Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Students from Kosovo get the opportunity to study in the USA!

To all readers, teachers, but particularly to the students in Kosovo - check out this link: The US Department of State and Cleveland Council on World Affairs put together this fantastic program - a group of 16 selected highschool students from Kosovo will get the chance to live and study in the USA! The Cleveland Council found the KosoSchools blog and contacted me. I was thrilled that finally someone came up with the idea of enabling students from Kosovo to study in the US. I was privileged myself to get a similar chance in 1996 when through the program of the Foundation for a Civil Society, I spent one year at Ridley College in Canada. This experience changed my life and I can say that I have benefited from the opportunity ever since! International education is truly one of the major forces of positive change in this world and particularly in Kosovo, there are students, who will be later able to turn their international experience into benefit and advancement of their society. All contacts and information are under the link above, so if you are eligible - APPLY. Also, if you know someone, who would be interested in applying, please forward this link to them. The administrators of the program are doing a great job, but it is not so easy to reach schools in Kosovo from as far as Cleveland.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Prague Thriftstore collection delivered!

There we go: the two boxes of books collected by the Prague Thriftstore (many thanks to Thomas and Barbara again, and to all those who donated their books!) traveled in the car from Prague over Bratislava-Budapest-Beograd-Kragujevac to finally make it to Kosovska Mitrovica, so I declare them the most traveled book-collection in Europe. :) Anyway, as my main mission in Kosovo this time was the elementary schools' teachers' training, I talked to my participants in order to identify the most suitable school for the collection, and I found it: it is the department of Aziz Sylejmani (Albanian) school, located in the Kodra e Minatoreve/Mikronaselje neighborhood of northern Mitrovica. 

The school is not a building - it is three containers attached together and forming provisional classrooms. People: I hereby confirm that the kids (a tiny mixed class of grades 3-9) LOVED the donation as did Lirije, their English teacher and my course participant. Let's do more donations like this, I was truly moved to see how much difference can such a small collection make: apart from the books, the two small boxes carried a huge gift - the care and attention of people who have never been in Mitrovica, but who chose to support my program.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

English teachers' training wraps up in Mitrovica

The picture of our Mitrovica English teachers' training class - uploaded directly from the classroom, Sunday morning - the final day of our course. From the right: Miftar (Meto Bajraktari school), Figen (Abdullah Shabani shool), Selvije (Bedri Gjina school), Ylberina (Kadri Bistrica), Lirije (Aziz Sylejmani school), Habib (Bedri Gjina), Blanka (Prague:). Instant news: the participants are happy to attend the training even though it's weekend. :) We'll be back with more updates soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Handover of the collection by Prague Thriftstore

The store founder and manager
Barbara with a sample of the books
There we go another mission on its way to successful completion: last week, the Prague Thriftstore handed over a carefully selected mix of children books to KosoSchools! It was two generous boxes of shortstories, picture books and even dictionaries, that were donated to the store by its customers - specifically for the benefit of schools in Kosovo.  Giant thanks to the Prague Thriftstore and to all the people who so kindly donated the books. I will be delivering the whole load to Kosovo during my next trip (spring) and will post an update on which school(s) did the books go to. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Prague Thriftstore supports KosoSchools!

It is such a blessing to meet people who think, care and who come up with quick and easy solutions: I am talking about Thomas and Barbara, the couple who invented Prague Thriftstore and who came up with the fantastic idea that a collection of books/educational stuff is made for the next shipment of KosovoSchools. Until the end of February, people in Prague, who no longer need their English books for kids will be bringing them into the store. I will then take the collection to Kosovo in March when my next trip overthere is scheduled. See more at
Many many thanks for this great initiative, Prague Thriftstore - you are doing a great job!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mission possible: English teachers' training completed!

KosovoSchools proudly announces, that the first part of English teachers' training series of Mitrovica region was successfully completed. Funds were provided by the Government of the Czech Republic, realization of the project in Kosovo was possible thanks to the cooperation with the OSCE and the local NGO Hareja. The goal of the project is to increase the capacity of local elementary schools' English teachers in Vushtrri and Mitrovica municipalities through regular seminars and trainings. At the picture: KosovoSchools met with Qerim Selimi, the Director of Education in Vushtrri municipality, and presented a picture taken two years ago, when KosoSchools projects started.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The first three day seminar took place in Vushtrri 1 - 3 October, and is to be continued in November. A group of twelve local teachers learned about traditional and new approaches to teaching English at various levels, and practiced the presented techniques through a range of practical exercises, games and workshops. According to the participants, this was the first training ever, that assembled English teachers as such. Apart from a lot of positive reaction s from the teachers, the training yielded some important feedback and information for the KosovoSchools primary mission, which is contributing to the equipment of local disadvantaged elementary schools: there are basically no listening and/or audio-visual devices available. The budget of the current project foresees the acquisition of several laptop computers that will be distributed to the schools and provide an opportunity for the teachers to put the skills from the training into practice. Thanks to all that made this program a mission possible!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Boxes, boxes...and more boxes!

This is what it looks like: books and clothes for pupils in Kosovo stacked in boxes and sacks on the floor of our coridor. Moments later, our staff (i.e. our generous volunteers, such as mom, brother, visitors in our house & myself) stuff all the material into the car and our driver ( takes it to the logistic base of the Czech army near Pardubice. From there, the boxes travel in military trucks to Kosovo, where our local volunteers pick them up and either store or distribute them. So far, though, all the distribution has been carried out by our driver (huh...), who usually arrives to Kosovo shortly after the boxes. If anyone feels like joining this exciting workout, let me know at Unlike most gyms, this one's free of charge! :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Elementary school of Gojbulja in need of chemistry equipment

The Kosovo Serb enclave of Gojbulja is located a few kilometers away from Vučitrn/Vushtrri, and is inhabited by about 250 people. Even though most of these peolpe have to commute for work, school or shopping on a daily basis to the nearest larger K/Serb town (northern Mitrovica, about 15 km away), there is a local elementary school in Gojbulja which currently hosts about 20 pupils. Thanks to the village leader Bratislav Kostic who managed to gather sufficient funds and subsidies, the school is generally well built and equipped, except for at least a basic set of tools for chemistry. Anybody having a spare couple of test-tubes or the Mendeleyev table to be put on the wall in Gojbulja school? Moderately used sports' equipment, English books, cartoons or dictionaries, Serbian books or fairy-tales, sets of vitamin supplements that are suitable for kids and all other Kosovoschools standard goods are equally welcome! (At the picture: Bratislav in front of the bus that brings Gojbulja peolpe to and from Mitrovica.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our photo exhibit in Prague opens!

Yeaheyy! After a succesful photo exhibition at the Municipality of Vushtrri/Vučitrn in 2008, KosovoSchools sets up another show in Prague! It maps out the development of the project in the past two years, i.e. the participating schools and locations in Kosovo, distribution of books and humanitarian aid, our volunteers in action, etc. Many photos depict the reality of day-to-day life in Kosovo. The exhibit is located at the hallway of Notary Public Offices at Čkalova 18, Prague 6, daily from 9 to 16, or upon appointment (

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Albanian School in Zhilivodë

The elementary school in Zhilivode accommodates more than 120 pupils. The school building is in poor condition, as well as its three classrooms. Due to insufficient capacity, the children from the village learn in two shifts. Besides a limited number of basic textbooks, the school has no other learning equipment of any kind.
The school is currently in urgent need of:
1) Basic stationary, such as pens, pencils, colour-pencils, excercise books, rulers, erasers;
2) Any learning tools and equipment, especially for science, maths and geography;
3) English beginner's level textbooks and picture-dictionaries.
A large number of the school's pupils come from families that - due to the local extremely high unemployment rate - live exclusively from social welfare. With winter fast approaching, these children are also in need of warm winter clothes (jackets, coats, gloves/mittens) and shoes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vushtrri/Vučitrn pre-school seeking toys

The pre-school in Vushtrri/Vučitrn has been recently refurbished and is currently attended by about 100 local Albanian and Ashkali kids. While basic stationary is being regularly provided by the French KFOR contingent, toys (dools, cars, trains, etc.) and games (Lego, puzzles, etc.) are still needed and would be greatly appreciated as the school seeks equipment. During the past two winters, Kosovoschools also delivered sets of vitamins, water-soluble vitamin C and calcium tablets for socially disadvantaged children in the municipality.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Replacing your old PC or laptop?

Novolane school pupils in action: helping to unload books provided by Nad Aleji high-school in Prague. Next step - computers. Are you replacing your old monitors, PCs or printers that are still functional, but out of date? Let us know! All that equipment is still good enough for kids to acquire and enhance their computer skills. Kosovoschools will take complete care of all logistics and provide you with thorough documentation of your donation and feedback from the recipient school.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Enjoy the summer holidays!

The Montenegro coast near the town of Budva is a beautiful seaside resort only hours away from Kosovo, yet inaccesible to most of its families and kids. The majority of Kosovo pupils and students stay home over the summer, as camps and holidays abroad are expensive and/or require visas that are difficult to obtain. In the highly polluted and contaminated Mitrovica region where Kosovoschools mainly operates, many local kids suffer from chronic health conditions. Hopefully, this will once change.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More books for Vushtrri/Vučitrn

Gymnázium Nad Alejí belongs to the most active supporters of Kosovoschools. In June, its third collection of books for schools in the Vushtrri/Vučitrn region in Kosovo got succesfully delivered to Novolane elementary school and to the Eqrem Cabej high school. The current collection included English coursebooks, science encyclopediae, modern history books and classics of British and American fiction. Many, many thanks from all the grateful Kosovo students!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Open Gate joins Kosovoschools

Following a lecture about the situation in Kosovo given by Kosovoschools project coordinator, the students of Open Gate Boarding School collected an impressive volume of clothes and shoes for the socially disadvantaged pupils in elementary schools of the Podujevo region in northeastern Kosovo. Czech KFOR contingent will assist with the distribution of the aid in Podujevo, as its base is located in the region. At the picture: Unloading the Open Gate collection before its further transport to Kosovo.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Greetings from the kids in Karace

Pupils from the school in Karace village say hello to all volunteers and supporters of Kosovo Schools, as it's Children's Day! - Karace school has been succesfully adopted last year by Gymnazium Jana Palacha in Prague.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Loading, driving, unloading, (dying of exhaustion!)

Need a lift? - Sorry, we're full! This is what our car typically looks like when delivering books and humanitarian aid to local schools and communities.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Supporting Roma pupils in Prilužje

Roma kids in the Serb enclave of Prilužje attend the local school, however, many are facing language problems as their knowledge of Serbian is often not sufficient. A pre-school group was established for 2008/2009 in order to tackle this problem. As lack of school supplies, sports equipment, clothing and shoes also inhibits the local kids' learning process, Kosovoschools has repeatedly delivered privately donated aid. A large collection of clothes and shoes has been distributed last year, another one is scheduled for autumn 2009.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wanna see a happy teacher?

Bratislav and Luljeta - teachers at the Gojbulja (Serbian) and Karace (Albanian) village schools unloading books from a generous collection donated by highschols in Prague, Czech Republic. Both of the schools in Kosovo have greatly benefited from the adoption project - not only relaing to the actual textbooks, but also to the increased interest among the pupils in possibly visiting their donor school in the Czech Republic.