On 12 June, the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) organized the Orientation Session and the Press Conference to officially announce 31 recipients of 27 grants of the Kosovo Women’s Fund (KWF), four of which are partnerships, amounting €99,842.35. Of them, the European Union Office in Kosovo has funded €56,434.25€, while the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) has funded €43,408.10.
By supporting these women-led organizations initiatives, KWF contributes on changes that they bring to their communities. KWN, through KWF, also encourages solidarity among women’s rights activists, and working together as a women’s movement on implementing KWN’s Strategy 2015-2018, which has been compiled and approved in accordance with KWN’s member organizations.
Gentiana Murati, KWF Coordinator and Besa Shehu, Finance Manager at KWN, on the first part of the meeting shared detailed information regarding the narrative and financial reporting, and filling the monitoring and evaluation database, which will facilitate beneficiaries on the reporting process throughout the implementation of these projects.
Igballe Rogova, Executive Director of KWN, on her welcoming speech recalled the beginning of the Kosovo Women’s Fund back in 2012, when it provided grants in the amount of €500, expressing her gratitude that five years later with the support of two main donors, the European Union Office in Kosovo and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), almost €100,000 are being awarded for KWN members.
“Their [donors] presence itself here shows how much they support the work of women’s organizations”, said Ms. Rogova, “appreciating the importance of gender equality for the development of a [our] society”. Meanwhile, she congratulated the beneficiaries wishing them success, emphasizing that “your successful projects and your successful and transparent work and results brought KWN where it is today”. She also thanked media for always supporting and transmitting to the audience the work and voice of women.
Deputy Head of Cooperation in the European Union Office in Kosovo, Mr. Libor Chlad, spoke about the importance of this Fund and their expectations that these organizations, through implementing these projects, have an impact on improving the lives of girls and women and their community in Kosovo. Speaking about the importance of gender equality as a fundamental human right for both the EU and Kosovo, he said that this should be adequately taken care of by state institutions, and emphasized their expectations of increased women’s participation in politics and decision-making processes after the 11th June elections.
“Given the last year’s PISA results, the EU has focused on allocating funds to the education sector next year,” said Mr Libor Chlad, among other things. “Since there is ground to build a better future in the education sector, we will concentrate on comprehensive projects where we can address the obstacles we have identified in this sector. Gender Equality agenda should be included in teaching from childhood in order to increase and raise them with equal rights. We will continue to cooperate towards an equitable society based on participatory, inclusive and long-term sustainability,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Office of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Mr. Gunther Zimmer said they are delighted to be part of Kosovo Women’s Fund through which they influence women’s empowerment. He also stressed that since ADA has been active in Kosovo from 1999, they always took care that gender equality has a particular focus in its implemented projects. Mr. Zimmer also expressed his hopes that the next government will keep promises and involve more women in decision-making as a tool to furthering country’s development.
“As per the Government and furthering women’s important issues, I would like to emphasize that we should strongly encourage the future Government to take all necessary steps on establishing the Secretariat for survivors of sexual violence during the war, as a final step in this process, therefore enabling as many women as possible to receive the compensations they are entitled to,” emphasized Mr. Zimmer. Among other things, he stated, “Even ADA has learned from gaps towards gender equality. However, we will continue to support, but this support would be pointless without the cooperation with KWN.”
During the signing of the contracts, Nevenka Rikallo from NGO Ruka+Ruci, beneficiary of this KWF round said “The role of KWN for women and girls in Kosovo is very important. KWN’s support to small organizations, has a huge impact on improving the position of women in the society, having in mind that gender equality is important in becoming a society with European standards”.
KWN and its member organisations signed contracts for grants, as following:
Advocacy Grants for a Single Organization:
- Organization of Persons with Muscular Dystrophy of Kosovo with the initiative: “Better healthcare quality, when everyone have access to it” (€2,987.50, supported by ADA)
- Mitrovica Women’s Association for Human Rights with the initiative: “Young women, decision makers” (€2,175.00, supported by ADA)
- Vita Jeta with the initiative: “Diabetes in the elderly” (€2,741.10, supported by ADA)
- Center for Women’s Empowerment with the initiative: “Economic empowerment of household women – mothers” (€2,780.00, supported by ADA)
- Luna with the initiative: “Women’s Health and Freedom of Movement” (€2,987.50, supported by ADA)
- Together in Progress with the initiative: “From Mothers” – Advocacy for women farmers of Gjakova (€2,996.00, supported by ADA)
- Modern Woman with the initiative: “Health and sexual and reproductive rights” (€2,989.00, supported by ADA)
- Initiative for Integration of Communities with the initiative: “Improving the position of girls and women through involvement in decision-making in Dragash” (€2,535.00, supported by ADA)
- Ato with the initiative: “My right to property” (€2,324.50, supported by ADA)
- Garden of Flowers with the initiative: “Promoting women’s rights and empowering their role in property inheritance” (€2,757.50, supported by ADA)
- Bliri with the initiative: “Awareness raising of reproductive health among youth” (€2,985.00, supported by ADA)
- Divine Woman with the initiative: “Awareness raising of citizens on women’s inheritance and property rights” (€2,530.00, supported by ADA)
- Social Club Live with the initiative: “Easier access to justice for women about property disputes” (€2,222.00, supported by ADA)
- Farmer Women’s Association “Krusha e Vogel” with the initiative: “Start a business, do not hesitate” (€2,440.00, supported by ADA)
- Handikos Mitrovica with the initiative: “Women’s and girls’ with disabilities access to healthcare” (€3,531.25, supported by the EU)
- Association of the Blind and Partly Sighted with the initiative: “Awareness raising about the support of blind persons and persons with impaired vision” (€3,753.50, supported by the EU)
- Kosovo Center for Multicultural Development and Integration with the initiative: “Economic empowerment of youth from non-majority communities, Roma, Ashkali, Egyptians, with focus on women” (€3,705.00, supported by the EU)
- Partners Kosova Center for Conflict Management with the initiative: “Women’s advocacy for their property and inheritance rights” (€3,532.00, supported by the EU)
- Girls Coding Kosova with the initiative: “#EcShlirë [#WalkFreely] v3.0. – Working with Kosovo Police” (€4,000.00, supported by the EU)
- Education Code with the initiative: “Women Entrepreneurs” (€3,642.00, supported by the EU)
- Institute of Applied Psychology, Alpha with the initiative: “Protecting human rights of women prisoners in Kosova through their socialization (II)” (€3,845.00, supported by the EU)
- Association for Education and Family Care with the initiative: “An educated woman, a healthy society” (€3,815.00, supported by the EU)
- Committee of Blind Women of Kosova with the initiative: “More rights for blind women” (€3,370.00, supported by the EU)
Networking for Change Grants:
- Open Door & Ruka Ruci with the initiative: “Empowering women community activists to further women’s human rights and gender equality through participation, information and social media” (€7,955.00, supported by the EU)
- Naš Dom (Our Home) & Women’s Centre for Rural Development with the initiative: “Improvement of local policies from women’s perspective” (€7,980.50, supported by the EU)
- The Centre for Promotion of Women’s Rights & the Centre for Promotion of a Healthy Family with the initiative: “Empowering survivors of sexual violence during the war toward achieving their legal rights” (€7,305.00, supported by the EU)
- Rikotta and Women’s Association Gora with the initiative: “Make yourself aware that your health is important for the society” (€5,958.00, supported by ADA)
KWN’s Kosovo Women’s Fund offers small grants for women’s organizations that lack of other funding opportunities and that want to work for women’s rights, especially groups working in rural areas andor with marginalized persons. Since 2012, KWF has distributed 131 grants, supported 84 organizations, totalling 455,838.50€. It has had more than 14,099 beneficiaries, and contributed to at least 15 policy changes towards improving the lives of women and girls in Kosovo. In 2017, the Kosovo Women’s Fund is receiving support from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the European Union Office in Kosovo.