Mid-Year Newsletter, July 2016

Dear friends,
We are happy to share our journey over the last six months; here are some of the highlights...

Royal Visit in Fushe Kosova
In March we were honoured to host Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall at our centre in Fushe Kosova. HRH visited the kindergarten which has been established by the local Changemakers’ group with our support. HRH met participants of various initiatives we run, including our girls club (preventing early marriage), the Little Teachers, the ante-natal class, and the women from our social enterprise who make the lavender bags and soaps.
Local representatives of the community we work with briefed her on our work. After she had heard about all this, in amazement HRH said to one of our staff, 'Is there anything The Ideas Partnership doesn't do?'
Volunteers running for the kindergarten in Janjeva/o
The Janjeva/o Kindergarten project was started in August 2015 with support from our volunteers and funding from the Finnish Embassy until the end of the project in April 2016. Since then, we have been able to carry on with the project through very generous donations from TIP supporters around the world. Volunteers continued  providing learning support for the children in Janjeva/o.
And since this project had a shortage of books and other materials, our volunteers took the initiative to run the Prishtina half-marathon and raise some money in order to buy books for the kindergarten.
Children celebrating their day
To mark Children’s Day on the 1st of June, The Ideas Partnership in cooperation with our partner organizations EDI 2 project, Balkan Sunflowers and Play International organized activities with children in Fushë Kosova and Janjeva/o.
More than 500 children benefited from these activities and this was made possible because of the immense contribution of both volunteers and staff of The Ideas Partnership and partner organizations.   (link in Albanian.)
Fundraising Initiatives
During May, we organized two fundraising events, one in Kosovo and one in England. The Kosovo event was organised in collaboration with the M-Atelier art school.
The children that attend art classes at this school offered to sell their paintings through an auction. The funds raised through this auction are being used for healthy snacks for the children that attend the kindergarten in Fushe Kosova.
The fundraising event which was organized by our amazing volunteer Celia Whelan in England, included auctioning donated items with all the proceeds to be used for the midwifery project in Fushe Kosova, supporting healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.
A new playground
In April a group of volunteers from the United Kingdom, together with some local volunteers and our kindergarten staff in Fushë Kosova, helped refurbish the back garden, painting the walls and making it into an area where our kindergarten children can learn and play together in the sunshine. Now, that area is the children's favourite place to spend the nice sunny days.
Second chances
In September 2015 we began intensive classes, targeting children who had never been to school or those who had dropped out of school. This enables them to catch up with lessons and then, through taking exams, to be able to attend school with their peers.
Thanks to support from the British Embassy in Kosovo, since March 2016, these classes are now also held at the public school 'Selman Riza' with professional teachers.
Volunteers sharing experiences 
Every month we organize a monthly volunteers’ meetings where volunteers can share their experiences, get to meet other volunteers and discuss any challenges or successes they have had over the month.

We try to always incorporate a certain learning experience into these meetings. For example, in February we had a volunteer giving a lesson in Capoeira martial art and in March we organized training in conflict transformation.

We have also visited landmarks, monuments or natural heritage sites such as when we visited the Bear Sanctuary in April. Here, volunteers had the opportunity to see the freed bears who had previously been held captive in restaurants around Kosova.
Here we will introduce some of our amazing volunteers whose help is essential for the continuity and progress of our activities and projects:
Jehona Krasniqi (Kosova), teacher with the Level Up Village project. She also volunteers by coordinating our Reading Together project.
Keith Hill (UK), volunteer who has helped us with training in understanding the importance of professional development.
Albana Hoti and Jeta Lepaja (Kosova), volunteering with our Girls Club, targeting the problem of early marriages.
Ron Idrizaj (Kosova), volunteer with the Reading Together project.
Shukrije Stolla (Kosova), volunteer who teaches Albanian language during our extra-curricular activities on Saturdays.
Tristan Pithers (UK), volunteer who has helped us with providing training for the extra-curricular activities.
Jackie Snape (UK), volunteer who helps us with physiotherapy sessions for the children with special needs. She was also part of the group of volunteers who helped refurbish the back garden of the kindergarten.

How you can support us
Our work depends on volunteers. If you want to become a part of our team of over a hundred volunteers please fill in the volunteer form below. You can help us even from afar with translation of documents, writing project proposals and managing the social media pages of TIP.
Or feel free to contact us by email at:
You can always donate via PayPal by clicking “Donate now” button:
A big thank you goes to our volunteers and to our donors who make our work possible: 
The Ideas Partnership in a nutshell
Video depicting the work of The Ideas Partnership NGO in Kosovo, filmed by Nicholas Becker - edited by Nicholas Becker and Dory Funk (volunteers).
Copyright © 2016, The Ideas Partnership, All rights reserved.

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The Ideas Partnership · Luan Haradinaj 11/5 · Pristina 10000 · Albania

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