youth, to raise awareness of the lack of citizens’ neglected needs in various issues. BIRN Kosovo leads the initiative in cooperation with radio Gorazdevac. By engaging the multiethnic community and relevant decision-makers through a TV debate to address and advocate for the needs improvements, and produce three video stories addressing education, employment, and the importance of social spaces that positively contribute towards reconciliation. TV debate will be broadcast as part of the TV show “KALLXO Pernime” on RTV Dukagjini, and then shared on KALLXO media outlet, whose outreach is one of the strongest ones in Kosovo, securing not only promotion of the initiative but RCT Actiivty’s efforts also.

Inspiracija

This project aims to empower women from minority communities (Roma, Ashkalli, Egyptian) in the Mitrovica region through skills development, particularly in weaving and handicrafts, in the Inspiracija center, located in Mitrovica North. The goal is to enhance socio-economic emancipation, boost self-confidence, and encourage greater participation in society of marginalized women groups. The project intends to support at least 15 women, providing them with the skills needed for economic empowerment and inspiring them to start their businesses. The approach involves conducting informative sessions and practical workshops, totaling 18, where women will acquire knowledge and improve their capacities. The workshops will be organized in groups over the three months at the NGO Inspiracija premises, fostering inclusivity and cooperation among different communities.

Mlada Aktivna Gracanica

The project aims to first update a Community Hub on the second floor of the Business Center in Gracanica, and later to organize cross-cultural youth gatherings to provide human rights education and interactive peacebuilding workshops. Through these activities, the project seeks to contribute to enhanced interethnic understanding, increased awareness of human rights, and improved conflict resolution skills within the community. The revitalized Community Hub further aims to become a pivotal center for diverse community activities, fostering inclusivity and collaboration, and aligning with

the broader goal of promoting proactive cooperation, peaceful co-existence, and respect for diverse groups in Kosovo.

Collective Action for Culture Peja

The proposed project aims to engage community members, particularly young people, across all ethnic lines, in the revitalization of neglected public spaces through artistic interventions, fostering a sense of unity and shared responsibility. The project focuses on consolidating cultural representation by all communities enriching the city with art and innovative ideas for neglected spaces. By organizing events that contribute to the revitalization of these spaces, the project aims to build a new collective memory. Additionally, the initiative seeks to educate young people in creating, interpreting, and transforming public spaces through art, ultimately transforming the city into a rich artistic and cultural environment. The objectives include mobilizing the community for public space policies, promoting artists, creating collective memory, and fostering ethnic unity for a common goal. The expected results include the revitalization of public spaces through artistic installations, the training of young people for community initiatives, and the development of possible partnerships across ethnic lines. The project also aims to visually enhance urban environments, improve cooperation between the communities, and draw attention to community issues through artistic interventions in neglected spaces

Unity in Diversity: Pristina’s Multi-Ethnic Poetry & Music Night

Art, historically, has brought people together. In instances where art is present, cultural or linguistic differences fade away, and (especially) young people seem to focus on the emotion of the moment, free from stereotypes and the fear of judgment. It is always a pleasure to be part of such moments. When activities aimed at reconciliation and conflict transformation are conceived and some form of art is present, we know that the magical element of the evening will not be missing.

Recently we witnessed an unforgettable night at Pristina. ‘Multi-ethnic poetry & music night’ brought together 56 participants from K-Albanian, K-Serb and K-Roma. Knowing that music and poetry act as a bridge, reminding us of our shared humanity and the opportunity to learn from each other’s cultures and form new friendships, the Cohesion Circle Members from Prishtina were inspired to organize this event. It united poetry performers from all three communities to recite and was then followed by music in multiple languages. Rubija Redžepi, Andjelija Vučinić and Agon Rexhepi captivated the audience with their poetry readings, while Jimmy Band brought a festive environment to Bubble.

The event started with Agon Rexhepi leading the discussion, which created a nice, friendly atmosphere. Agon is also a published poet and his poetry brought warm emotions to the audience creating an engaging atmosphere for the audience.

Following Agon, poetry reading in Romani language was performed by Rubija Redžepi. Among other poems, she also performed the poem “Mulo lacho Rom / A Deceased Good Rom” which mesmerized the audience by its meaningful message, especially the phrase:

“And the Roma (human) seeks for place;
And the Roma (human) seeks for a place to live in the world – unity”.

Afterwards, Andjelija Vučinić performed poetry highlighting the power of peace and how humans can find peace everywhere if they are willing to. Andjelija ended her performance with the sentence:

“Peace is here, peace is there, look in the mirror if you ask where…”

The poetry reading was followed by Jimmy Mustafa Band’s music in different languages. The Cohesion Circle Members, activists and several youngsters enjoyed the wonderful singing from the band by singing and dancing together. This evening concluded around midnight and left us all with really good memories. But evenings like this are much more than that: they are opportunities to start, spontaneously, conversations between people from different communities and to pave the way for building friendships.

 

Diverse Perspectives: Kosovo’s media terrain with Daniela Tomašević & Urall Bosnjaku

Daniela Tomašević from Radio Kontakt Plus and Urall Boshnjaku from Mitropol shared their perspectives on inner workings of Kosovo’s media scene. In Our 2 angles videos they delve into the complexities of reporting in a challenging environment by two prominent Kosovo journalists.

Two Voices, One Story.
Tune in to the full video:

Join us on our ‘Poetry & Music’ evening tonight

It’s finally Friday, and we’re ready for some fun.
Tonight, we are celebrating the beauty of diversity with music and poetry.

Join us!
Multi-Ethnic Poetry & Music Night!
Friday, March 15th, at 7:30 PM
Bubble (Rr, nr.22 Sylejman Vokshi, Prishtine)

Step into a great atmosphere where poems from diverse cultures and emotions come alive.
After the poetry, get ready to dance to the lively music of the Jimmy Mustafa Band. It’s not just an event—it’s a celebration of diversity and art’s power to bring us together.
Admission is free, so bring your loved ones and let’s celebrate our differences in a joyful, multicultural community.

See you there!

Ramadan Ilazi – Storytelling in a form of a podcast

Ramadan Ilazi started his journey in civil society at a really young age. In 2000, at just 14 years old, he joined discussions organized by USAID under the ‘Youth around the Table’ initiative. What began as a simple discussion group evolved into the NGO ‘Forum for Civic Initiatives’, where Ramadan continued to actively contribute. In 2005, he co-founded the NGO ‘Initiative for Progress’. Since then, he has remained unwavering in his dedication to peacebuilding efforts in Kosovo.

Tune in to the full podcast to discover his inspiring path:

Hajde bre! Brezovica Winter Camp

Building friendships among young people who have grown up believing this is impossible requires efforts of various kinds. Our extensive experience has taught us that change always begins with a conversation, but it’s not always easy to create an environment where young people feel safe to engage in these conversations. Let’s not forget that their “battle” is twofold: on one side, they confront the stories they have heard throughout their lives, and on the other side, they face prejudices. At a time when a significant number of people in Kosovo openly display inter-ethnic hatred, it is crucial that when we seek to construct new narratives, it is done in a new environment – possibly far from the one where we have been “nourished” by the worst.

In addition to the environment, another important factor is the goal. Conversations flow more naturally when young people have a common goal – in fact, friendships tend to last longer in these cases. Bearing all this in mind, as part of the ‘Reconciliation and conflict transformation’ project, we have organized the HAJDE BRE camp for the third time, where 22 young people from all communities gathered in Brezovica. Besides games and entertainment, they underwent a 3-day training session on the basics of web development.

The training unfolded over 3 days, offering students not only a theoretical understanding of creating a website but also practical application of the knowledge acquired. As they began working in groups, we witnessed immense enthusiasm and contagious energy.  Our 4 groups of students applied their knowledge in practice by building 4 websites that they think are needed in order to improve community life:

1.What’s happening? Sta ima? Qa Ka? Qa ska? An online platform providing a space for storytelling and cultural exchange, also promoting cultural happenings in Kosovo (festivals, concerts, exhibitions, etc.)

2.Community Watch: Develop a website where young people can report safety concerns in their communities, such as suspicious activities, vandalism, or areas that need improvement for better safety. This platform could collaborate with local authorities or neighborhood watch groups to address reported issues.

3.Digital Safety Network: Establish a website where young people can report online safety concerns, such as cyberbullying, harassment, identity theft, or inappropriate content. This platform could provide tips for staying safe online, resources for reporting abusive behavior, and support for victims of online crimes.

4.Youth Employment Center: Create a website where young people can look for the employment, opportunity, This platform could provide resources for job seekers, guidance on labor rights, and connections to legal assistance if needed.

When asked later about the highlight of the camp, some of them emphasized the exposure to new cultures through group work. The results of their intensive work were impressive. However, beyond this, the youths also highlighted the importance of the inspiring location, carefully selected games, and other planned activities.

We have witnessed many times how the ideas and perceptions of young people about the neighboring community change after spending time together. Andrej, one of the camp participants, told us that he “is very pleased to have gained new knowledge and friendships – and he hopes that these friendships will continue.” We often hear such sentences, and we believe they are the greatest measure of the success of this activity.

We are very happy that we have provided these young people with a skill that will help them in the job market – for some as an additional asset, and for others, we have shown how much potential this profession holds and inspired them to continue with new lessons. Most importantly, we have achieved this by building new memories and laying the foundation for some new friendships. By empowering these young individuals with valuable skills and boosting meaningful connections, we’ve not only enriched their personal and professional lives but also contributed to the growth and prosperity of our community as a whole

Living Library: Empowering activism in Kosovo

Activism is the path to change. In most cases, it is the only way to give voice to marginalized communities, to demand accountability regarding issues that affect all of us, to raise awareness about important issues and to build a better life for citizens without distinction. In Kosovo, activism is more important than ever before. In the period after visa liberalization, now when a lot of people are choosing to flee problems rather than work on solving them, having a voice that promotes the opposite is crucial.

The power of narratives has the impact to change the perceptions of youngsters by listening to different sides of the histories, hence contributing to the reconciliation and peacebuilding process. RCT’s Living Library, which was organized in Pristina, was designed to bring together these two groups: those who have stories of activism to share and those who want to believe that positive changes are happening.

Our guests, Rubija Redzepi from the K-Roma community and Dimitrije Obrenovic from the K-Serb community, started the event with positive remarks, talking about their first steps on this journey. They continued by discussing the areas and topics of activism they focus on as well as the impact that their activism had on the society that they live in and struggles that they encountered in their activism path. Rubije and Dimitrije highlighted how important their engagement in activism, human rights and peacebuilding activities was to their societies which afterwards helped them to contribute in several other environments by sharing and inspiring other youngsters.

Rubija: “I want to build a better image for thr people and I am very grateful that I am starting to see the change through my activism and advocacy for a just and equal society”

Dimitrije: “Through activism, I have encountered several people that now we work for the same injustices in the society and I can freely say that working for the peacebuilding process has impacted positively the society where I live starting from friends and family”

The event was attended by 30 participants in total, from all communities that live in Kosovo. Their discussion was followed by several curious questions from the participants who were highly motivated and inspired. We believe that this event served as a successful platform for youngsters to hear successful activism stories, socialize with each other and hear how inter-cultural dialogue and reconciliation could be achieved if youngsters take initiatives and steps through activism

Empowering change through stories: RCT’s Living Library

As a continuation of efforts to gather individuals who narrate their journey in the aspect of peace-building, for those who wish to listen and disseminate these stories, RCT has conceptualized the idea of the LIVING LIBRARY. The guests or ‘living books’ share with the audience details from their lives, aiming to inspire the audience and distribute stories different from what we are accustomed to seeing in the media.

The Living Library event is not just a gathering; it is an experience where attendees have the opportunity to directly engage with guests from all communities, to learn from their experiences, and gain insights into the challenges and triumphs of peacebuilding.
This time, the LIVING LIBRARY will be held at the YOUTH INITIATIVE HUB on Tuesday, February 8, starting at 2 PM. Our guests and “living books” this time are Dimitrije Obrenović and Rubija Redzepi, human rights activists who, for many years, in various ways, have contributed to the building of peace.
Please click here to see the event details and join us on Thursday for an amazing experience of sharing knowledge and stories