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					       International - Kosovo



     Annex O Case Studies

Lessons Learned through START II
   Capacity Building Initiative



      Nikolaidis Apostolos

              Contacts:

      CARE International Kosovo
              Isa Kastrati #113
         10000 Pristina, Kosovo
           Tel: +38138 222 435
           Fax: +38138 243 545
       Email: carekosovo@careks.org
               www.careks.org




              March 2006
                             Table of Contents

Acknowledgements                                                         3

Acronyms                                                                 4

Introduction                                                             6

Case Study #1                                                            8

“Freedom of Movement in Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica”

Case Study #2                                                            20

“Women Empowerment in Lipjan/Lipljan “Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood”

Case Study #3                                                            29

“Civil Society Strengthening through Local Partners”

Case Study #4                                                            55

“Engaging Municipal Authorities in promoting interethnic relations”

Some general speculations on the case studies                            65

Appendix (Field Visits - Interviews)                                     67




START II Project                            2
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
                                 Acknowledgements

I am grateful to CARE International Kosovo for providing me the opportunity to conduct
this lessons learned START II document. During my stay in Kosovo I worked in a
professional environment full of friendly and helpful people. Without their daily support
nothing of this would have been accomplished.


I particularly want to wish all CARE staff that was close to me when finalizing these case
studies. Special thanks to Laura Beshlimi, Enver Krasniqi and Arber Murseli for the daily
support during the field visits and the valuable translations. Azemina Cullum, Petrit Ajeti
and Hairush Xhaferi were very helpful and supportive during the whole assignment.
Special thanks to Faton Krasniqi, START II Project Manager, for the trust and support he
has shown to me all these hard working days and for his help during the lessons learned
workshop. All of them apart from good colleagues are considered now good friends.


I am also grateful to all interviewees (listed in the appendix). Sharing their ideas,
experience and insights in the current situation made this lessons learned document
possible. My special also thanks to Claudia Futterknecht and Gustavo D’Angelo who
offered me this position.


With the hope that CARE will continue to offer both in Kosovo and around the world, I
wish that this document will contribute to learning taking place within CARE International
and among agencies around the world.



                                                                      Nikolaidis Apostolos
                                                                              March 2006




START II Project                            3
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
                                   Acronyms

CBO              Community Based Organization
CSD              Communication for Social Development
IDP              Internally Displaced Person
IIDP             Internal Internally Displaced Person
INGO             International Non Governmental Organization
IRC              International Refugee Committee
KFOR             Kosovo Forces
NGO              Non Governmental Organization
RBA              Rights Based Approach
START            Stabilization Through the Attainment of Rights and Tolerance
SiV              Syri I Visionit
UNHCR            United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNMIK            United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo




START II Project                        4
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
    THE CHALLENGE:

    The conflict in Kosovo has come to an end but still a visible lack of tolerance for
    diversity, discrimination among ethnic communities and lack of freedom of
    movement exists. Ethnic minorities (e.g. Serbs, Roma/Ashkaelji/Egyptians-RAE,
    Turks, Croats, and also Albanian minorities within Serb communities) continue to
    be vulnerable to abuse of rights, violent attacks (including stone-throwing,
    gunshots, and hand grenades), harassment and intimidation, especially when
    moving outside circumscribed and security controlled residential areas.


    One of the areas of sustainable impact targeted in CARE Kosovo’s current
    Program Strategy is “strengthening inter-ethnic dialogue and relations”.
    Participation and empowerment therefore become the outcomes of CARE’s
    interventions rather than a means to achieve program goals. To attain this, CARE
    Kosovo applies the principles of Rights Based Approaches (RBA) to a post-
    conflict situation with the aim of creating an environment for sustained inter-ethnic
    community stabilization.


    However, RBA is seen not sufficient to address the post-conflict trauma among
    ethnic communities. Hence, CARE Kosovo incorporates conflict management and
    rights based approach as a two complementary elements of its community
    stabilization methodology. CARE Kosovo strongly believes that helping
    communities learn how to “manage” conflict will lead to a stable multi-ethnic
    society. It would be naive to suggest CARE’s program can achieve reconciliation;
    however it can aim to assist the different ethnic communities resolve conflicts as
    they arise.




START II Project                           5
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
                                     Introduction


For the last year, CARE has undertaken implementation of the “START II” project
(Stabilization Through Attainment of Rights and Tolerance), a holistic approach to
community stabilization that combines ethnic reconciliation with community development
in order to promote inter-ethnic dialogue, cooperation and minority integration. The
START II project built on learning that took place through CARE’s previous START I and
“Rights Based and Conflict Management Project”, which also sought to strengthen the
reconciliation process in Kosovo and to contribute towards the development of a vibrant
civil society based on democratic values and human rights.

These projects came at a critical time in Kosovo’s transition from an emergency relief
situation to a developmental one, from conflict to peace, from divisions to unity. CARE
has already played an important role in the process of building a foundation of skills,
relationships and structures in communities across the province that will ensure inter-
ethnic dialogue and cooperation thrive long after the international community has left.
This document illustrates some parts of this work, but cannot depict all CARE activities
or projects in the region. Kosovo has made enormous gains over the past several years,
but those gains remain at risk. Without a concerted effort to promote meaningful inter-
ethnic reconciliation, the province’s future remains uncertain, caught in the grip of
historical forces rather than a shared commitment to a prosperous future.

CARE’s strategy in these projects was grounded in the                 CARE’s RBA
“Rights-Based Approach” (hereafter RBA), which states that          CARE defines RBA as
                                                                    an approach that:
all people are entitled to basic human rights regardless of         deliberately and
                                                                    explicitly focuses on
factors such as ethnicity and gender. RBA requires an               people achieving the
                                                                    minimum conditions for
understanding of the underlying causes of vulnerability and         living life with dignity
                                                                    (i.e. achieving their
makes efforts to address them. This involves raising
                                                                    human rights).
awareness amongst the poorest and most vulnerable of their
rights, and empowering them to claim those rights. Some might argue that a RBA could
replace a needs-based approach. Nevertheless, RBA is about strengthening the
capacities of rights-holders to make their own claims, not by replacing a needs-based
approach, but rather by complementing it. CARE’s work in the field provides explicit
examples of these elements and is worth examining.


START II Project                           6
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
Key questions to be asked to guide RBA can be considered the followings: i) what rights
do people have?, ii) what rights are people being denied, that have contributed to their
vulnerability and suffering?, iii) what opportunities exist to change people’s access to
their rights?

CARE Kosovo’s application of RBA in its community stabilization work comes as CARE
offices worldwide seek sound ways of applying the principles of RBA to the development
of practical methodologies. CARE Kosovo’s work is a critical step forward in that broader
institutional learning process.

The following are four case studies that seek to capture the experiences and lessons of
CARE Kosovo in applying RBA in its community stabilization and ethnic reconciliation
work. Each case study focuses on a different theme relating to how RBA has been
applied and to what effect. These case studies are, in their essence, stories, which
explore the realities of applying RBA and highlight the people involved in the process.
This focus on the human experience is in recognition of the critical and delicate role of
CARE’s work in strengthening human relations and the hard work and risks undertaken
both by the community members with whom CARE works and CARE’s own community
facilitators.

The case studies look both at the accomplishments of CARE’s ethnic reconciliation work
and the challenges CARE has faced in the process. Each case study highlights what has
worked, what the challenges have been, and what the concerns are for the future. By
considering both the strengths and the challenges in the process, CARE Kosovo hopes
to contribute to learning taking place within CARE International and among agencies
around the world.
                            CARE Kosovo is still in the early days of its ethnic
     CARE’s vision
                            reconciliation work, and it recognizes that time is required to
    We seek a world of
    hope, tolerance and     fully reflect on its experiences in this field. Up to now, CARE
    social justice, where
    poverty has been        has made much work in helping communities towards
    overcome and people
    live in dignity and     reconciliation. Nevertheless, there is more work to be done
    security
                            and time is essential in ensuring that reconciliation can
endure. CARE Kosovo is committed to carrying on its work in applying RBA to
community stabilization and ethnic reconciliation and to documenting this work in order
to contribute to ongoing learning worldwide.
START II Project                               7
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
                                     Case Study

      Freedom of Movement in Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica


    THE CHALLENGE:

    Freedom of movement is a human rights concept which is respected in the
    constitutions of numerous states/countries. It asserts that a citizen of a state in
    which that citizen is present, has the right to leave that state, travel wherever the
    citizen is welcome, and, with proper documentation, return to that state at any
    time, reside in, and/or work in any part of the state the citizen wishes without
    interference.


    Freedom of movement is often more limited for minorities, and specifically in
    Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica both communities, majority and
    minority, were affected. Even though the armed conflict in Kosovo has come to an
    end,   freedom     of   movement       of   citizens   in   Kollolleq/Kololec   and
    Kopernica/Koprivnica experiences difficulties. In most cases up to recently it was
    restricted and hazardous to travel from one village to another.


    That is a challenge that CARE is taking on in Kosovo, using its rights based
    approach (RBA) to increase public awareness, build trust within local actors and
    provide opportunities for safer freedom of movement, especially in regions/sites
    that in the past were used to hostile behaviors.




START II Project                           8
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
Introduction

Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica are located on the north-eastern part of
Kamenice/Kamenica municipality in Kosovo and are generally rural areas. The activities
of the inhabitants of the two villages mainly include agricultural production, whereas only
a very symbolic number of the inhabitants are employed with local institutions.
Unemployment in both villages, as elsewhere in Kosovo, is high, affecting everyday life.

In most cases young people work in the land from spring to autumn and sell their
products in Kamenice/Kamenica’s joint open market. During the winter, though, things
are more difficult for them, as farming is almost impossible due to the weather
conditions. The only existing/remaining factory constructing bricks in the region of
Kamenice/Kamenica can employ only very few of the young population and as a
consequence the main concern of the younger generation remains unemployment. “We
need to find a proper job”, both youth representatives say. “I have recently finished the
University and soon I will have my diploma. I could teach, but finding a job here is
difficult”, says a Serbian Youth Representative.

The two villages are ethnically separated from each other with a geographical distance
of 3-4 kilometers. The situation though becomes more intense due to the fact that the
inhabitant’s properties and lands of one village are bounded with the land and properties
of the inhabitants of the other village. Serbs also continue to fear using their land that is
neighboring to the Albanian as they want to avoid any new incidents.

People from one village know people from the other village from before, especially the
older ones, but in most cases stereotypes have played a key role in determining their
relations before and after the conflict. Besides the conflict losses from both sides had
played a crucial role to avoid any future relationship.

Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica were the only villages in this area that did not
engage in the dialogue process. This came as a consequence of the interethnic
incidents that happened between the two villages. The impact of violence on the citizens
of the two villages is still strong, while citizens’ responses to the conflict and to the
issues at stake have attracted almost little attention.



START II Project                              9
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
For that reason alone CARE entered the site/region targeting both communities of the
two villages. The main intention was to raise the public awareness of the citizens on the
importance of interethnic coexistence and try to bring them to the same table so as to
discuss their community needs and concerns.

In this regard CARE has undertaken several activities in the field by organizing many
meetings with village representatives, where at the same time other relevant actors such
as the Municipal Authorities, KFOR, UNMIK, UNHCR were also present. It is worth
mentioning that, among other aspects, these meetings contributed and opened the way
towards strengthening youth coexistence in Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica.


Objective

Aiming to find out the joint concerns and apprehensions of
                                                                        Objective
both communities and particularly to study the freedom of           Freedom of movement
                                                                    of all citizens in
movement of Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernice/Koprivnica              Kollolleq/Kololec and
citizens, CARE commenced a lessons learned activity                 Kopernica/Koprivnica
                                                                    regardless their
researching and analyzing freedom of movement of all                ethnicity

citizens regardless of ethnicity in the above mentioned villages.

CARE focused on carrying out a specific research on the overall perceptions of both
communities with regard to freedom of movement. Simultaneously, CARE considered
that particular attention had to be paid to the Albanian and Serbian men and youth
groups, as well as Kamenice/Kamenica Municipal Authorities, all of which were involved
in CARE’s activities.

        What were the
         challenges?
                                Background

       Engaging local          There are two ways to reach Kamenice/Kamenica
        population
       in a multiethnic         (Municipality) from Kollolleq/Kololec (Serbian village):
       way
                                either through Kopernica/Koprivnica (Albanian village) or
      Building trust between   directly through an old road, the condition of which is not
       the
       citizens                 good. This latter road comes through the “Ouka”

       Focusing in
                                mountain, and during the winter is covered by snow,
       the future rather than   making the transportation even more difficult.
        the past

START II Project                            10
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
Until 2003 the citizens from Kollolleq/Kololec were using mostly, if not solely, the old
road, while only from the beginning of 2004 some of them started to use also the other
one. Especially the pupils from Kollolleq/Kololec had to cross from Kopernica/Koprivnica
to Kamenice/Kamenica in order to go to the high school.

“Prior to CARE’s engagement many interethnic incidents took place” remembers a
Serbian Youth Representative to CARE. In the past, it was rather common that the
citizens from Kollolleq/Kololec had been attacked by stone-throwing when trying to pass
through the other’s part territory.

A Serbian Men Group Representative in Kollolleq/Kololec remembers the days when the
situation was not very peaceful and people from Kollolleq/Kololec had to go through
Kopernica/Koprivnica village to Kamenice/Kamenica. He says to CARE that “at that time
it was very dangerous to travel from one village to the other and even the children’s bus
was attacked”.

The latter event took place in March- April 2004 when the road from Kollolleq/Kololec to
Kamenice/Kamenica through Kopernica/Koprivnica was blocked. The pupils’ bus was
attacked by stones, an incident that led the existing tension to surface. The schools
remained closed, fear for escalation of violence was once again spread out and the
Serbs were too skeptical on traveling to Kamenica. It was at that time that the
Municipality Authorities and UNCHR called for CARE’s support in the region and CARE
responded.

Even the idea of initiating a project in a region that faced so much hatred in the past,
might seem too optimistic or even unrealistic. The complicated situation with neighboring
local people not speaking with each other, sharing feelings of fear, mistrust, or in some
cases willingness for revenge, was a situation prior to CARE’s engagement in the field.

But this was CARE’s challenge: to facilitate the interethnic dialogue by bringing together
representatives of both communities. Due to the engagement of group members with
CARE local actors, they gradually started to feel safer with their close co-existence with
the “other side”. Perhaps more importantly from the moment CARE initiated its activities
in the region no interethnic incidents were recorded.



START II Project                           11
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
“Facilitating Change”: Care’s work in Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica

Prior to CARE’s involvement it was rather evident that the citizens of the region could not
move free from one village to the other. The main issue at stake was the lack of freedom
of movement especially for the Serbs passing through the Albanian village.


Several activities were undertaken by CARE such as joint meetings and discussions
where the youth jointly had an opportunity to identify their needs and priorities. Crucial to
these joint activities was CARE’s approach and commitment to engage the local
population in a multiethnic way, so that both Serbian and Albanian citizens were
represented. The participants had the opportunity to present their ideas, cooperate and
exchange their own experiences.

“There is almost one year and four months that we are working in cooperation with
CARE and so far we have accomplished much. Taking into account the primary aim,
what we have already done is very successful”, says an Albanian Youth Group
Representative.

These activities carried out by CARE have contributed somehow towards re-creating
good relations between Serbs and Albanians. From the participants’ point of view it
becomes almost clear that this initiative has contributed towards an approachable and
sociable relationship between the youth communities. The activities carried out by CARE
in Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica had an impact on both communities and
the current situation that is illustrated later on throughout this study is perhaps the best
indicator of the interethnic relations progress in this specific region of Kosovo.

CARE conducted regular field visits in both villages in the beginning. From CARE sub-
offices responsible staff was appointed at each time to engage with the local population.
“CARE was the ice-breaker and initiated the dialogue in the villages from zero ground”,
says a CARE sub-office staff.

“In the beginning there were some reservations concerning our participation in these
activities, but soon we have overtaken them”, says a Serbian Youth Representative.
CARE enabled them to come closer with the other youth group. “Prior to CARE’s
involvement we have never met with the other group. Now we meet even without
CARE’s presence in the field”, both argue.
START II Project                             12
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
CARE activities targeting youth groups in both villages promoted the importance of
reconciliation especially for the new generation. One of the first and foremost
contributions of this initiative concerning freedom of movement was the engagement of
the Serbian youth group members to visit Kopernica/Koprivnica and meet the Albanian
youth group. An additional action carried out by CARE with regard to the youth
reintegration was “meeting location”. CARE managed to bring the members of the youth
groups together in various locations. As a consequence, Serbian youth that in the past
were not willing to meet outside their village due to the fears they had, agreed to change
the location of the meetings and go beyond their own village. This was the first step of
the whole process. At the same time they were taking part in various other activities that
got them acquainted with the reconciliation process at large.

It is worth mentioning that the youth of both villages have shown interest and were keen
to work with CARE from the very beginning, something that allows optimism on the
ground. The whole initiative seems also to be very much appreciated by the Municipal
Officials in Kamenice/Kamenica, who speak with warm words about CARE and its
activities.

Several times CARE managed to bring together the youth of both villages with the
President, Vice President, Director of Department for Youth, Sport and Culture and
others. In this way CARE connected the youth groups with the Municipal Authorities in
an attempt to develop further their capacities to advocate their own rights and concerns.

In general, today people from Kollolleq/Kololec feel safer to pass through
Kopernica/Koprivnica as they, especially the youth groups, know each other better and
through CARE have also established some contacts. “Without CARE’s involvement in
the process the youth groups would probably have remained unfriendly or even hostile”,
says a Serbian Youth Representative, but due to this platform of engagement, things
seem to change positively. Today even without CARE’s direct/physical presence in the
field the youth communicate with each other, some even stop by just to greet their
village neighbors, something that in the past was unthinkable.

Fear though for some Serbs still seems to be present; most remain very skeptical about
their future and how things might evolve, but comparing with the situation before, things
have changed, as all tend to agree. Today they use more frequently the road through
START II Project                           13
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
Kopernica/Koprivnica village to Kamenice/Kamenica. Few use it on a daily basis, others
according to their needs once per week or so. The majority still seems to fear about the
current situation, some of their fundamental rights are not fully protected. Overall
progress on freedom of movement recorded is not much, still in comparison with other
regions around Kosovo the situation seems to be better.


Serbs also argue that the Municipality at the moment is not very willing to engage with
more projects. They believe, for instance, that a sports center would be beneficial not
only for them, but also for the Municipality and therefore want to see more action.

In general, CARE’s activities offered them the opportunity to know each other better and
establish good contacts. In that way CARE managed to socialize the two communities
and contributed towards their better communication and coexistence. At the same time,
CARE has initiated and to some extent established ways for further engagement by
facilitating the reconciliation process.


Looking to the Future

“It is a belief of all citizens, not only mine, that one of the
                                                                     What Worked?
weaknesses that existed in our region, and I refer to the               Meeting with
difficulties in freedom of movement, is not a problem anymore.           people from
                                                                         grassroots level
We have overtaken most obstacles and CARE’s role was also               Engaging local
                                                                         citizens,
important”, says an Albanian Men Group Representative.                   especially from
                                                                         the youth
But while this is an accomplishment, it still begs questions of          groups
                                                                        Allow optimism
sustainability. Interethnic dialogue has to be continued and             to get to the
                                                                         ground
augmented. Despite the fact that local people feel now safer            Promote
with regard to freedom of movement, much has to be done to               interethnic
                                                                         dialogue
safeguard this progress. “Freedom of movement and what has              Stop interethnic
                                                                         incidents
been built up to now can be once again threatened in the near
future”, says an Albanian Youth Group Representative.

The safe environment that seems to be stabilizing in the region is still very fragile. From
one day to another, people from both sides, can not and do not forget the bad days of



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CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
the past. Small interethnic incidents could once again allow tension to surface, as the
reconciliation process has a long way to go in Kosovo.

“We had some experience already from before, as we have worked with IRC for a one
year project. With CARE it is more or less the same. We want to see some more
concrete engagement from CARE especially with regard to the youth”, says a Serbian
Youth Group Representative.

Both youth groups appreciate the work of CARE and recommend that this engagement
should be enhanced. “CARE is important to us, but it could and should do more for our
village. There are many things we need and like to see implemented here. Starting from
here [building where the Serbian Youth Group gathers] much has to be done to improve
its condition. We also need a sports field”, says a Serbian Youth Group Representative.

By engaging the youth in future broader joint projects their integration will be
strengthened. Parties tend to argue that to guarantee safe freedom of movement still
much work has to be done in the youth engagement. As a result, cooperation between
the two youth groups has to be enhanced in the near future.

“CARE should continue working with the youth of both villages, as there is still a need for
that. Additional trainings would certainly offer the youth the possibility to gain new
knowledge and get acquainted with new skills” said an Albanian Youth Group
Representative to CARE.

Young people both from Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica demand more from
the international community and NGOs. When it comes to CARE both tend to say that
“we understand that CARE can’t stay for ever in the villages but it has to leave
something behind. We, as a youth group, give our efforts in the sports field, which might
be an opportunity to bring closer the young people of both villages”.

Others though within the same youth groups remain more skeptical. They say that it
would be more beneficiary for the two villages to have two distinct sport fields. “We
should have a basketball field and the other village should have a football field, or vice
versa. Then if we want we can share it”, says an Albanian Youth Group Representative.




START II Project                            15
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
Similar voices also come from some Albanian Men Group Representatives that believe
that the geographic position of the two villages will not allow such a joint project in the
near future. “We can not find a neutral place somewhere in between for our activities”,
they say. In some cases, even two brothers of the same village have diverse opinions:
one more optimistic for the interethnic dialogue and reconciliation, the other more
pessimistic. The challenge for CARE therefore is still present, so that the voices of
optimism are enhanced.

They seem to lose their own optimism due to the economic problems they have. For
young people in Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica the main concern is the fact
that they see their future without many employment opportunities in the region.
Economic life is under constraint and there are not enough ways of overcoming it. With
such economic difficulties, people from Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica can
not “afford” to worry and speak about anything else apart from their economic problems.
Reconciliation and interethnic dialogue, they argue, is not a priority for them; what they
need first is economic support. Still the importance of interethnic dialogue is fundamental
for their coexistence. One could not expect economic growth of two distinct groups to
come, without first guaranteeing their peaceful coexistence.

By creating new platforms of engagement the youth groups will begin to cooperate more
actively. Interethnic mutual understanding seems to be gaining ground due to CARE’s
involvement; nevertheless the reconciliation process with regard to this region and its
specific characteristics has still a long way to go. All in all, reconciliation is a long-term
process that needs mutual step-by-step approach and we should not expect miracles to
come from one day to another. Commitment to peace and the protection of human
rights, fundamental principles of CARE’s work in Kosovo, could contribute to the overall
progress and influence the others.

  Concerns for       Especially the engagement of young people, Serbian and Albanian
   the Future
    Sustain the     representatives in CARE’s activities by exchanging experiences,
     benefits of     ideas and increasing the potential of reconciliation constitute an
     the
     interethnic     important milestone in the post-conflict situation and multi-ethnic
     community
     dialogue        society. Such initiatives provide an impetus on the road towards
    Allow           peace and reconciliation and still CARE has a crucial role to play in
     optimism in
     the ground      the region.
START II Project                             16
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
The main challenge now for the region is whether this safer environment for freedom of
movement in the two villages can last. Importance also has to be given to the
inclusiveness of the majority of citizens in the villages in future activities. Although
Serbian and Albanian representatives argue now that there has been progress with
regard to freedom of movement, and this feeling is being shared by the majority of the
population in the two villages, the involvement of more or diverse participants in CARE’s
work should be secured in the near future so that reconciliation process comes to every
citizen, without any kind of exclusion.

Whether this process will sustain depends on several factors that also might go beyond
CARE’s involvement and efforts. The major challenge now for CARE is to contribute
towards a safer environment in the region where freedom of movement is sustainable in
the years to come.

To sum up, if the main purpose of CARE’s START II Capacity Building Project in
Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica has been the promotion of freedom of
movement, then the activities held had definitely an impact on the overall progress in the
region. Furthermore, a positive impact has been recorded with regard to interethnic and
community dialogue.

Is it enough for the region? Can someone be satisfied with this progress? If CARE
Kosovo cares for Kosovo, then it should not be satisfied with the present situation, it
should not be satisfied with any situation that is below its own standards of living. Rather
CARE should try to identify alternative ways to interact better and more effectively in the
field so as to provide peace more added values in the region. Progress can only come if
problems are identified and accompanied by willingness to overcome them. It seems
that CARE for the moment is able to identify these problems and tries to work on them.
The overall situation in Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica shows some
progress with regard to interethnic dialogue but lots of efforts have to be given to sustain
it. Interethnic dialogue has not been completed yet: general interethnic tensions in the
region or in the wider region within Kosovo might emerge from one day to another, yet
the situation seems to be far better than before.




START II Project                            17
CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
Lessons Learned

      There has been some progress concerning freedom of Movement in
       Kollolleq/Kololec and Kopernica/Koprivnica. Serbs from Kollolleq/Kololec use
       today the road to Kamenice/Kamenica through Kopernica/Koprivnica more
       regularly than in the past and from the time CARE has initiated its work in the
       field no incidents have been recorded.
      Interethnic dialogue is gradually increasing, not always without difficulties or
       problems. In the post-conflict situation in Kosovo, and in the region of
       Kamenice/Kamenica as well, grievances from the past, hate, mistrust and lack of
       confidence are still evident. Synchronously though optimism exists especially
       with regard to the new generation.
      Skeptical opinions still exist on both sides concerning future joint actions or
       projects. Nevertheless, both seem to understand the importance of interethnic
       cooperation and coexistence.
      The sustainability of the progress on freedom of movement and interethnic
       dialogue in the region is a challenge in itself that can be jeopardized by several
       (f) actors and at any time.
      Unemployment, lack of economic resources and poverty are the main problems
       that      the   local   populations,   especially   the   young   ones,   face   in
       Kamenice/Kamenica region, as elsewhere in Kosovo.


By using the Rights Based Approach methodology, CARE managed to raise the
awareness of the two neighboring communities on human rights in general and freedom
of movement in particular. After many meetings organized by CARE at the community
representatives level, where the importance of interethnic cooperation was remarkably
emphasized, community representatives agreed to continue cooperating with their
neighbors and focus on the future as the only way towards sustainable reconciliation and
reintegration.

Moreover it seems that the RBA principles have contributed towards interethnic conflict
resolution for the specific case study. In other words, only when the local population got
acquainted with the importance of interethnic dialogue and all other aspects of RBA in
the region, such as the right of Serbs (from Kollolleq/Kololec) to pass through the


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Albanian village (Kopernic/Koprivnica) did the incidents stop. By acknowledging this right
both sides have come closer to peaceful coexistence.

It   is   worth   mentioning   that   the   men’s   groups   from   Kollolleq/Kololec   and
Kopernica/Koprivnica village never had any unconstructive and pessimistic impact on
the youth groups of the two communities but they encouraged the youth to continue
working and cooperating with their neighbors and CARE, acknowledging that the youth
is the future.

Besides as a Serbian men group representative in Kollolleq/Kololec says to CARE staff,
“CARE does not bring together the two communities just to reconcile them, rather by its
activities in the region aims to leave a sustainable reconciliation and cooperation
environment once the project has come to an end”. This is also compatible with what a
CARE field staff argues: “we want to leave something behind”.




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                                     Case Study

                      Women Empowerment in Lipjan/Lipljan
                       “Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood


    THE CHALLENGE:

    As a rights-based organization, CARE deliberately and explicitly focuses on
    enabling people to achieve the minimum conditions for living in dignity – in other
    words, achieving their human rights.


    CARE is committed to implementing an internal gender and diversity capacity
    building programme for staff to support a culture of reflection, improved
    programme quality and changes in attitudes. CARE seeks to create and maintain
    a gender sensitive work environment that supports and rewards the full
    contribution and productivity of both men and women.


    Women empowerment is a challenge that CARE is taking on in Kosovo.
    Especially in Lipjan/Lipljan “Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood CARE has initiated
    its activities, using its Rights Based Approach (RBA) to promote women
    empowerment under the interethnic capacity building spectrum.




                            "Gender and diversity is about
                            change and transformation
                            from discrimination to equality,
                            from exclusion to valuing
                            difference, from
                            powerlessness to
                            empowerment, from injustice
                            to justice"
                                     Magdalene Lagu
                             CARE International UK Rights
                                         Advisor




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Introduction

CARE undertook a research action in “Ganimete Terbeshi” - ethnically mixed
neighborhood in Lipjan/Lipljan Municipality aiming to explore the status of women and
their decision-making capacity at all levels and in all spheres of life.

     CARE’s principle
                                Taking into account the rather bad position of women in
 “We stand in solidarity with
 poor and marginalized          Kosovo and their limited role in community development, in
 people and support their
 efforts to control of their    the case of “Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood, CARE
 own lives and fulfill their
 rights, responsibilities and   started to work with women groups from the communities,
 aspirations”.
                                including Albanians, Serbs and Roma living in the same
neighborhood. Kosovo’s Government and Municipal Authorities haven’t done much
about gender issues so far and women today are the most passive part of the society. In
many cases women in Kosovo still can not raise their voice to advocate their own rights.

Although a special office on gender issues now exists in the Prime Minister’s office and
in many Municipalities, including Lipjan/Lipljan Municipality, as the Vice President of the
Municipality assures to CARE, a lot of effort from the institutions is still needed on
women’s empowerment.


From the very beginning, CARE was acquainted with the fact that without full and equal
participation of women, there can be no sustainable community development. Male
dominated social life and cultural traditions for decades in Kosovo, discouraging female
participation in social and educational activities. Women’s legal rights and participation in
decision-making processes are restricted and women in Kosovo have no or very limited
control over their lives.


“Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood is composed approximately of 65 families, out of
which are: 39 Serbian, 20 Albanian and 6 Roma and Ashkaelji families. In total
inhabitants of the neighborhood are around 600. Bearing in mind the importance of
enhancing women's involvement at all levels of community development, including the
decision-making processes, CARE started to work with women of “Ganimete Terbeshi”
neighborhood regardless of their ethnicity aiming to their empowerment and the increase
of control over the decisions that affect their lives. It is worth mentioning that particular
emphasis was given to capacity building and raising their awareness on the importance
of interethnic cooperation.
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CARE’s staff during the project implementation encouraged women of all communities:
Albanians, Serbs and Roma of the “Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood to come together
and jointly participate in the interethnic dialogue and peace process.


During project implementation, CARE particularly emphasized the advocacy process to
increase women's opportunities to influence the direction of their community as well as
to remove obstacles to women access to power. CARE organized also several training
courses in different subjects such as: Advocacy, Conflict Management and Mediation,
Rights Based Approach so as to raise their awareness and build their self-confidence.
The prime purpose of these training courses was the gradual removal of any barriers the
women may face during their attempt to attain positions and/or during raising their voice
in society.

Objective

Aiming to find out the joint concerns and apprehensions of all three              Objective
communities (Albanians, Serbs and Roma) and particularly to study           Empowerment of female
                                                                            community members in
women empowerment in the area, CARE commenced a lessons                     “Ganimete Terbeshi”
                                                                            neighborhood regardless
learned activity researching and analyzing empowerment of female            their ethnicity

community members regardless of their ethnicity.

Background

During the Kosovo conflict in 1999, most Albanians did not leave the “Ganimete
Terbeshi” neighborhood, while all the rest returned to the neighborhood immediately
after the conflict. Still due to the overall post-conflict situation in Kosovo and the
                         interethnic tension that surfaced, communication between the
   What were the
    challenges?          separate communities was limited, if any at all. In practice, the
                         communities hardly ever communicated with each other.
      Initiating a
       multiethnic
       women group       It was only during 2002 that very few individuals from both
      Building trust
       between the       communities started to talk to each other but only out of sight
       distinct
       communities
                         and in a concealed way, due to the fears that still existed.
                         Consequently, even the ones that were meeting, and did it only
in an individual way, preferred to talk in secret, out of sight of their neighbors and only in
very few occasions.

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Then again, even this odd kind of communication did not last much, as the March 2004
riots broke the contacts between communities, including the people from the “Ganimete
Terbeshi” neighborhood.

“Facilitating Change”: CARE’s work in “Ganimete Terbeshi” Neighborhood

In August 2004, CARE initiated the first contacts with few community representatives
aiming to work with them regardless of their ethnicity and gender. Mobilizing them was
fundamental to promoting them as critical players in local life and ultimately in the
interethnic reconciliation process.


CARE was the only organization that approached this neighborhood and was well
accepted among both communities. An Albanian woman remembers that, before that
time, “women from both communities in this neighborhood had never been approached
by any organization and were never engaged in any activity, whereas the
communication between them was relatively reserved”.

“Prior to CARE’s involvement in this neighborhood the interethnic relationships between
both communities in particular between the women have been very fragile”, says to
CARE a Serbian woman. Both Serb and Albanian women recall well the time when the
situation in “Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood was tense. At that time there was no
women group in this neighborhood and individual contacts were also avoided.


“When we brought women to trainings, it was the first time for them to hear about
advocacy. Women were the most interested on trainings among all target groups”, says
a CARE field staff. The women had never been asked before about their needs and their
concerns were always subsumed under their families. Engaging them would provide
them the impetus both to address their main concerns on the post-conflict situation and
their socio-economic status within the society.


During the first step of CARE’s approach, good contacts had been established among
CARE and communities. Once CARE had conducted several meetings separately with
communities, Albanians and Serbs started to talk with each other. The interethnic
largely relationships improved after CARE organized the first dialogue meeting with men
on 25 September 2004.


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Especially the later event was of crucial importance. Men representatives, both Serbs
and Albanians, believe that the creation of the multiethnic woman group is important for
the neighborhood and their lives. “In the past and prior to CARE’s involvement women
did not communicate with each other although they lived in the same neighborhood,
even in the same street”, remembers a Serbian men representative.


                          Working in “Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood CARE dealt with
 “When you are
 engaged, there are       raising the awareness of both communities on their rights and
 hopes. If not, it is
 like you don’t exist”,   needs and encouraged communities to jointly identify their
 said to CARE a           priorities. One of the highest priorities raised by both community
 Serbian Woman
 Representative           representatives was the security of the railway crossing. Many
                          accidents had happened in the past, and the local population
was afraid of future similar cases. CARE staff jointly with the community representatives
advocated the issue to the Finnish KFOR that is in charge of patrolling this region. After
two weeks, a ramp was provided, securing the place and realizing the request of the
community.

Additionally, during the meetings, Albanian community representatives had also brought
up to CARE their request to remove the KFOR checkpoint positioned on 18th of March
2004. Jointly communities agreed that there was no need for the presence of KFOR’s
checkpoint any longer, it could be removed and CARE facilitated the whole process.
Following the community appeal and CARE’s involvement the checkpoint was eventually
removed.

With regard to community development, CARE focused on establishing a multiethnic
men’s group and a multiethnic youth group. A particular emphasis was given to the
establishment of a women’s group in this multiethnic neighborhood, as a way of creating
an impetus towards the most marginalized stratum of the local society.

Gender disparity manifests itself in various forms, the most obvious being the trend of
continuously declining female ratio in the population. Social stereotyping and exclusion
at the societal levels are different forms of such manifestations. The aforementioned
underlying causes of gender inequality and women discrimination in the decision-making
process and social life at large are first and foremost related to the existing socio-
economic structures and traditions in Kosovo.

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CARE organized a multiethnic meeting with women from both communities aiming to
raise their awareness on human rights and promote more active women participation
that further leads to changing the societal attitudes and community practices.


CARE’s engagement with women regardless of their ethnicity in “Ganimete Terbeshi”
neighborhood resulted in the establishment of a multiethnic women’s group. At the same
time, in order to enhance women’s empowerment in “Ganimete Terbeshi”, CARE
provided to the members of this group adequate resources such as training and
advocacy skills to effectively influence and advocate their own issues and concerns.


CARE’s engagement was highly appreciated by the women of “Ganimete Terbeshi”
neighborhood. Gradually the different members of this multiethnic group started to work
together and identify their priorities.


During a joint meeting, was identified that the first priority should     “Realizing any joint
be the location/center where the women could meet and develop             projects for this
                                                                          neighborhood would
fully their potential. Due to CARE’s involvement and their                have a direct effect
                                                                          on the sustainability
activities, they acquired a center to meet. CARE supported the
                                                                          of the interethnic
women’s group in sending a written request to Lipjan/Lipljan              relations in the
                                                                          whole region”, says
Municipal     Authorities    requesting    the    creation    of   this   to CARE a Serbian
                                                                          Men Representative.
center/location. After several meetings with the Municipal
Authorities, the multiethnic women’s group today has two rooms in the Building of the
Cultural House that can be used for their joint activities.


This didn’t come up without problems: first of all, “lack of communication between the
Municipality Authorities and the Cultural House staff delayed the whole procedure to
provide this location to the women’s group”, says a CARE staff. CARE has also through
different ways visited several times the region to secure that the location was eventually
provided to the women.


It is a small place and its condition is not the best one: lack of heating and electricity
deprive from the women the opportunity to meet there. This place has been provided to
them by the Municipality but unfortunately up to today no joint women meeting has been
held there. The women are also reluctant to place some furniture in the place as security
is not guaranteed. For the same reason the Albanian women continue to have the

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computer, given by CARE to the joint group, at their private house instead of the location
that it was meant to be.


Whether this multiethnic joint women’s group will in the end use the location provided to
them depends on several factors. First of all, and this is the biggest challenge, is the fact
that they tend to meet only when CARE is present in the field. They are reluctant to
initiate something there by themselves. They don’t easily come to new ideas, as in the
past they weren’t asked, or even allowed to come with any proposal. Within a very
patriarchical structure of the society women were placed only to carry out the “family
business”.

As a consequence changing this societal approach was and still is not an easy task.
Even if they finally initiate more activities, they will have to face the operational costs or
difficulties of this (c)old location. The challenges to come might be even more than the
ones in the past. Building trust between them has to some extent worked, due to
CARE’s facilitation, but if they don’t eventually jointly implement something concrete as a
group, everything that has been so far accomplished might shortly collapse.

A representative of the Lipjan/Lipljan Municipality speaking to CARE recognizes the
importance of this center for the women’s group and promises for better and more
engagement from their own part concerning this initiative. According to the Vice
President of the Municipality of Lipjan/Lipljan, CARE’s initiative to work with women
aiming to their empowerement is the best initiative that any INGO has taken so far in
their municipality, especially with regard to women who are the most passive stratum of
the society in Kosovo. He goes on and argues that with INGO’s involvement in gender
issues some evident progress, compared with the previous situation, has been noticed in
Lipjan/Lipljan Municipality. He is right: CARE has initiated the whole process, filled the
gap, and gave the opportunity for multiethnic coordination of gender issues, by women
themselves.




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Looking to the Future

CARE has initiated its work with regard to women empowerment in the region,
nevertheless progress does not come from one day to another. When it comes to
women empowerment society at large should me motivated. Perceptions and
misperceptions on the social structure need to be addressed both from CARE and the
local society. Willingness and motivation seem to be central on the social change that
needs to come in Kosovo at large.

Today the commitment among women from both communities for further progress
seems to be rather high. Nevertheless, they still seem to have no clear vision as a group
and meet only when CARE is present. They do not take many initiatives on their own
and expect from CARE to advice or even guideline their next steps.

A huge gap can also be identified between male and female activities. Women remain
passive, not very eager to take initiatives on their own, while men feel more confident.
CARE’s involvement might have provided a general change, still though things are not
satisfying with regard to women empowerment.


One should always take into account the mentality of the people with regard to women’s
issues. Progress in women empowerment can not come easily due to the traditional
family and social structure.


One should therefore keep in mind these perspectives when analyzing women
empowerment in Kosovo. If any optimistic approach, this seems once again to come
from the new generation, that has a tendency and/or a willingness to change several
things that do not correspond with Western or European standards. Perhaps therefore
initiating projects with young women groups might have an added value for the region.


The position of these women in the neighborhood in real life didn’t change much, what
might have changed though is their understanding about interethnic coexistence. They
knew before that they had to accept the “other side”, yet now they know each other
better.


“If women would have an opportunity to work and develop their potential, in particular, if
they would carry out any future activity or implement any joint project would definitely

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have an integration image and an influence in a wider reflection”, says to CARE a
Representative of Lipjan/Lipljan Municipality.


From the Municipality perspective real integration takes place only by engaging women
actively in social and training activities including educational (school), athletic (sports)
and cultural areas. Different training courses could for instance familiarize women with
language or computer learning etc, as well as organizing any professional courses such
as tailoring courses, hairdresser courses would be of great benefit for them.


“We have started working together and we must see something to be implemented.
Therefore we ask from CARE to help achieve something good for this neighborhood”,
says a Serbian Woman Representative.


                         The main challenge for CARE now is to build on this ground that
  Concerns for the
      Future             has been set. CARE should also try to involve as many different
      Show them
       the way to        actors as possible. The women group that has been formed
       continue          could be a model for the formation in the wider region of the
       working
       together          Municipality. Women empowerment will not “come out of the
      Involve more
       women in the      blue”, but facilitating and showing them their way seems to be
       process           crucial for the time being in Kosovo.

Lessons Learned

      Women in Lipjan/Lipljan “Ganimete Terbeshi”, as elsewhere in Kosovo, remain
       the most marginalized stratum of the local society.
      Women empowerment in the specific case, and Kosovo in general, is not easy to
       come. Many years of societal practice and tradition in the region do not allow
       women to have a better and equal status in the society.
      Although CARE might have created a joint women group and initiated the whole
       process of women empowerment in the region, women position did not change
       much in comparison with the previous situation. They still have no clear vision as
       a group and meet only when CARE is present.
      Lots of energy and efforts are needed to be paid in the field, when engaging with
       women, as it seems that they are not able to initiate activities by their own. They
       still need guidance on where and how to meet with each other. They have no


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       clear vision about future activities and how to empower themselves. They still
       can’t successfully advocate for their own needs and concerns.
      Some optimism might exist with regard to the youth women of the region. It could
       be therefore worth trying to explore how engagement with them might create
       potential positive impact on the future status of women in Kosovo.


Based on the research action, CARE’s initiative promoted the social inclusion of women
in the ethnically mixed neighborhood “Ganimete Terbeshi” in Lipjan/Lipljan. During the
START II project implementation, CARE attempted to empower women from both
communities in “Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood, create new channels for female
participation and involvement in communities and raise their voice to the local
government.

It would be naïve to believe that the women of “Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood have,
through the project, achieved gender equality. Still CARE has provided them the ground
to work towards interethnic dialogue and improving their status in the societal spectrum.

The women from “Ganimete Terbeshi” neighborhood have made some progress but
things go rather slow with regard to women empowerment. When it comes to changing
aspects of mentality –both men and women mentality- and social traditions, as is the
case of women empowerment in Kosovo, it is not easy to have concrete results. Women
see these initiatives as something new for them. Gradually they start to realize their
importance as in the past they didn’t know much about how to make use of their own
rights and advocate for their concerns.

In general, throughout Kosovo, lots of effort is required to empower women, such is also
the case in this specific neighborhood. The mentality of the local population and tradition
does not allow the change process to speed up easily. Still women have many problems
in the society and all aspects of contemporary life. CARE’s facilitation role was proven to
be beneficial for the specific women that were engaged through the project, but their
overall position in the society has not changed much. Progress has been recorded, but
still many other women, perhaps the majority is left outside this process. Still overall
progress requires commitment from all sides and motivation to achieve better results.




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                                         Case Study

                   Civil Society Strengthening Through Local Partners


     THE CHALLENGE:

     As a rights-based organization, CARE facilitates institutional linkages as a means
     to strengthen civil society. CARE is committed to the promotion of civil society
     that can play an increasingly important role in interethnic relations.


     Strengthening civil society through local partners is a challenge that CARE is
     taking on in Kosovo. In Graqanice/Gracanica through Communication for Social
     Development (CSD) and in Gorazhdevc/Gorazdevac and Vragovc/Vragovac
     (Peje/Pec region) through Syri I Vizionit, CARE has initiated its activities, using its
     Rights Based Approach (RBA) to facilitate civil society strengthening.

Introduction

CARE undertook a research activity aiming to explore the capacity of Local
     CARE’s principle          Organizations/Partners in promoting interethnic dialogue,
   We work with others to      reconciliation and rights based approach. The prime
   maximize the impact of
   our programs, building      purpose was to enhance the capacity of civil society
   alliances and
   partnerships with those     organizations to play an active role in the dialogue and the
   who offer complementary
   approaches, are able to     interethnic relations so as to represent the voice of the poor
   adopt effective
   programming                 and marginalized people in decisions affecting their lives.
   approaches on a larger
   scale and who have
   responsibility to fulfill   CARE’s Local Partner Organizations, Communication for
   rights and reduce poverty
   through policy change       Social Development (CSD) and Syri I Vizionit (SiV) to whom
   and enforcement
                               CARE handed over the particular sites have identified and
carried out several activities, including capacity building and raising awareness initiatives
with targeted groups aiming to prepare them to better represent their communities and
become more active at the local level.
Civil Society Strengthening was implemented through Local NGOs; yet again, it also
actively involved a broad range of stakeholders including local authorities, donors and
public at large.


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Objective

Taking into account that civil society plays an increasingly important        Objective
role in interethnic relations and that there are few, if any,               Civil Society
                                                                            Strengthening
opportunities for communities to come together to discuss and               through Local
                                                                            Partners
reflect on their coexistence, CARE considered the possibility to
continue working through Local Organizations/Partners aiming to create knowledge
based and civil society strengthening initiatives.

CARE undertook this research action aiming to study the capacity of Local
Organizations, in this case, Local Partners on enhancing and strengthening the
sustainability of civil society.

Challenging Interethnic Reconciliation

  Communication for Social Development (CSD) Graqanice/Gracanica

Communication for Social Development (hereafter CSD) is a local NGO in the Lipljan
region. Today it has 7 permanent staff, while in the past it employed even more. Through
the last 5 years that CSD is operating as a local NGO it has contributed in civil society
and had several innovative projects. One of the most important was a media project,
creation and broadcasting of radio station, a project financed by UNICEF.

CARE and CSD decided to work in partnership to enhance communities’ capacity
towards empowerment of all groups of communities and to actively promote tolerance
and understanding; to support ethnic communities in undertaking activities that foster
inter-ethnic cooperation and dialogue, to advocate with public institutions and
disseminate the experience.

Objective

CSD led a process of raising youth consciousness in addressing their needs and in
particular identifying the priorities of the youth in Novo Naselje- Asane multiethnic
neighborhood in Lipljan municipality. The main targeted groups were the multiethnic
youth between 18-26 years of Novo Naselje/Asane community.


This partnership had the followings objectives:

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      For the local representatives to realize the importance of youth commencement
       in decision making process about their future and role in multiethnic society.
      To reactivate and develop the constituted youth group of Albanian community
       from Novo Naselje-/Asane and focus on constituting the Serbian youth group.
      To create a sustainable multiethnic youth group and establish communication
       between representatives of local institutions and Municipality with the purposive
       multiethnic youth group from Novo Naselje/Asane location.
      To establish connections and relationships between multiethnic group from Novo
       Naselje/Asane location and potential organizations that currently deal with youth
       issues.

Background

The situation prior to CSD’s activities was tense and fragile with regard to interethnic
coexistence. Incidents were accruing almost on daily basis, Albanians and Serbs did not
talk with each other at all. Ashkaelji community faced its own problems and as the two
other communities, was reluctant to engage in any activities. Consequently, CSD started
with small steps to gradually achieve the project goals.


CSD considered the possibility of activating the project in three phases:
      The first phase was designed to be implemented by comprehending the full
       presentation of the project to the local representatives aiming to present them the
       importance of reactivation and developing the youth groups and raising their
       capacity for their future engagement. CSD team would also try to have meetings
       with the youth from the site aiming to have a view of their capacity and wiligness
       for cooperation.
      After measuring all mentioned factors CSD team would go on with the second
       phase of implementation. This second phase would emphasize the reactivation
       of the Albanian youth groups and the creation of the Serbian youth group. Then
       CSD would conduct meetings and training sessions for the youth groups, where
       participants could freely discuss about their problems and needs.
      The third and final phase would emphasize the work between all youth groups
       aiming to increase communication and establish a multiethnic youth group. CSD
       team would also try to locate some organizations dealing with youth issues, as
       well as Representatives of the local institutions and the Municipality.
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CSD started working on the dialogue process and reconciliation activities for the first
time during the implementation of the project financed by CARE in Lagjja e Re/Novo
Naselje in Lipjan/Lipljan Municipality. For the CSD team CARE’s presentation on the
realized activities as well as on the situation in the site was very beneficial.

CSD team recalls that CARE’s trainings and particularly joint visits to the site contributed
towards a better introduction and commencement for CSD to start working in the
interethnic dialogue and reconciliation activities in Lagjja e Re/Novo Naselje. At the
same time though CSD considers that the situation in the site at the initial stage when
CSD started to work was rather difficult and challenging.

Nevertheless as CSD staff say “the situation that was explained to us was different than
the reality that we faced”. In the past, CARE had worked within the specific region and
while CSD was planning the project, CARE presented briefly the condition on the field.
“The information that was given to us by CARE didn’t correspond with reality”, they say.
“According to the information that we had, a mono-ethnic group had already been
formed and was functioning. Unfortunately, when we went there the picture was totally
different: i) men’s group existed, but didn’t really function, ii) there was no women’s
group and iii) the Albanian youth group existed, but in reality didn’t function. The Serbian
youth had also no group”.

CSD faced with this challenge: although they expected to start with something different,
in reality they had to initiate everything almost from a zero ground. “This was a problem
for us, but at the same time a challenge and we had to find a way to make things
function”. As they also admit CARE during this situation through its field coordinators has
supported them. The result though was that this period was time-consuming for the
project implementation, almost a month had passed and the initial planning stages had
to be readjusted according to the new situation. A new implementation strategy was
therefore planned and several meetings were held in order to reschedule priorities.

Challenging the difficult and fragile situation in Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje, the CSD team
came to understand and respect the importance of objectivity while dealing with
interethnic relations. CSD itself was acquainted with the difficulties that may arise from
this important approach when it comes to field action with the different ethnic groups.



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In practice, for example, it was often required to send only a Serbian staff to the Serb
representatives and similarly only an Albanian staff to the Albanian representatives. This
approach could and did allow in the beginning of the process the ethnic representatives
to be more open to discussions with the CSD staff. CSD practiced this methodology
whenever problems were raised from the field concerning the interethnic dialogue;
however the CSD team managed to gradually create relatively good relations with both
communities in Lagjja e Re/Novo Naselje.

Facilitating Change: CSD in Lagjja e Re/Novo Naselje

The first activities carried out by CSD in
Lagjja e Re/Novo Naselje focused on              The “leaders” were divided because in
                                                 the past the infrastructure “leader”
creating open and communicative relations        lightened the street only nearby his
with both communities. The first and             home and left without street lights the
                                                 rest of the neighborhood. As a result
foremost     challenge   was   the   reluctant   fractions between the “leaders” and in
position of both communities towards NGOs        particular between the two Albanian
                                                 “leaders” in Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje
as a whole. A widespread belief existed -        were present. In the end CSD decided
and still exists- in the region among the        to have an Albanian “leader”
                                                 representing the Albanian community,
local population, both Albanians and Serbs,      a Serbian “leader” representing
that INGOs approach their region but in          Serbian community and another
                                                 Albanian “leader” representing the
reality can’t do much for these communities.     Hashani community.
To some extent this belief seems to exist
throughout Kosovo, in the specific region perhaps even more.

This challenge had to be overtaken by CSD at the first place, so that the project could be
initiated. CSD approached the communities applying methods similar to CARE;
however, taking into account the delicate situation in the site, some modifications were
necessary.

Once the CSD team managed to build some trust between the local population and its
intentions for the region faced other different challenges. The men’s group, for instance,
was not functioning properly, while the youth and women groups had to be reactivated.

The situation in the site was very problematic as the local “leaders” were divided due to
previous problems. CSD initiated the very first contacts with these divided “leaders”, and
then focused on working and choosing mainly the most proactive ones. “We presented

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the project to Representatives of the communities and then we had to decide who the
right “leader” could be”, say CSD staff to CARE.

The Serbian community had already two “leaders” but only one was actively involved,
the Hashani community had a cooperative and active “leader” (who remained) whereas
within the Albanian community several “leaders” (in total four) continued to operate for
specific tasks such as: a “leader” for agriculture, a “leader” for infrastructure and a
universal “leader”.

Gradually CSD recognized that Lagjja e Re/Novo Naselje faced problems or difficulties
in agriculture and infrastructure. They decided so to work and choose a “leader” who
would not be interested to personally benefit from this engagement but rather would
want to offer actively his energy in all activities. Thus, the CSD team managed to assign
only one “leader” among the Albanian community. Today this person remains the
“leader” of the Albanian community in Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje.

                              This choice was not easy to be make: selecting only one
 The conflict could start
 as soon as the youth         Albanian “leader” among the Albanian community was
 from both communities        definitely one of the most difficult challenges that the team
 would by coincidence
 meet in the street.          faced during the first stage of the project implementation.
                              At the same time, it was decided that the Hashani “leader”
should remain the same, while the team decided to work with the most proactive from
the Serbian community.

During the project implementation every working day in Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje was a
challenge. Even introducing the CSD project to the communities in Lagjja e Re/Novo
Naselje was a challenge in itself.

Taking into account the preceding situation in Lagjja e Re/Novo Naselje and in particular
the victims from both communities it was quite hard to initiate the implementation. The
conflict had left many open wounds between both communities and working on their
coexistence and reconciliation was not easy at all. Even imagining that a member of
these families could sit and talk with other community members was unthinkable in the
beginning.



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Despite the initial reservations, CSD approached the communities and introduced the
project. Once the project was set to the ground a big number of interested/potential
“leaders” approached CSD, most of them with an intention to personally gain from the
project. At this stage the challenge for CSD was to distinguish between those that have
showed interest only for their own/personal benefit and those that honestly wanted to
see some progress for the whole community.

CSD assured everyone that there was nothing to personally benefit from the project, but
rather the gain would be for the community itself. One after the other these individuals
immediately withdrew their interest from the project. It was then easier for CSD to
appoint new “leaders” from the communities, based only on their good willingness.

CSD’s main intention though was to establish a multiethnic youth group in Lagjja e
Re/Novo Naselje and therefore focus on working with the youth in the region. CSD
initially established a mono-ethnic youth group among the Serbian community. Even this
task was not an easy one: the Serbian youth at that time did not want to participate in
any activity and was reluctant to cooperate with anyone. “We have put all our efforts into
that. We went from house to house for individual visits and inform them about the
project. There are not many youth members in this specific region and the ones that we
visited in the beginning were very reluctant to participate”, say CSD staff to CARE.

Gradually, CSD managed to initiate and maintain good contacts with the Serbian youth.
As a result CSD managed to establish a Serbian youth group consisting of 6 members,
and now the group is composed by more members (around 10). The major challenge
then was the location for this youth group to meet. CSD has established contacts with
the Youth Center of Lipljan and used a Serbian coffee shop for their meetings.

“As a youth group we regularly meet and talk with each other. We also have contact’s
with the Albanian youth group. Prior to CSD’s attempts we didn’t communicate with them
at all”, says a Serbian Youth Group Representative to CARE.

CSD applied a rather friendly approach to the Serbian youth group and avoided from the
very beginning to discuss about the project or its goal. This allowed them to come closer
and form their own youth group. By creating a good opportunity for the youth to get
familiarized CSD steadily managed to engage them in each activity.


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Concerning the Albanian youth group, CSD intended to establish one Albanian youth
group representing Albanian and Hashani community in Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje. Once
more it was quite difficult to establish such a group as the Hashani and the Albanian
community did not want to be represented by the other community representatives. “At
that time the Albanian youth had a rather hostile attitude and was not willing to be
involved in any activities”, says a CSD staff.

In the end CSD managed to persuade them and established this group by choosing two
group “leaders”: one from the Hashani and one from the Albanian community. This
specific group structure was also aiming to get closer to the youth of the Hashani and
the Albanian community, which until that time were not cooperating adequately.

Once the CSD team established the Serbian and the Albanian youth groups, CSD paid
particular attention to organizing a joint meeting with the youth groups from both
communities. This seemed to be the most difficult challenge during the project
implementation. CSD spent much energy and time on organizing this event taking into
account all different parameters. In the end the CSD staff decided to organize a picnic in
Brezovica with CSD staff, all members of the Serbian and the Albanian youth groups
from Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje and two CARE representatives.

“In the beginning the main obstacle we faced was how to form this group and how to
establish contact with the Albanians. We were reluctant in the beginning and we had
linguistic problems [many young people today in Kosovo speak either only Albanian or
Serbian]. This interaction between each other has gradually improved”, says a Serbian
Youth Group Representative.

Eventually during the picnic in Brezovica twenty youngsters participated. A 15 minutes
documentary –recorded by CSD- that shows the atmosphere and cooperation between
the Albanian and the Serbian youth groups from Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje is a good
indicator of this success. An Albanian Men Representative that was also interested in
this activity and eventually participated, remembers: “During this activity no distinction
was made and it was also very difficult for me to distinguish who was Albanian and who
was Serbian”.




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The two youth groups from Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje that in the near past had no
contacts or meetings at were, due to CSD and CARE, socializing for the first time.
Progressively they started to understand the importance of interethnic coexistence.

Subsequent to the picnic in Brezovica, CSD organized several other joint meetings and
activities where the youth groups once again had the chance to exchange their ideas
and know better each other. At that time, CSD’s aim was to raise the awareness of the
youth groups on the importance of interethnic cooperation. CSD used the multiethnic
coexistence of the staff in CSD and CARE as a good example of peaceful and
cooperative coexistence.

From time to time, CSD organized other kinds of activities with the youth groups from
Lagjja e Re/Novo Naselje. One good occasion of testing the degree of coexistence of
the youth was the football tournament organized by CSD. They had invited five teams
where Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje youth groups were represented by a multiethnic team
consisting of players from both communities, Albanians and Serbs.

Despite the fact that CSD managed to have some progress up to that time, an
unexpected incident took place and complicated things more. In August 2005 two Serbs
from the village Suhodoll (Lipjan Municipality) were killed and another Serb from Lagja e
Re/Novo Naselje was wounded near Shterpce/Shtrpce. These young people were not
part of the groups that CSD had formed, but still the incident had a tremendous impact in
the region.

This was the most difficult situation that CSD team faced during the whole project
implementation. The CSD team remembered that they suddenly came to a very difficult
situation; they could not even contact their representatives, and a feeling was spread
that all their efforts on the improvement of interethnic relations between the youth and
communities had failed. “All the team-spirit that had been accomplished up to that day
was destroyed by this incident”, remembers a CSD staff.

“Everything affects the situation, but especially this incident had a very negative impact
on us. We still try to overcome this situation and not generalize it. For some young
people, relatives and close friends of the victims, the impact was higher and deeper”,
says a Serbian Youth Representative.


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It was very difficult or even impossible to approach once again the same people and
discuss about interethnic cooperation and strengthening multiethnic society while the
victims of that incident might have been their own relatives or closest friends. “It was
very difficult for us and we were feeling very uncomfortable to speak and work on
interethnic dialogue after such a short period after the incident”, say CSD staff. As a
consequence of this problematic situation the CSD team decided to suspend their joint
field activities with Albanian and Serb representatives Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje.

They still tried to keep contacts by phone with the youth groups, but after a meeting with
CARE they decided to postpone any multiethnic activities for the near future. CARE also
provided them with a two-month expansion of the project, and work separately with the
youth groups instead of keeping the multiethnic nature. Both NGOs wanted to avoid
escalation of violence at that time and the decision was taken by consensus. “We are
very grateful for CARE’s assistance at that time. It has proven valuable at that difficult
situation”, say CSD staff.

This incident negatively influenced not only this specific project but the overall work of
CSD. Bringing people together again in any multiethnic activity is a very difficult task.
The CSD team managed to organize again after a short period of time a multiethnic
picnic to Peja/Pec region with the youth groups from Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje. The two
youth groups were divided into two separate vehicles to avoid any tension, and once
again this was a test about their coexistence. In the end it was clear that both groups
were still very willing to cooperate in the near future.


Looking to the Future

The most important outcome from this project implemented in Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje
is that the interaction between the Albanian and Serbian youth groups remains good
although the groups did not meet formally due to the lack of the location. However, they
keep talking to each other whenever they meet in the street or elsewhere, whereas the
Serbian youth group continues to meet formally.

“We are very satisfied with CSD’s work and we had all their support. If CSD was not
here we wouldn’t have formed this group. With regard to the Albanian youth, things have
also changed due to CSD. We live so close but we didn’t really know each other”, says a

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Serbian Youth Group Member. The same goes for an Albanian Youth Representative:
“we are very satisfied with CSD and this experience was very useful for us”.

“With our own capacities as a local NGO we have provided as much as we could. We
didn’t manage to work much with the multiethnic group, but we worked a lot with the
mono-ethnic ones”, says a CSD staff when asked to evaluate their own work. He goes
on and says: “Within the time given to us we are proud to have accomplished so much,
even more than what CARE has done in 2 years in the region”. Indeed CSD provided
the ground for optimism within these two mono-ethnic youth groups. At the same time,
due to their interactions, the youth groups came closer to the idea of reconciliation at
large.


What did not go well?

The CSD team recognizes that they did not have enough means to be absolutely
committed to Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje. The project duration was also very short
according to the CSD team and did not allow them much time for action. During the four-
month period (and two month expansion provided to them due to the incident), the CSD
team also managed to work only with the youth groups but not with women and men
groups. They argue that perhaps if the project was longer than four months they could
have worked with men and women and certainly have more positive impacts on
achieving the project goal.

The time duration of the project seems to be a major problem at the first place. Apart
from that though involving the broader community and the political authorities was at
stake at some time. [The observations from the lessons learned workshop (see below)
illustrate better and in depth the challenges and difficulties that emerged]

Successes: What went well?

The initiation of contacts and interaction between the youth groups from both
communities was among the important advantages of the project. Raising the
awareness among the ethnic youth groups on the importance of the multiethnic society
and interethnic cooperation is another added value of CSD’s work. The establishment of
the multiethnic youth group in Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje and the various joint activities
can also be included in the list with the positive impacts.
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Apart from that, CSD supported the youth groups and advocated for them on
establishing and maintaining good relations with Lipjan/Lipljane Municipal Authorities,
Youth Center in Lipjan/Lipljane, Finish KFOR etc.

Despite the incident that took place (irrelevant to CSD’s activities) and created a
problematic situation, the young population appreciates the work of CSD and CARE in
the region. Fear always exists, but at least today these young people know each other
and can have a better communication than in the past. The socialization provided to
them by the joint activities has been a unique opportunity to overcome some of the
stereotyped images on the “other side”.

The members of the youth groups are also expecting more activities to come. “We have
formed our youth groups, we had several activities and in some cases, as in the picnic
and the football game, we had lots of fun. We would like to increase our activities and
continue with our cooperation”, both Youth Representatives argue.

CSD recommends continuing the work in Lagja e Re/Novo Naselje. CSD team is very
concerned about this site and is ready to start again working there if any funds can be
provided to them. They believe that if any organization would start working in the region
with longer project duration this certainly more sustainable result on interethnic
reconciliation.

A key question also is timing. In other words, CSD was working there during the summer
period (from May till September 2005). As they argue “it was very difficult to engage
local population, especially men and youth representatives at that time”. As the main
economic activity is agriculture, during the summer time, men and youth work in the
land, making this period more problematic for activities. It could be therefore proven that
another core-period of a project implementation would be more beneficial, more effective
and with wider impact.

Lessons Learned

Based on the research action, CARE’s initiative attempted to strengthen civil society
through local partners. CSD has shown commitment and eagerness to work towards



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interethnic dialogue. As a local NGO working for the first time in this direction CSD has
faced several problematic situations that have been dealt more as challenges.

With the consultation, facilitation and support of CARE, CSD                  Concerns for
                                                                               the Future
managed to work effectively in the field. The challenges they faced,           A CARE
most important being killings of the two young Serbians, was at the              strategic
                                                                                 plan with
same time a “test” for their own capacities and reflexes as a local              regard to
                                                                                 local
NGO. They had many times to maneuver, alter their initial plans, and             partnerships
form new strategies.                                                             could assist
                                                                                 both parties

Despite the short duration of the project (4+2 months) they have shown concrete results
with regard to the formation of the mono-ethnic groups. At the same time they initiated
several multiethnic activities that had an important impact on the local population,
especially the youth that were more engaged. On the other hand they didn’t manage to
work properly or as they perhaps intended, with the women and men groups. The
incident that occurred (as they admit) was critical towards this direction as they had to
reconstruct their own strategy and priorities.

The challenge now for CSD is to sustain the youth groups that it created and together
with CARE to continue facilitating their multiethnic interaction. If this does not happen, all
gains of this project might be just a spontaneous moment of progress of civil society.
The tendency that has been seen elsewhere in Kosovo from INGOs to leave progress or
initiatives half-way, unfinished and just promising could happen here as well, if both CSD
and CARE don’t continue their activities in the region.

Concerning CARE’s involvement, it seems that CARE supported CSD, in difficult
circumstances (i.e. incident). Today, CSD due also to this project faces several
challenges, strengthened to some extent its capacity and confidence to work closer with
interethnic communities. Although still not completely able to work alone, it is able now -
more than in the past- together with CARE to face any similar challenges.


 Syri I Vizionit - Peje/Pec region

Introduction




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Gorazhdevc/Gorazdevac village is situated around 6 (six) kilometers from Pejë/Pec
town, towards the main road Pejë/Pec – Loxhe village and is surrounded by
Poqestë/Poceste, Vragoc/Vragoce, Kërstovc/Krstovce villages and the town outskirt of
Dardania, while the village is under the protection of KFOR troops.

Approximately 800 Serbs live in the Pejë/Pec region, the vast majority of which is
concentrated in the villages around the town, mainly in Gorazhdevc/Gorazdevac village,
where 750 people live. Many international organizations have in the past and at present
taken action to promote interethnic dialogue in this region.

Objective

The prime objective was to provide the multiethnic groups of the villages
(Gorazhdevc/Gorazdevac, Poqestë/Poceste, Vragoc/Vragoce, Kërstovc/Krstovce) with a
higher level of awareness on how to address their needs and requests to local
institutions.

A more specific objective was to support multiethnic groups in achieving the higher level
of awareness through, increasing their capacities by trainings, meetings and multiethnic
forums, which could contribute to the reconciliation process. The target groups then
(women, men and youth) could build their capacity in addressing their own needs.


Background: The situation prior to Syri I Vizionit’s - CARE’s involvement

The local population lives in permanent fear due to the lack of freedom of movement.
The Albanian community has to travel through Gorazhdevc/Gorazdevac village into
town. At the same time it is impossible for the local Serb community to move anywhere
without the escort of involved organizations. KFOR’s checkpoint is still present in the
village for their protection from any future tensions. In the past, March 2004, riots in the
region have worsened the situation and fear is always present for the Serb community.

The Serb community since the end of the conflict remains isolated and is living under the
hardest social and economic conditions in Kosovo; such is the case in the specific region
as well.




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Facilitating Change: Syri I Vizionit in the Peje/Pec region

Syri I Vizioniti, [“Eye of Vision”] (hereafter SiV) is a local NGO in the Pejë/Pec region. It is
composed and operated by young people committed to the ideas of reconciliation and
peaceful coexistence between Serbs and Albanians. Among their most innovative ideas
and actions is the publication of a weekly bilingual (Serbian and Albanian language)
newspaper on specific problems that both communities at a local level face. As they say
“through this initiative we aim to inform the public at large and at the same time to
engage the Municipal Authorities to be more effective in problem-solving situations”.

SiV, with CARE, initiated a project on improving the interethnic dialogue in
Gorazhdevc/Gorazdevac and Vragovc/Vragovac. They have involved three main target-
groups: men, women and youth groups from both communities, Albanians and Serbs.
SiV considered the possibility of implementing the reconciliation project in three phases:

            The first phase was designed to be implemented during the research
             actions by conducting interviews with people from both communities. The
             prime purpose of these interviews was the identification of their main
             grievances and concerns. During the first phase, SiV held several meetings
             with all groups, advocated and addressed communities’ concerns to the
             Pejë/Pec Municipal Authorities.
            It is worth mentioning that based on the first phase’s, progress SiV decided
             to focus further on youth of both communities. As a result, during the
             second phase SiV held seven joint meetings only with the youth group
             representatives.
            During the third phase SiV conducted several multiethnic trainings on
             different subjects with the youth groups from Gorahdevc/Gorazdevac and
             Vragovc/Vragovac represented by both communities. The subjects
             developed during these training sessions included: Advocacy, Human
             Rights, Mediation, Managing NGOs, Project Proposals, Leadership and
             Strategic Planning. The youth groups argue that these trainings were useful
             and raised the responsiveness and deeper understanding of both
             communities, Albanian and Serbian.



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SiV managed to create and maintain good communication and relations between the
youth groups. Several momentums during the project implementation are worth
mentioning. One of them was the achievement to persuade Serbian youth group to go
beyond their own village to Vragovc/Vragovac (Albanian) village. It was the first time
after the end of the conflict that the Serbian youth visited Vragovc/Vragovac.

Another important momentum was UNMIK Administrator’s visit to Vragovc/Vragovac.
There the men groups from both communities had the opportunity to directly address
their concerns and needs. At that time their major concern was the water system that did
not reach the village, so they directly asked about the progress of the project.

SiV has also advocated about it and contributed towards its solution. “This issue wasn’t
within our capacities to help, but we managed to coordinate the local population’s
concerns by advocating for them. We can’t solve everything in the region by our own,
but we try to contribute to solutions as much as possible”, says a SiV staff.

Still today many problems exist with regard to the water system in the villages. The
process seems to be going on for the repair of the system but not always with huge
strides. Men representatives of these villages keep referring to the importance of water,
as this would also contribute to their main economic activities, once again here,
agriculture. Although the problem is still not solved SiV has supported the local
population through advocacy to the Municipal Authorities and the result now seems to be
on the Authorities’ side.

SiV considers that the project was successfully implemented. Every time they organized
meetings there were lots of issues to address and the discussions were both active and
constructive. Concerning the youth groups, SiV organized joint meetings, workshops
picnics where the youth had the opportunity to identify their priorities. Apart from the
regular meetings, SiV worked with regard to capacity-building of the youth groups and
the importance of NGOs.

The Local Community Officer in Pejë/Pec Municipality evaluated positively the
engagement      and   the   work   done    by    SiV   in   Gorazhdevc/Gorazdevac    and
Vragoc/Vragovac sites. “SiV paid a particular attention to the youth groups in
Gorazdevc/Gorazdevac and Vragovc/Vragovac by engaging them in different multiethnic


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activities. All these efforts, without doubt, have contributed towards a better
communication and understanding of the youth groups” he says.

SiV during the implementation of the project was financed by CARE and was the only
NGO that initiated the contacts between the youth from Gorazhdevc/Gorazdevac and
Pejë/Pec Municipal Authorities. Apart from CARE, SiV has worked in the past with DRC
and European Perspective. “The main difference with CARE is that we can on daily
basis contact them, discuss and reflect on the different conditions that might arise in the
field”. As one of CARE’s sub-offices is located in Pejë/Pec, it is easier to coordinate the
activities while at the same time the personal contacts between the two NGOs contribute
to problem-solving situations.

SiV as a Local NGO seems to have gained the capacity to enable civil society in the
interethnic dialogue between the different communities in Pejë/Pec region. “Even the
problems that arose in the field during the project were a challenge for us. We were very
much committed to our goal and we always took into account the needs and priorities of
the local population”, says a SiV staff.

This seems to be compatible with the local population’s view on SiV’s work in the
villages. In general both Serbs and Albanian representatives seem to appreciate SiV as
a local NGO working in the region. “They always did take into account our priorities and
concerns”, say representatives of both villages. “I liked the way they worked here. Most
of their activities were innovative and had some positive impact on our village”, says a
Serbian men representative.

Some though, especially members of the Albanian men group are pessimistic: “We had
several meetings and contacts, but besides that nothing was accomplished”. Both
communities seem to have expected much more from what was Syri i Vizionit’s aim.
Especially for the men in the region the repair of the water system remains crucial; they
can’t afford to use the agriculture machinery that was, in the past, provided to them by
CARE and their economic condition remains bad. When their main concern remains how
to find ways to raise money, they don’t really “afford” to care about interethnic dialogue.

Skeptical views exist on the “other side” as well: “The Municipal Authorities didn’t
support us. They didn’t use the chance they had to promote interethnic dialogue”, says a
Serbian Men Representative. With regard to SiV he argues that “it was very willing to do
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something for the region, it gave lots of energy, but the crucial aspect missing from this
local NGO is the financial capacity”.

One of the major benefits of this project was the engagement with Community Based
Organizations (CBOs). More specifically SiV has worked closely with “Iliria” a village-
based youth CBO, composed by 70 Albanian members, out of which around 40 are
active. The coordinator of this small village-based CBO appreciates the initiative of SiV
and says “we see ourselves now as colleagues. We have cooperated with them and this
was a mutual benefit for both NGOs. We had several trainings on strategic planning,
conflict management and leadership based approaches that were also beneficial for our
members. In the end I think the implementation of the project left something to us, but
now we want also to be part of any future joint activities”.

While though this CBO is present for the last 4 years, the neighboring Serbian youth
members didn’t manage to acquire their own local village-based CBO. “We have tried for
a long time to establish a local NGO-CBO- here, but we didn’t have much support on
that”, says a Serbian Youth Representative. “We have asked for support to create a
youth center, just as “Iliria” has in the neighboring Albanian village, with computers and
internet access, but still we haven’t seen much”.

SiV in the last phase of the project implementation has tried to facilitate the whole
process of supporting the creation of a Serbian village-based CBO. For the creation of
this CBO lots of effort is still needed and the Serbian group has to register as a village-
based local NGO. From both sides it is clear that an effort at this level has started,
although not always without the fears of Serbians for “favoring” the Albanian side. “We
think that they offered more to the Albanians than what was given to us. Every time we
have the chance we keep informing them on our willingness to create this village-based
local NGO, but still we don’t see any progress”.

Apart from the benefit of having a more institutionalized interethnic dialogue between the
villages, this village-based local NGO/CBO would allow the Serbs to feel equal to their
neighbors. For the moment they think that “favoritism” towards Albanians doesn’t allow
them to implement their own activities. Moreover this village-based local NGO/CBO
could contribute towards the improvement of their everyday day, just as “Iliria” perhaps
did for the Albanians.

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At the same time, although more interested in youth engagement and empowerment SiV
has    also     worked   with   the    Women        village-based   local   NGO   “Briga”   in
Gorazhdevc/Gorazdevac. As this NGO’s coordinator says: “we had two trainings during
the project and we would be very much interested to work with SiV and/or CARE in the
near future”.

It should be clear though that these village-based NGOs/CBOs do not acquire the
capacity to survive without funding from external sources. Their sustainability is not
secured; perhaps more importantly their legacy is unknown. They could provide some
added value to strengthening civil society at a very limited and specific village level by
engaging young people with interesting or even entertaining activities. Simultaneously
though might create a vicious circle where disengagement becomes far more
complicated.

Looking to the Future

“We are thankful to CARE for this partnership and we would like to go on with joint
activities”, says a SiV staff. He goes on by mentioning that “there is always space for
improvement but we have in this short period of time accomplished much”.

A Representative of the Municipality that follows the NGO activities in the region and this
specific project argues that: “we can’t expect to have a paradise after the end of any
project. Many other factors influence the overall situation but NGOs do contribute in a
positive way”. For Syri I Vizionit’s activities he believes that “it is one of the few NGOs
that have worked in the region with regard to youth issues. They do projects were in
general we have problems as a Municipality and this is well appreciated”.

A future challenge for SiV is the feedback that it provides to the Municipality Authorities
concerning its activities. Although not disappointed on the reports, the Municipal
Authorities would very much appreciate a more concrete and professional engagement
from Syri I Vizionit’s part with regard to activity reports.

SiV itself recommends the continuation of the work in Gorazhdevc/Gorazdevac and
Vragovc/Vragovac particularly with the youth groups. An expansion of the project would



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contribute to the maintenance of the good interethnic relations that were created during
the project implementation.

Taking into account that the duration of the project was for 4+2 months, SiV has
successfully implemented all three stages of the plan. Nevertheless, much has still to be
done with regard to civil society engagement in the region. The interethnic dialogue has
to continue and engage as more as possible the local population.

“For SiV the challenge now is to find realistic ideas that will have a peace value for the
region and to continue our partnership with CARE”. A better and more effective
facilitation of the Serbian youth group could also create new opportunities. The Albanian
youth group, also represented and engaged through the project by the local NGO/CBO
“Iliria” seems dynamic and confident enough to implement small future projects.

Observation from the Lessons Learned Workshop

On February 25, 2006 CARE organized and facilitated a Lessons Learned Workshop
with regard to its local partners. The prime aim of this workshop was to allow local
partners and community representatives to exchange their experience and ideas while
implementing their projects. Once participants had explained what their expectations
from the workshop were, two working groups were formed to address several thematic
issues, such as: i) the most important challenges and/or problems they faced during the
project   implementation,     ii)   CARE’s   facilitation   role,   iii)   capacity-building   and
empowerment of local partners and iv) strengthening civil society through the project. In
the end the working groups provided some general recommendations with regard to the
partnership. Some of the general conclusions of this workshop include:

    Main Challenges and/or problems faced during the project implementation:

From the working groups and the discussion that followed after their presentation it
seems that in both cases, CSD and SiV, have faced some core-similar challenges with
the project. Both have expressed their concerns with regard to the Municipal Authorities
support, as they have faced lack of Municipal willingness to help them while
implementing the project. Initiating contacts with local/ethnic communities was another
core challenge. In most cases, local communities either weren’t interested in interethnic
dialogue or expected to personally (financially) benefit from their involvement. In addition
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local/ethnic communities didn’t trust either themselves or NGOs and INGOS. Last but
not least, both CSD and SiV argued that the project duration and timing was a challenge
and created some problems that could be avoided.

At the same time, some other dissimilar challenges have emerged. CSD had to face a
“different reality” in the field from that which was presented to them for the specific site.
This might have created some “hidden mistrust” between CSD to and/or from CARE,
which was overcome during project implementation. Last but not least, the incident that
happened with the 2 killed and one wounded Serbians was a challenge in itself. SiV on
the other hand faced some logistical challenges and some problems with regard to
whether “Iliria” is considered as a CBO (Community Based Organization), a youth group
or a local –village based NGO.


   The following design illustrates the aforementioned similar and dissimilar challenges:




                                          CHALLENGES


               CSD                            BUDGET                          SiV


          - “different reality”                                               - logistics
              bad information        Lack of Municipal support:           - “IIiria”:
              on the field           Unwillingness to help                   local NGO
              situation                                                           or CBO?


          -    “Hidden              Initiating contacts with the
               Mistrust”            local/ethnic communities
               in the                      - lack of interest
               Beginning                    - personal gains
         -     INCIDENT                    - mistrust towards themselves
                                           - and NGOs-INGOs


                                       Project duration and timing



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     CARE’s facilitation role:

With regard to CARE’s facilitation role, once more similar and dissimilar pro and contra
elements have been presented. Both have identified as pro-elements (or positive
aspects): a) the good cooperation and communication, b) the consulting meetings, the
trainings and workshops organized by CARE, d) the advice provided to them by CARE,
and e) the logistic support. As contra-elements (or weaknesses/negative aspects) both
identified: a) the duration, b) the timing and c) the budget of the project.

The dissimilarities can be summarized as follows: i) information on the field situation
provided by CARE to SiV was considered as positive, but negative/ not enough or bad in
the case of CSD. Physical /direct CARE presence in SiV activities was enough and
satisfactory for SiV but for CSD was not enough during the middle phase of the project
implementation. There is a way of explaining the later: for SiV’s case, CARE acquires
two staff who work close and solely responsible in that specific region (Pejë/Pec CARE
sub-office), while for CSD’s case, CARE appointed different (Pristina-office) staff to their
site that had also other activities and responsibilities.

The following design illustrates the aforementioned assumptions on CARE’s facilitation
role:




         Pro-elements                                                   Contra –elements
    Good communication                        - information                     Duration
    Good cooperation                  - CARE’s direct Project                   Budget
    Consulting meetings                       presence                          Timing
    Trainings and workshops
    Advice




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Lessons Learned


Taking into account the aforementioned findings of the case study and the Lessons
Learned Workshop findings, concerning CARE’s partnership with Local NGOs, it could
be   beneficial   for   both   parties   to   take   into   account   the   following      general
conclusions/recommendations:

 Planning stage:

          Designing the project is crucial for the overall impact on the field. Under this
           spectrum, CARE should increase its own capacities to better design project
           partnerships, while local partners could improve their own ability to justify
           their opinions and views. All kinds of factors and/or challenges should be
           effectively addressed and analyzed while designing the project to avoid
           problems in the implementation stage.
          The partnership is first of all about mutual understanding and trust. If parties
           do not trust one another then no project can be effectively realized. This trust
           should cross organizations both vertically and horizontally at all levels.
          Sharing information on the planning stage between the partners on the
           specific characteristics of the region and/or local population has a vital
           importance. Both partners should exchange this information or experience
           with honesty, and without hiding any aspects of the real situation in the field.
           It would be also beneficial to investigate the present local situation concretely
           by joint activities at an initial stage (prior to get committed to projects).
          Knowing the concrete and true capacities of both CARE and local partners
           could assist the formation of the plan. Misperceptions of the abilities of each
           organization might lead to problematic situation that need to be avoided.
          CARE and local partners should be committed from the very beginning till the
           very end (including the evaluation and/or lessons learned stage) to their
           principles and objectives.
          Duration and timing of the project have to be taken into account when
           designing the plan. Different conditions, needs and circumstances of the local
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           population (e.g. agricultural activities in the summer period) may influence the
           effectiveness of the plan.

 Implementation stage


      CARE and local partners should continue exchanging information and having
       meetings regularly during the implementation stage, whenever this is considered
       necessary by both sides.
      CARE’s direct presence in the field, close to local partners’ activities, has been
       proven beneficial for the implementation of the project. It would be usual to
       continue or improve CARE’s physical/direct presence in sites were local partners
       are implementing projects.
      Local partners should start gradually increasing their capacities to correspond to
       problematic, challenging and unexpected situations or events that might arise in
       the field during the project implementation.
      At the same time, CARE should continue assisting and facilitating its local
       partners, when this is requested and if this could enhance the impact of the
       project.
      During the implementation stage, reports from both CARE and local partners
       should be considered as an added value. Local partners should gradually
       increase their capacity to prepare more concrete, efficient and accountable
       reports to CARE, but also towards all other stakeholders (e.g. Municipal
       Authorities). To achieve this, CARE could also consider providing some
       additional (specific) trainings to assist local partners’ staff towards this direction.

 Evaluation

      Evaluation should be considered as an on-going, non-stop process that allows
       external and internal use, improves capacity-building and enhances lessons to
       be learned of both (and/or other) parties. Mutual credibility and accountability
       could enhance the impact and effectiveness of the partnership during this and all
       other stages.


Both local partners have shown eagerness to continue working with CARE in the near
future. Particular attention though should be paid to their capacities and the areas they
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are able to work. CARE could through future partnerships allow its local partners to
increase their own capacities and empower these local NGOs to shift towards more
efficiency, transparency and accountability.

Both local partners have increased their capacities and were empowered through the
project implementation. CARE’s advice, information and cooperation were crucial
towards this direction. Nevertheless, both local partners have shown increased
dependency on CARE while implementing the project. For the time-being they still can
not be considered as strong enough to promote interethnic dialogue and strengthen civil
society by their own. Despite their willingness to work as local NGOs in wider aspects,
they still lack strategic planning and remain to a great extent CARE/donor-driven.

It becomes rather clear that by this “experiment” CARE promoted both learning to local
partners and interethnic dialogue to the specific local/ethnic communities. In post-conflict
situations, civil society can play an important role with regard to interethnic coexistence
and as a consequence needs to be addressed. At the same time civil society is not easy
to be strengthened in such a short period of time and in a spontaneous way. A “CARE
civil society strengthening strategy” that takes into account the specific regional
characteristics, identifies the concrete and honest capacities of local partners and at the
same time includes more and diverse local partners could achieve more results and be
more beneficial.

Future partnerships with local partners seem also to be important for CARE for a variety
of reasons, including: i) there is a need to further engage groups in the reconciliation
process; local partners can provide an important impetus towards this direction, ii) CARE
can’t accomplish everything by its own; in some specific areas local partners are needed
to provide more efficiency and effectiveness in CARE’s work, iii) CARE can expand its
own activities through local partners in areas where their expertise is important and well
tested, iv) through local partnerships CARE can strengthen ties with local Authorities and
other stakeholders and v) at the same time CARE can provide a direct positive impact in
strengthening civil society.




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                                        Case Study
          Engaging Municipal Authorities in promoting interethnic relations


     THE CHALLENGE:

     Engaging Municipal Authorities in promoting interethnic relations is a challenge
     that CARE is taking on in Kosovo. CARE, using its Rights Based Approach (RBA)
     has initiated its activities so as to facilitate the whole process in Lipjan/Lipljan and
     Vushtrri.



Introduction

CARE undertook a research action regarding the involvement of Municipal Authorities in
the interethnic dialogue and relations in Lipjan/Lipljan and Vushtrri Municipalities aiming
to explore the effectiveness of Municipal Authorities in promoting interethnic relations in
these two Municipalities.

Bearing in mind on the one hand the importance of interethnic coexistence and on the
other hand the inadequate involvement and engagement of Municipal Authorities in
interethnic dialogue, CARE initiated its activities. CARE’s purpose was to investigate the
extent to which the particular Municipal Authorities are involved in interethnic dialogue
and promotion of interethnic coexistence.

A crucial part of this research is composed by the village representatives that attended
the joint conferences organized by CARE and the Association of Kosovo Municipalities.
These interethnic conferences brought together the communities with the Municipal
Authorities for the first time after the end of the conflict.

Objective

                                                                                 Objective
                                                                              Investigate the role
                                                                              and engagement of
                                                                              Municipal Authorities
                                                                              in the interethnic
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CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
To investigate the degree to which the Municipal Authorities of Lipjan/Lipljan and
Vushtrri are engaged in the interethnic dialogue and the promotion of interethnic
coexistence.


“Facilitating Change”: CARE’s work in Lipjan/Lipljan and Vushtrri

Vucitrn/Vushtrri Municipality

In Vushtrri and more specifically in Maxhunaj village there are in total around 300
houses. Approximately 50 houses were Serbians, 7 Ashkaeljis and the rest were/are
Albanians. As a result, this village can be considered mixed or multiethnic; reality though
is different. After the conflict most, if not all, of the Serbian houses were destroyed and
the Serbs had become by then IIDPs (Internal Internally Displaced Persons) that had
moved either to Northern Mitrovica - (12 km away) or to Serbia –IDPs (Internally
Displaced Persons) -.

In late 2003 a specific IDP return project for this village was initiated by governmental
and non-governmental parties to rebuild their houses, 35 of which have been rebuilt.
Unfortunately Serbs have not returned there yet for several reasons; among the most
important are the following:

   i)      The overall plan was not well designed so as to guarantee that all parameters
           are taken into account:
   ii)     Initially was not guaranteed IDPs’ commitment to return, as it seems that
           these houses were built when IDPs had still fears and/or reservations with
           regard to returning,
   iii)    it was not certain that the receiving community –Albanians- were ready to
           accept them [an indicator, for instance’s the fact that the windows of these
           rebuilt houses are today broken by stones],
   iv)     no (concrete) interethnic dialogue took place before and during these houses
           were rebuilt,
   v)      incidents that occurred during that time (with the most important the March
           2004 riots) created fears in Serbs and were considered as drawbacks for
           their return,


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   vi)      The economic conditions, especially the employment of these potential
            returnees was (and still is) not guaranteed,
   vii)     The uncertain present political status of Kosovo might have also contributed
            for their denial to return,
   viii)    Radical voices from both parties prevent it to happen

The aforementioned list could go deeper and wider, but this is not the purpose of this
case study. The reality that one now faces in Maxhunaj village is rather depressing:
empty houses waiting for the Serbs to return, with broken windows as a signal of existing
interethnic hatred. Besides, on March 2004, during the riots, 4 of the rebuilt houses were
put on fire and destroyed.


Yet sadness and hope seem to coexist in the souls of Serbian IDPs: “I could return right
now. That’s my desire, to live there without protection and use my land again. We didn’t
imagine this situation, nowhere in the world happened something similar” says a Serbian
IDP and Member of the Multiethnic Village Council.


    CARE’s principle
                               Almost two years after these houses have been rebuilt they
   “Working to identify and    remain empty, damaged by time, without any usefulness.
   address underlying
   causes of poverty and       “The houses were built but nobody has worked on
   rights denial, we develop
   and use approaches that     interethnic dialogue. Now the houses are there but Serbs
   ensure our work results
   in lasting and              don’t return”, says a CARE field staff. This situation is a sign
   fundamental                 of mal-planning or strategic thinking for the potential
   improvements in the lives
   of the poor and             returnees [as can perhaps be witnessed elsewhere around
   marginalized with whom
   we work”                    Kosovo] and CARE was asked at that time to “fill” this gap.
                               Any attempt to improve, in reality to initiate, interethnic
dialogue up to that date was not considered at all, and CARE was committed to work in
this region from a zero ground, trying to bring the two communities together.

CARE field staff established contacts with Serbian IDPs and Albanian village
representatives so as to set the ground for cooperation and engagement in the
interethnic dialogue. CARE has for that reason worked closely with the Association of
Kosovo Municipalities and organized several conferences with regard to interethnic
dialogue. Both Serbs and Albanians took part in these activities and in several cases
there have been some Serb participants that were meeting the Municipal Presidents for
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the first time. This alone in Kosovo’s present situation constitutes a milestone to
reintegration.

The Association of Kosovo Municipalities, with the support of which the joint activities
and conferences took place considers these activities as needful for the region. The
Executive Director of the Association of Kosovo Municipalities said to CARE: “these
activities are an important step towards interethnic coexistence”.

According to an Albanian Representative of the Multiethnic Village Council in Maxhunaj-
Vushtrri Municipality, the conferences organized by CARE and the Association of
Kosovo Municipalities provided more concrete opportunities to address jointly their
problems and concerns.

During the initial assessment phase, CARE had identified key actors in the selected sites
like UNMIK and central/municipal authorities, NGOs and agencies, but continued
involving new actors to support the dialogue process such as Kosovo Police Service
Community Unit, Kosovo Protection Corps, Political Party regional leaders and
Coordination Center for Kosovo. Within particular sites CARE identified and worked
closely with leaders from both receiving and IDP/IIDP communities, local political party
leaders, authoritative persons in the villages and families that suffered losses during the
conflict. CARE project staff was also involved in doing assessment with communities in
targeted sites.


CARE facilitated also the creation of the Multiethnic Village Council in Maxhunaj, which
is already working for almost the last 2 years. The Representatives, who were elected by
the communities in a meeting of approximately 100 people, are composed by 6
Albanians, 2 Serbs and 1 Ashkaelji. Vucitrn/Vushtrri Municipal Authorities may also take
part in this Multiethnic Village Council..

“In the beginning it was difficult to initiate this multiethnic council, as many reservations
existed on both sides about its activities. CARE’s support and facilitation was important
to work towards this direction”, says an Albanian Representative of the council. Today
the council meets regularly and its members work in a relaxed and friendly environment.
The majority of the local population has also some interest on its activities and its
members attempt to inform public at large about their activities as much as possible.

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From the research action conducted it comes also that the Municipalities during this
period have organized many “Go and See” visits, have been engaged with capacity-
building for the prevention of crimes, and tried to bring better coordination of the
Municipal Return Officers, as Mr. Ibrahimi, Executive Director of the Association of
Kosovo Municipalities, says to CARE.

Mr. Muharrem Shabani, President of Vushtrri Municipal Authorities says to CARE: “In the
beginning CARE’s work was crucial for initiating the interethnic dialogue. It wasn’t easy
for us, we had many challenges to face; both communities were accusing each other for
the past and they were not interested to participate in interethnic dialogue”.

Vushtrri Municipal Authorities then initiated their efforts to bring closer the disputed
communities. At first, only very few were willing to participate in multiethnic meetings that
were held in the Municipality building. This location was chosen as both parts have
considered that would create safe conditions for the dialogue meetings. Gradually
though these meetings have widened their participation, as more representatives
decided to take part. The meetings have also started to take place in other locations and
in different villages.

Vushtrri Municipal Authorities also have established village contacts and reciprocal visits
between the village/ethnic representatives. “Our physical presence has also made some
difference. We have started to ask for more confidence from both parties”, says the
Mayor of Vushtrri. “Today we try to be as much informed as possible about the
community needs and we are committed to respect all communities. Personally I believe
that if I respect other communities I respect myself and my family”, says the President of
Vushtrri Municipal Authorities.

Despite this nice rhetoric, the situation is not as promising as expressed by the official
Authorities. The most problematic situation arises from the bad economic conditions that
local population have. The Mayor himself also recognizes this as the major challenge for
the population in the region and elsewhere in Kosovo.

Skeptical voices and complaints do exist. “The Municipal Authorities didn’t support the
interethnic dialogue. Personally I always insist to the Municipal Authorities to work on the
interethnic coexistence, so as to avoid any future interethnic incidents. Still nothing has
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been done from their own side, actually things might have worsened after their
attempts”, says a Serbian Men Representative of the Multiethnic Village Council.

Indeed the situation in the village although has improved still lacks real signs of
reconciliation. Members of the Multiethnic Village Council meet rather regularly and have
relatively good relations while at the same time some of the Serbian IDPs express their
willingness to return, but can’t forget what happened during March 2004. The riots have
postponed (for some even cancelled) any thoughts for return. IDPs also, for the same
reason, lost their trust to UNMIK, the Government of Kosovo and the international
community at large. “We don’t feel secure after that”, they say.

Yet huge other problems exist with regard to interethnic coexistence. “The Serbian
cemetery is almost completely destroyed and the Municipal Authorities did nothing to
prevent it. This is a sign of their low committed multiethnic coexistence”, says a Serbian
IDP. The same person goes on and argues: “We feel discriminated as a nation, as a
people, and this is a shame. I have my property-land in the village and I can’t use it.
Instead some Albanians –not inhabitants of the village- occupy and take advantage of it.
I have never in the past occupied the land of anybody. Several times, more than 20
times, I asked from the Municipal Authorities to do something about it, still nothing has
been done”. The same problem exists with the rest of the IDPs, as their land is occupied
and used by Albanians –not inhabitants of the village-. The Municipal Authorities
although officially state they attempt to stop extremist and radical approaches, still have
not found a way to solve this problem. As a result, the challenge is still there.

Such views provide the “other voice” and allow the picture “become bigger”. Indeed the
Vushtrri Municipal Authorities seem, as they state, to be willing to work on the interethnic
coexistence. But in the case of Maxhunaj village and elsewhere many and diverse
issues have to be addressed and solved from the Municipality’s side. CARE has initiated
the process for the creation of the Multiethnic Village Council and started to work on
interethnic dialogue. It seems now that it is the Municipality that has to engage more that
direction, showing concrete results of working with the communities/ethnic groups.

“CARE brought as together. We had good and progressive meetings and received much
support with other more specific problems that we had. CARE has, for example, helped
us come closer with regard to the milk collection point that was built by KFOR”, says a

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Serbian Member of the Multiethnic Village Council. For all these years after the end of
the conflict nobody cared for some areas/villages, as Maxhunaj village, prior to CARE’s
involvement. It was CARE that for the first time dealt with interethnic dialogue in this
sensitive region and the local population, both Albanians and Serbs tend recognize and
appreciate it.

Lipjan/Lipljan Municipality

In Lipjan/Lipljan Municipality, as the Mayor says to CARE, “last year a strategy for
returnees and reintegration was planned with municipal work and external support,
mainly through UNMIK and INGOs. Based on this strategy it is foreseen to accomplish
some progress with our specific economic capacities”.

Recently funds have been assured from the European Agency for Reconstruction in
order to construct a road has multiethnic (Albanian and Serb) neighborhood close to the
Municipality center. Both representatives of the communities express their happiness
about this outcome. “We have heard and read the news, eventually our road will be
constructed”, they say, showing us the newspaper. It seems that these initiatives bring
closer the two communities, as the local populations see more concrete results in their
everyday life.


Another similar example in the region is the reconstruction of a Serbian school. The
Municipality seems to be willing to work towards interethnic coexistence, but this doesn’t
come always without problems. As elsewhere in Kosovo, here again, radical voices from
both sides do not allow things to go forward and constraint progress. With these
phenomena the Municipalities have to deal almost on a daily basis and they have to put
all their efforts to guarantee sustainability of security. Still their economic capacities are
too limited and they have to overcome their own economic difficulties.

With regard to Ashkaeli community the Mayor argues that “in the beginning there were
many complaints from their side, but gradually we have made strides towards meeting
their demands. As far as the Serbian community “still lots have to be done”. Serbs in
Lipjan/Lipljan Municipality, as perhaps elsewhere in Kosovo, are divided between those
who would like to work towards interethnic dialogue and reintegration, and those that are
reluctant to do so. To some extent the same situation might exist for the Albanian side
as well. Radical voices exist in both communities, as victims of war exist in both
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communities. At the same time there are some that feel freer to cooperate in an
interethnic dialogue and these can provide optimistic outcomes.

In order to provide accurate information about the return process, security and
economical situation in Kosovo, CARE organized and facilitated GO and See and Go
and Inform Visits for IDPs/IIDPs in Serbia and within Kosovo. The aim of these visits
was to provide information for the displaced persons so they could make informed
decision about their return in place of origin. The participants of these visits seem now to
be more informed about the return process, security and economical situation and to
make decision about return based on accurate information from the field.

Once again CARE initiated through its activities the interethnic dialogue in this region.
Municipal Authorities can and should now grasp this opportunity and make this work
better and more effective by regard to interethnic coexistence.

Looking to the Future

“In Lipjan/Lipljan Municipality there is a noticeable progress and improvement of
interethnic relations and CARE has contributed to this”, says the President of the
Municipality. But for all Municipal Authorities, and therefore Lipjan/Lipljan and Vushtrri,
their capacities are still very limited. They are temporary and transitional institutions,
monitored by UNMIK, and as a result have low competencies. Taking also into account
the bad economic conditions, the financial constraints are huge. Yet they should be
more engaged in       interethnic dialogue if they want to guarantee a peaceful and
sustainable multiethnic society.

CARE offered the linkage between communities and local authorities. Now the challenge
is to broaden their usefulness, include more participants and guarantee that the
importance of interethnic coexistence is presented to the majority of the local population.
In other words, CARE should now focus its activities on a wider scope that would also
prevent any future exclusion in these activities.

Mr. Muharrem Shabani, Mayor of Vushtrri Municipal Authorities argues that “we are not
satisfied with the results accomplished today. Personally I strongly believe that we have
as Municipal Authorities to move forward and look towards the future”. He then adds that
all stakeholders, including Municipal Authorities, UNMIK, KFOR, INGOs, religious
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groups and village representatives of both communities should try to mobilize the
majority of local population for multiethnic coexistence. Taking this into account, CARE
has a role of vital importance to play in this region.

The Municipal Authorities of Lipjan/Lipljan recommend CARE and the Association of
Kosovo Municipalities to continue organizing multiethnic conferences. At the same time
though they propose that these activities would have a greater added value they
connected with specific professional target groups, such as medical, business and other
people from the communities. They believe that through the discussions on the different
professional aspects better contacts between communities and individuals could be
guaranteed. Mr. Ibrahimi also recommends the continuation of the conferences
multiethnic activities as they could bring the communities together.

Others recommend CARE to continue working in the region but not only with
conferences but with any other activity that would have a more concrete result in
bringing communities together.

Lessons Learned

      For several reasons, in a post-conflict situation, it is very difficult to work with
       interethnic dialogue. In the specific case study, due to the efforts that have been
       made, Municipal Authorities’ engagement in promoting interethnic dialogue
       although not very high, is steadily gaining ground.
      One should understand and take into account the contra-factors/elements
       towards interethnic dialogue. The radical voices on both sides can influence not
       only the communities themselves but also the way the Municipal Authorities work
       and perform with regard to interethnic coexistence.
      CARE has initiated the process of interethnic dialogue and has attempted to
       involve Municipal Authorities into the same direction. Lots of energy has been put
       and it seems now that it is the Municipal Authorities that should work harder to
       safeguard a sustainable and peaceful multiethnic society.
      Concrete results in everyday life of the local population (i.e. re-construction of
       Serbian school, re-construction of a road in a multiethnic neighborhood) seem to
       increase the self-esteem of both communities with regard to interethnic
       coexistence. The Municipal Authorities therefore might have to work and

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       increase their capacities towards this direction, while CARE should continue
       facilitating the process if needed.


                                    During the START II project implementation, CARE
       CARE’s principle
                                    attempted to involve and engage the Municipal
   “We seek to be held
   accountable to poor and          Authorities   of   Kosovo   in   promoting   interethnic
   marginalized whose rights are
   denied. We identify those with   dialogue. CARE has also worked closely with the
   an obligation toward the poor
   and marginalized people and      Association of Kosovo Municipalities and has initiated
   support and encourage their
   efforts to fulfill their         several activities. Among the most important ones can
   responsibilities”
                                    be included the multiethnic conferences and the
involvement/participation of the village community representatives.

CARE’s commitment to use RBA through the interethnic dialogue seems to have been a
crucial peace added value. RBA promoted the principles of accountability within the
stakeholders and distributed fairly the responsibilities among all actors. With regard to
engaging Municipal Authorities in the same direction CARE has facilitated the process
on various occasions and has augmented positively the whole process.

Yet testing the extent to which the Municipal Authorities of Lipjan/Lipljan and Vushtrri
have been engaged in interethnic dialogue is not an easy question. Wider and deeper
research activities could provide better and more concrete results. Many factors
influence the performance of the Municipal Authorities and need to be addressed. From
the case study conducted it seems that the Municipal Authorities have still much to do
towards interethnic coexistence and should try with their own capacities to mobilize all
stakeholders towards this direction. In a post-conflict situation were hatred may surface
at any time, local authorities are crucial and vital for sustainable peace. Consequently
CARE’s decision to work through Municipal Authorities and other stakeholders has
proven vital.




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Some general speculations on the case studies

Drawing general conclusions on the situation and on CARE’s work in Kosovo is neither
an easy task nor the aim of this study. The prime purpose of this study is to provide
some ideas/lessons that can be learned by CARE’s engagement in the specific
cases/regions and through the START II project. In other words, one should not assume
that this study depicts the whole picture either on Kosovo’s present situation or on
CARE’s involvement and work. Rather this study presented very briefly the specific
characteristics only of the four case studies. The following are some general conclusions
and/or recommendations for each case study.

Some general conclusions from the case studies:

    We shouldn’t expect miracles to come from one day to another. Reconciliation
       process is a long-term process, especially in Kosovo it has a long way to go.
       Interethnic dialogue is not easy to be accomplished in a post-conflict situation
       with many loses from both sides.
    CARE has made significant strides in bringing communities together. CARE’s
       activities in Kosovo are an important, but still a small part of the whole
       reconciliation process. Many other (f) actors contribute and affect the situation in
       the field.
    Persistence and patience from CARE’s side could be proven valuable while
       implementing    the   step-by-step    approach     towards    ethnic     communities.
       Simultaneously CARE should pay attention to its field presence under specific
       ground rules, as staff and their perspectives are critical to success.
    It would be naive to suggest CARE’s program can achieve reconciliation;
       however it can aim to assist the different ethnic communities resolve conflicts as
       they arise.
    Despite the progress recorded in the field due to CARE’s activities, still stability is
       very fragile. Sustaining interethnic coexistence is a challenge for Kosovo and
       CARE as well. Interethnic dialogue has to be enhanced as much as possible.
       Within the conflict management framework, it is important to keep the
       communication alive and continue with the work by creating safe space for
       affected communities.


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CARE Kosovo/CARE Nederland
    Skeptical opinions exist in most cases, with Serbs being more skeptical on their
      future. Still optimism can surface: the youth from both sides understands the
      importance of interethnic coexistence. The challenge therefore for CARE is to
      provide them the opportunity to keep their optimism and convey the message of
      coexistence to the rest of the population.
    Rights based approach (RBA) can work as a conflict resolution tool, if
      understanding, motivation and commitment is provided by all actors in the field.
      At the same time, RBA makes CARE more accountable to the marginalized and
      disempowered.
    Poverty is a multi-faced problem. Addressing its roots goes well beyond the use
      of rights based approach. Yet RBA can have a direct impact on reducing poverty.




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                                        Appendix


Field Visits - Interviews


   1. Kamenica Municipal Authorities: Director for Youth Issues, 16.2.2006
   2. Serbian Men and Youth Group Representative Kollolec, 16.2.2006
   3. Albanian Men and Youth Group Representative, Kopernica, 16.2.2006
   4. Lipjan Municipal Authorities: Vice President, 20.2.2006
   5. Serbian Men and Women Group Representatives, Ganimete Terbeshi
       Neighborhood, 20.2.2006
   6. Albanian Men and Women Group Representatives Ganimete Terbeshi
       Neighborhood, 20.2.2006
   7. Local NGO Representatives, Syri I Visionit, 21.2.2006
   8. Peja LCO/Municipal Authorities: UNMIK Representative, 21.2.2006
   9. Albanian Men, Youth and Women Representatives, Vragovc, 21.2.2006
   10. Serbian Men, Youth and Women Representatives, 21.2.2006
   11. Local NGO Representatives, CSD, 22.2.2006
   12. Albanian Youth Group Representatives, Lagje e Re, 22.2.2006
   13. Serbian Youth Representatives, Lagje e Re, 22.2.2006
   14. Vucitrn Municipal Authorities: President, 23.2.2006
   15. Albanian Men Group Representative: Member of the Multiethnic Village Council,
       Maxhunaj, 23.2.2006
   16. Serbian Men Group Representative: IDP, Member of the Multiethnic Village
       Council, Maxhunaj, 23.2.2006
   17. Lipjan Municipal Authorities: President, 24.2.2006
   18. Albanian Men Group Representative Lipjan, 24.2.2006
   19. Serbian Men Representative Lipjan, 24.2.2006




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