Our first day began with an information session with Save the Children Kosovo; we met the entire staff and got a tour of their Prishtina head offices, which are located about a block from our hotel. We were presented with their program initiatives based entirely on the work promoting children’s rights to a healthy and safe childhood with access to a quality education. Save the Children has partnered with many local organizations—like Handikos, Iniciativa 6, and Putevima Sunca—which contribute positively to the development of programs to get the child, family and community involved in the child’s education.
We then took a short bus ride to the city of Gracanica to see the children enrolled in the primary school Kralj Milutin, where Save the Children works with a local partner organization called Putevima Sunca on inclusive education programs for minority children. The city is heavily populated by the Serbian community, but there is also a visible minority of Roma and Ashkali people. It is important to mention that this is the very first time an international organization like Save the Children has been allowed to go into the city to develop the programs that are currently underway in this minority community.
Save the Children, through the support of the IKEA Foundation, provides primary education with a supplementary component that supports the introduction of learning for marginalized children. These lessons allow children to develop at their own pace, integrating them more easily into their own level of learning at the age that they should be. We also visited classrooms that provide extracurricular activities that involve the arts—both visual and dance. We were delighted to see the children participate in a presentation, dancing to their local folklore.