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International Children’s Day celebrations in Kosovo

2014-06-16

June 2, 2014, Prishtina, Kosovo: On the occasion of the International Children’s Day, Terre des hommes Delegation in Kosovo joined the celebrations in the centre of Prishtina organized by the Municipality of Prishtina and child rights NGOs. The theme of the event was “Prishtina reads” in order to encourage children to read and to inform their parents of the importance of their right to education.
The right to education is guaranteed in Kosovo by the Constitution and relevant legislation. However, access to education is not enjoyed by all children, especially those, who are most vulnerable in society due to different causes. One of the groups of children that do not fully enjoy the right to education are children on the move. These can be children that are trafficked (internally and transnationally), children that have illegally migrated or children that have been returned from EU and other countries. Being on the move for many of these children makes it difficult to access services in a particular locality and this includes being registered and being enrolled at school. Additionally, it is not uncommon that due to the poor socio-economic situation of a family, children are exploited in order to contribute to family’s income, and therefore, cannot attend school. These children are often forced to beg or work as street vendors or collecting cans and scrap metal. Exclusion, discrimination and deprivation of basic rights, including right to education, also means that these children remain in an inter-generational poverty trap.
13 children on the move, who participate in the Mario Project Child Consultation Board participated in the activities organized by the Municipality of Prishtina and Terre des hommes Kosovo.
The event was officially opened by the Mayor of Prishtina reading together with children, where one of the children from the Mario Project participated by reading an extract from the book “Hana në karrocën e saj” (Hana in her wheelchair).
The children participated in various activities, among them collective mosaic “Our Book”, where children drew a picture of their favorite book in a flip chart and together they guessed the name of the book based on the drawings. Children also played a game with riddles – divided into two groups; children had to answer the riddle. This activity encouraged abstract thinking as well as strengthened their communication skills.
Finally, children played a game with free associations and engaged in creative activities, such as drawing. These activities received a lot of attention from other children and their parents who joined the International Children’s Day activities in Prishtina – around 25 other children joined the children from Mario Project Child Consultation in these activities.

Tdh also provided notebooks for children present informing them of their rights and providing an important resource they could use to write or draw, whereas, parents were informed of the Case Management Roundtable, a multi-disciplinary team of professionals in Prishtina lead by the Centre for Social Work, which ensures protection of children by dealing with cases of medium and/or high risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Overall, the event was a great success where children were at the centre of attention for the Municipality, as well as a range of media who reported on the event. More importantly, the children participating in the Child Consultation Board were able to celebrate the day in an inclusive environment and were able to show to the various duty bearers and stakeholders in the municipality that despite their difficult circumstances, they remain children and deserve to have their rights respects, protected and fulfilled.
Please see more photos in our image gallery.