Ich liebe dich

As soon as we set foot in the classroom, the kids involved us immediately in their play. Photo by Marina Aschkenasi.

“Ahhhhhh” sounds and clapping hands. Then we saw them: loud and calm, tall and short, shy and outgoing. We were singing and dancing with so many kids today—each one of them their own different personality. Folding paper boats or telling them the German alphabet we shared our worlds. Some “Tralalas” and “Trililis” later one cute little girl with a sweatshirt full of cats declared her love to Rike during playtime in the classroom: “Ich liebe dich!”

Children of different ages, ethnic backgrounds and with or without disabilities play together at Ganimete Terbeshi Pre-school Institution. Photo by Marina Aschkenasi.

On our last day we visited the municipality of Gjakova located in south-western Kosovo. With the provided funds, the Ganimete Terbeshi Pre-school Institution was able to deliver small projects such as a regular round-table for parents. The inclusive educator of the pre-school, Yllka Komoni, who has been part of the project from the beginning, explained that this set-up is necessary to raise awareness among parents of the importance and advantages of inclusive education. The financial resources were also used to purchase necessary equipment like a computer and a projector, toys and teaching materials for all children.

During the pre-school year these girls gain important skills for their start in school. Photo by Marina Aschkenasi.

Visiting this pre-school was a great way to spend the final day of our impressive IWitness trip to Kosovo. We saw how the work and dedication of Save the Children with support of the IKEA Foundation makes a real and lasting change. Seeing children of different ages, ethnic backgrounds, with and without disabilities playing together left us confident that the work has a sustainable impact on early childhood education and the future development of these kids.

Play is important for children to develop their cognitive abilities and explore the world around them—at Ganimete Terbeshi there’s plenty of space to play outside. Photo by Marina Aschkenasi.

We had the opportunity to learn how the help of Save the Children is developed and implemented in all its dimensions. Although Kosovo has disappeared from the media and the public eye back home in Germany, we were reminded that in this country in the heart of the European continent many gaps still need to be filled.

For one week co-workers from IKEA Germany had the great chance to gain valuable insights to the work of Save the Children Kosovo. Photo by Marina Aschkenasi.