#Kosovo #MyCountry #OurJourney – City Talks – Gjilan


Greetings to all, to all of you who are
here today with us, welcome to today’s discussion session
organized by the USAID in the context of the campaign
“My Country-Our Journey”. It is so good to have an audience with us
and that we have young people who perhaps will be inspired
by the stories of our panelists whom we have
here with us. I’m Anita Ademi, I’m a representative of civil society, and
I remind you that today’s event is being streamed on Facebook,
live stream, directly, where like you who are with us today,
who can freely direct comments, questions, those
who follow us on Facebook would be nice to feel
free to direct questions and comments to all of our
panelists today. Without wasting time we will start
with our panelists’ presentation. With us today is Enver Kqiku,
representative of the Kosovar Center for International Cooperation.
Mr. Enver, welcome. Then we have Mr. Remzi Ramadani,
Gjilan Municipality, and Director of the Directorate
for Agriculture, Mr. Ramadani, welcome, for the business sector, we have
Metush Zymberi, Mr. Metush, welcome. As you can see, we have a
variety of panelists, who with their discussions on their
work and contributions during 20 years have directly
contributed in improving the lives of citizens and will
inspire us and the youth who follow us through Facebook to
motivate us for a better future, or the best shared work we can do
as a society in Gjilan. For 20 years in a row Kosovo has
undergone many changes and so has our municipality
in different sectors. Each of us has done our best
in the field of being professionally oriented. Hence, I first wanted to ask
a question to Mr. Kqiku, on how have the programs impacted
on the professional development of individuals in Gjilan and the
improvement of the position of citizens in the municipality and
in the civil society sector, how many challenges have you had while
implementing different programs? Have donors helped you in your
work for these 20 years? Thank you very much and thank
you USAID for the invitation and the opportunity to be
part of the panel tonight in this discussion and for being broadcasted
live in Facebook and the ability for a broader audience
to hear about the work we’ve done depending on
which sector we come from. I am Enver Kqiku, I run the Kosovo Center for International
Cooperation which is an NGO. This organization operates since 2002,
respectively since 08 January of 2002, when we got registered as well and
since then has been operating continuously and continuing its
activities and projects. I would like to point out that this
organization and probably many others in Kosovo have
come as a result of the initiatives of international organizations
which have operated in Kosovo, in the post-war Kosovo, given the fact that the sector
of non-governmental organizations, namely civil society, has not been
very much known in Kosovo, then of course the organizations
that came after the war here have been established through various projects
and have had an impact that, us, as part of this organization,
i.e local staff, to learn a great deal and an opportunity for civic activism
and perhaps from these initiatives various civil society organizations have emerged,
various NGO’s such is the Kosovo Center for International
Cooperation. My experiences as a local staff member
of two foreign organizations, Care International and the United
Methodist Committee and Relief, have resulted, with the initiative
of the latter, that us, and part of that staff who worked
at the organization at that time, to start the process of registering
as a non-governmental organization, and also having the assistance
and the financial support of this organization, by telling us that
“ we will have to go one day” and that someone needs to continue
our work which has been initiated and that is beneficial to our community,
all these, made us support this idea and we
went along with it, of course with many challenges that
we had to face because it was something new which will be
entirely under our management, and, with the realization of
different projects, capacity building of the staff,
all these have resulted for us to have projects, to have funds, to
be able to work in a continuously, therefore, we have been acting and still are, since January 08 of 2002. We are very pleased that we have been
able to accomplish a work that is visible, which can be
observed through our projects. Many citizens benefited immensely,
especially young people because our organization has initially set
our mission to work with young people in building peace. So these were the first activities
or projects and we have been working on such projects for
a period of 10 years, and we have accomplished quite
a lot, at least I believe in Gjilan but also in other
areas of Kosovo. Through that expertise, through
our professionals, through various trainings, cultural
and sporting activities, we have done well in achieving
peace, creating stability, free movement, raising the
capacities of young people in various fields, and among these
young people who have followed our activities, we
later see well-built, professional citizens or leaders
of other non-governmental organizations that they have started. Therefore, I think all these results
make us happy that we have somehow managed
to contribute to this sector, sector of civil society. So, in the beginning we worked
with the youth and mainly in building peace. Later on we were not separated
from the youth, we worked with the youth and tried
to invest in the youth something related to the jobs, job creation,
capacity building of youth through training,
professional practices in institutions, businesses
and so on, through a project that has been
implemented with Mercy Corps and funded by USAID,
a three-year project, we have managed to train many young
people, bring them into professional practice and what
is the best thing, some of them have even managed
to get jobs where they have started their internships. This of course is something
remarkable. We have continued with
such projects. Lately, somewhere in the
last 5 years, with a special program we have
focused on education, mainly in the field of education. We are trying to keep up with
other projects where there is definitely a benefit to the
youth because it is a potential not only in Gjilan but also in
Kosovo which we need to keep here and which we should invest in,
so we have to create opportunities and keep them here. Of course, it not a very nice
thing to see that they rise professionally and leave from here
and of course not only civil society should deal with this, but I also think that every citizen, especially the institutions that
have a primary duty to do so. During this period we had
various donators, so our work is directly dependent
on donors. We had to prepare the project
proposals, submit them and then from the evaluations we
have received, we felt very proud that our
projects, although not in the amount we applied for
to the donors, but still however we were able to
secure funding and to function. What is important is that the Kosovo
Center for International Cooperation has moved from
Gjilan / Gnjilane, maybe it should be in Pristina or at least it should have a branch
in Pristina and a sub-branch in Gjilan / Gnjilane. We have always shown that there
is room, space, opportunity and we claim to be still active,
still staying here, normally with the possibility
of realizing projects in other regions, and why not in
the whole of Kosovo. As an organization we have
implemented projects in partnership with other
organizations. We have been a partner of Mercy Corpse. We are also part of a coalition of NGOs
“Democracy in Action”, I would say a good coalition of
NGOs across Kosovo, where in certain circumstances eg
when elections are planned or held in Kosovo, whether
locally or centrally, we claim to be active, however,
young people are recruited, mainly students or middle-aged
people, as part of the monitoring groups through which we
aim for the election process to be conducted in the best
possible way. I believe this is all for now,
in meantime, we will have perhaps questions
or comments. Thank You. Thank you Mr. Kqiku, It is very good when you hear about
these results that a local organization and a group of young
people have managed to accomplish something and what is most advantageous
is that you have stayed in Gjilan and that you have implemented
this program in Gjilan. I wanted to know that despite the results, you have had the challenges and how you have overcome those
challenges given that 20 years is not a short time, maybe even
to count is a lot, especially in the past years is
impossible to avoid challenges, sometimes difficulties in realizing
certain projects and programs? Yes, we had challenges, there are
challenges and we will always have challenges, this is clear, and
perhaps the managerial skills help to overcome them. I often emphasize it in discussions,
at coffee tables, we reach out to young people to
produce good results by building their capacities with
training and so on, but at the level here of
Gjilan / Gnjilane, the moment a young person reaches
a good position and experiences, I speak from my experience at least, they leave the center,
and in those cases we as an organization lose a staff that is
not easily built, perhaps Pristina seems more
attractive to them and at the moment they find themselves
ready they leave, some of them advance further,
and normally any business, institution, or non-governmental
organization that operates at a slightly higher level,
when offered such a staff, they receive it with open arms without
hesitation and ultimately if they are dedicated professionals,
the results will not lack. This is one of those challenges
we face, normally we always tend to recruit
new staff and to offer them the opportunities, we tell them
often that they have to make the project-proposals,
of course that the ideas of young people are very different,
then their needs, they know the best what they need
or what needs they have and which they have to put
them on project-proposals in order to ensure the funds and the
moment we get the funds approved, since they have been themselves part
of the preparing the project proposal, they will be part of the staff and in a way they become sort of how to call it, like self-employed, they will benefit
if nothing else at least they will gain skills, work skills, skills on how to prepare and submit a project-proposal. Another challenge I would mention
the lack of funds, before we had many donators,
opportunities to get the funds were much more and over the time
we have less donors. Normally the good projects get
funded, but also in this regards, we as an organization, as we
mentioned it earlier, the last 5 years we were more
focused on education, we have been able to provide,
through individual services to institutions, individual
trainings of various levels and thus provide funding, however
small they have been. Regardless, we have managed to
establish at least an office through these funds because it is
important to have an address and I believe this one is one of
the first challenges of the NGO’s since, if you don’t
have an office, an address, a place where you are located
then in a way you are not a serious organization, and we
have been able to have this, of course we have someone there
that stays during the day, an admin officer, and so on. Then we have expenses such as
electricity and the rest. Subsequently, the extra activities
normally have the most impact on staff,
outside partners, consultants and so on and of course we
continue to aim to operate further. One handicap I want to emphasize is
the passage of the law which enables, for example, sports
clubs to benefit from funding by sponsoring sports clubs
but not nongovernmental organizations as they should be
on a same level, and although this has lasted
a long time, we hope in the future we will have
the opportunity when for example a business that generates
income, the part of taxes owed to the government, to divide
a part for the NGO sector so that certain
civil society organizations have good projects, have good
programs and are advancing in this direction and it can also
be a common both way interest and thus ensure greater
sustainability of non-governmental organizations – governmental sector
of the civil society. Thank you Mr. Enver. You gave us a very good model
where young people can not only be part of your organization,
but they can also feel valued by offering their ideas for implementation. This shows that you are open as an
organization, for new recruitments and for new ideas to be implemented. Thank you very much. We give the floor now to Mr. Ramadani. Mr. Ramadani, perhaps your approach
is slightly different. You are an institution and perhaps you
can tell us something in terms of your institutional experiences,
how much the international programs have impacted in
facilitating your work, did you have challenges in
implementation and how the work has been going on
for 20 years, how the programs have been
implemented and what difficulties you have encountered and how you
have overcome them? Good evening. Thank you Anita, greetings to all- Initially I want to congratulate USAID for this 20 year journey with us. I would like to express my gratitude for
all the investments made in Kosovo, especially in the field of agriculture where I consider that I have
more competence. The Gjilan / Gnjilane region is a
typical agro-industrial region that besides good natural conditions,
soil fertility, and specific to this region is that it has inherited a large
number of companies that have created a long time experience. Fortunately, even in the process of
privatizing these companies, most of them have retained
their destination and furthermore, most of these new companies
have developed these resources even further to adapt to both the new era and the
new technology. We have had tremendous donor
partners starting from USAID, European Commission, Care International, Austrian Etirol*, Turkish Agency “TIKA”, and many other donors, but what
impressed me about USAID is, and I think it should have an impact
on the institutions as well, is the credibility and trust that
this organization has had. Whenever we worked with USAID we
had unshakable confidence. I believe it is very important and what
is important to mention here is that USAID’s goal has been to
strengthen local companies because they know their stay and
assistance are temporary and one day we will need to take
over to develop this country, and always the local businesses or
companies were put into focus on getting them to develop this region
and for them to be the developers. For us it was very convenient,
very acceptable and as an institution we gave full support. The capacities of the municipality of
Gjilan I think are more specific than perhaps the region or even at
Kosovo level, because 200 hectares of orchards that
have been in Kravaric-Begonishte today are managed by 3 extremely
successful companies. It is ASK Foods Gjilan with
a capacity to produce about 200,000 liters of fruit juice,
then is the processing of jams, marmalades, vegetables such as the
production of ajvar and various preserves of cabbage and cucumbers
with huge potential. Then it is the (incomprehensible)xxx
that knows frutomania, there are about 2 million liters of liquids being produced
and the Sun Hill has a mainly cultivating capacity of over 100
hectares, and I believe that these companies
jointly provide extremely large opportunities
for the forestry sector to develop. Fortunately these companies have also
managed to penetrate the foreign market with their quality. Fortunately, Gjilan municipality has also
two companies in the meat industry, the “ Kalabria” and “Malësia” and that
their capacities are not only beyond the level of the municipality but
also of the region and of the country as well. Both the processing and slaughter
capacity is extremely large which enables us to develop livestock since
the conditions are quite good. Also what distinguishes us is the
consumption with unlimited capacity, about 1 million xxx (incomprehensible)
are slaughtered within a year, then also chickens and other foods which means it’s a complete
organization. In the livestock sector we have
the advantage with” KABI” dairy which produces fresh milk,
somewhere around 12.000 liters and its capacities are 25.000 liters. In addition to these organizations,
fortunately in the municipality of Gjilan the production of FLOIL IT oil
has started which also gives us an opportunity in industrial
cultures, that we, as a directorate to be prepared,
and the tobacco combine Premium Tabak which is in its
initial state, but, considering our long term experience
we have we are interested to restore this culture and
open new opportunities. I believe that with all this
presentation I made, I wanted to give an optimistic view despite challenges being extremely high in the agriculture sector. What I see as a challenge, not
those small problems, but rather the large ones are the
fragmented parcels. The registration from 2014 shows that
we have less than 2 hectares, over 80% of farmers which is
quite disturbing, then up to 5 hectares we have 15% and up to
10 hectares, 10%. Lack of irrigation system is an
extremely big challenge while the other challenges that
are passable, I believe we will overcome them in time.
Thank you. Thank you Mr. Ramadani. You gave us a very good model
of business development and agriculture among the donors
that could be the municipality and the beneficiary businesses. Maybe the challenges can come up
and they are normal during implementation but the desire and
willingness to overcome them makes the job easier and of
course not giving up on the challenges that lie ahead. Thank you very much. Now we go to the private sector
which is perhaps a more independent sector but still in
need of donations, for various donators, support for
the economic development which is the main pillar for
the development of a country. Today we have the director
of Menacom, as I have introduced him earlier
on and who will tell us about his journey in 20 years. What were the challenges, how
beneficiary were the donations received, how
much they have influenced the professional development of
workers you have and so on. Perhaps you can share with us
a motivational story for the many young people we have today
and for those who follow us through Facebook, to remind you
once again that you can ask questions to all the panelists
directly but also on Facebook and which questions I will forward
then to the panelists. Mr. Zyberi, you have the floor. Greetings, I thank you for being part of this
panel today and here. Initially I would like to thank USAID and the American people who stood by us at those difficult moments when we
were exposed to an extreme danger and who still continue to support us. Talking about USAID is a big deal. I am talking and in order not to annoy
the Facebook readers, I will talk about my achievements,
my growth and to every young person who is interested on how to start
a business. The main challenge, the biggest
fear of any young person is how to start a business. Sometimes we are being
oriented wrongfully. Perhaps we get oriented by our families,
maybe the need of the time isguiding us, even with our professions we
are misguided. I was myself wrongfully oriented to
become an electronic engineer and then later on I started with something
completely different. Every person has a passion within him,
a person might have a passion from the very beginning or the passion
might surface later, thus, every young person must listen
to the voice within him in terms of the professional orientation and
not be afraid from the challenges that might encounter. We, as a fashion house “Menakom” have
started in 1992, before the war, we have started with a simple sewing
machine and that love for achieving and to work, we went through
challenges and efforts because we didn’t inherit anything that
we knew from before, but, we have contacted with
other parties who were in the same business. Today, within the fashion house
“Menakom” there are around 60 people employed,
and sometimes in 2015, through USAID, a tailoring
course and vocational training school has also
been organized. This was the very first
assistance that was provided to us by the USAID and
we are where we are now. Thank you Mr. Zymberi. A company such as yours with 60
employees, with all that capacity for export and all that, is
a model for Gjilan, for Kosovo and the region. Of course the
challenges were not inevitable, so you had your share of
challenges as well. I know that the USAID program
has helped 20 families that have been trained, have been able
to provide for their families. I know that you also have ongoing
programs where you allow design-oriented youth and
young people to engage in practical and professional work. Can you tell me how ready are the
young people to be part of your company, what sort of
opportunities you offer and to provide us with a model? We might have perhaps amongst our
public members someone who might be interested to be part
of your company, what is the easiest way to
gain access, how the challenges may be
overcome together? Our company is prepared with
its staff. Within the company we have the
entire staff that is prepared with professional training. We are now trying to have
a working relationship with the schools, with the schools
in Gjilan today, for the students to come to us and
get engaged in the practice, thus, the theoretical part that they
do in schools to come to our fashion house for the practical
part and to be further trained. We have a school, a course that
lasts 2 years, which is free where we train girls and women but
also boys who want to be trained in tailoring and within those
two years we guarantee employment within the company,
or, they are trained to the extent that they are ready to face
their own challenges and start their own businesses. It is a very good opportunity if
we start the cooperation between vocational school and businesses
that are present in Gjilan. Thank you very much, this is probably
a message to the education directorate that could
made an agreement with you very easily and with the
companies such as yours to engage in practical work and to be
trained after the school and to be oriented career wise. Thank you for everything that
you have shared with us. Certainly it has been very motivating for
many young people who were watching and following us. I remind you, the public present here
that you may pose questions to the panelists right now. Before we start with questions,
I would like to tell my story as well. As I was introduced at the beginning, I am Anita Ademi, I have been
part of civil society for 15 years in active position. I have worked in various projects, in various programs of various donators, including USAID. It has been a mobilization and
a very good model, a professionalism we have adopted
and built year after year. It was not easy of course, we were
a postwar society, we are dividing the time periods
before and after the war. It was not easy to have such an
organization and to present ideas that may have been contrary
to tradition, with our Kosovar mentality. Our first beginnings had to do
with gender equality, and we know that for decade’s women
have been oppressed and all of our mobilizations have been
so they can enjoy an equal right today with men, to have an
equal level of education, employment, equal with men. Then, others were the establishment
of village councils, which was a new model, where we tried
to have women representatives, with the law of gender equality
implemented, then, to have young people in order to
build mechanisms to convey their ideas and needs across
communities, neighborhoods of Gjilan, and the surrounding areas. Another topic that has been
addressed is property. As we know to this day women have
inherited properties the least, be it from family of origin and
during different divorces. We have tried to work on awareness,
reminding them that the law is equal for both
women and men. The property is also equitable and
must be inherited equally. The challenge has been many, there
has been so much that sometimes we have been unable
to carry out the activities. However, the efforts, Mr. Enver provided
the model and perhaps the experiences are similar, we as
a civil society acting in Gjilan. My experiences are not related to
only one organization, but with many various
organizations, thus, challenges we have faced,
sometimes activities were cancelled, failed, but, our
insistence and desire to change things in Gjilan has probably
made our job easier. When we have failed, we have tried
again to organize meetings, activities in all villages of
Gjilan municipality. Have we arrived at a satisfactory
level? Of course not. There is still a lot of work to be done, a mobilization of youth, a better implementation of the law
in practice, all of which perhaps make it easier for girls to
achieve gender equality just as we want and as we have
international models. Our civil society has undergone changes. Of course it’s not easy for families either,
families have undergone changes. From a patriarchal family we are
transitioning into modern families, now, this is for someone easier,
for someone more difficult, but gradually I think we will reach
the goal that everyone is aiming for. I’m open to questions. I hope I have ot forgotten something
else to share it with you, so, I give the floor to Arijeta. Arijeta is a civil society activist
for years in Gjilan, I believe she has a question
for us, yes Arijeta? Hello, I am Arijet Maka,
I come from the NGO – (incomprehensible), also greeting for all the panelists
here, congratulation on all the work done because many times we
have been participants and cooperators with them in many
activities for which we are very grateful and thankful. We have had with USAID a project
related to the cultural heritage in Kamenica and Vitia related to
Gjilan that has been a very successful project. I have a question for all
three of them. First question is for professor Enver because he comes from the
second sector. What do you consider to be a
successful project that deals with gender equality with
women, can you highlight your activities, I know that I
myself was a participant and I was lucky enough to have the
opportunity to be lectured by your staff, I know I have
learned a lot myself. I wanted to know which project you
consider to be the key to success in your journey through
the years. I will ask the director a question
about agriculture, what is the level of satisfaction that
women have been able to get involved in the agricultural sector and
which sector do you consider to be most successful now, The next question is about tailoring
as there are also world famous creations designs, which
woman you would consider to have reached the level of success
you have achieved? Your reputation has exceeded
the limits beyond and for your work you have received also
appreciation, is there any woman who has completed the course with
you and has received any acknowledgment like you did?
Thank you. Thank you Arijeta. So, Mr. Enver, your question is the
most successful project you consider in terms of the gender
balance in your organization. Thank you Arijeta for the question,
thank you also for your engagements as an activist in the past and maybe
you will be our activist again, now I do not know what projects
and activities will be having. To tell the truth we as an
organization have not had a project dedicated directly
to gender equality, however when preparing projects we
are sometimes required and we sometimes find it reasonable
to normally emphasize gender-inclusion figures in
projects, ie, beneficiaries it should be emphasized that such
percentages are female, usually it is emphasized and it is
required to be emphasized, I would like to say in the project
SKYL-support to Kosovo young leaders, this was one of the
biggest projects that has lasted somewhat 40 months,
it was a project that it was realized in partnership with
Mercy Corpse and the funds were from USAID, and I
believe that Arijeta was one of the beneficiaries of this project
and we had a number of over 30% of participants or
beneficiaries to be females. They were provided with training
in the areas that we have specified and that have been two types
of engagements, civic engagement and community engagement, and
for entrepreneurs this is probably related to the work of
businesses and institutions for young people to do internships
initially in businesses and institutions so that in addition
to education they have a good achievement in practice and
possibly the job opportunity. So here I would like to emphasize
this project that both in its duration and in beneficiary, and
extension, we have been responsible for some 14 municipalities, mainly
Pristina and so on, including Shtrepce and the deeper
and smaller municipalities. So this was a project I would
give emphasis to. Thank you Mr. Enver. Director, the question for you is
what is the level of women beneficiaries and
which do you consider the most successful agricultural sector? Thank you Arijeta for the question, I would like to use the question
of Arijeta to present a first part that relates
to both gender and youth. Mostly the projects that I originally
said we have built strategic partnerships with, USAID, the
European Commission, and all foreign donors, look more
closely at gender and youth. The main focus has been on these two
categories which have also been of interest to us. Initially we finalized the raspberry
cultivation project. We have considered a family
production where women, young people and different ages can be
engaged and the main donor in this case was USAID while the
beneficiary company was Fresh Fruit, while the municipality had 50%
participation in seedlings. After this project, even in the fruit
sector we consider that the opportunities for engagement
of all categories are great. We have raised 50 hectares of cherries
through the local company “Kalabria”, USAID and the municipality,
so we have been partners. But what I think has made a huge
difference or effect has been the European Union project where
100 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 have
completed three-month paid internships, creating a new
experience and opportunity for employment, then 52 start-up
businesses receive small grants and in particular businesses that
favor rural tourism have been granted up to € 10,000. As a municipality or as a municipal
government by regulation, we prioritize gender and youth. There are categories that are
considered necessary, but maybe it is not yet in our
culture, for example in the horticulture sector women should
apply for greenhouses because they maintain it, they
develop that sector, all applicants therefore should be
women, because they maintain it and they develop that sector while
it is the men who in fact apply. Usually when they come and
tell us that the daughter or wife will work on this, we
consider it a top priority because we have minimal failures
and the effect is so great. Therefore, in the fruit-growing sector
I think we are extremely well gendered, while in the fruit
sector as a whole I believe we have made a full consolidation. Thank you. Mr. Ramadani thank you. Maybe this is a field where women
have to apply after all the work is done by women
and it would be nice if you as a directorate would
launch a campaign that also encourages women to apply
for funding and so be a beneficiary of grants and to work. Mr. Zymberi, can you answer to the
question posed by Arijeta? Yes of course.
Thank you Arijeta. Business always has its own demand
for growth and when the business requires growth it needs
workers, professional workers. Unfortunately in the early years
of my business, there were no tailors so we were
forced to complete tailoring school ourselves. With the opening of tailoring schools,
we have trained many girls and women who now
have their own businesses. Now, not to mention them by name,
but you can see that in every street in Gjilan you have at
least two or three shops that have dresses. We have achieved to be a model
not only for Gjilan but also for Kosovo that the main producers
of tailoring today are the producers of dresses. What we have achieved and which
is very important is that we have managed to reduce the
production of dresses from Turkey to a minimum, almost no Kosovo
woman or girl buys dresses from Turkey, but, they can buy
now dresses that are produced in Kosovo. Why? this has only happened by
increasing the quality of the dresses, keeping up with the
requirements, with trends. Today, because of the internet
every woman is aware of what materials are used, we have
achieved that not only our company but also many other
companies in Kosovo have managed to produce the dress and
we have many girls and women who today (unintelligible)
it’s not just the merit of ours, it’s the merit of training, but the
merit of starting a new business is that of girls
because opening a new business does not require
any major investment. Almost any family or girl who
is professionally trained in tailoring is likely to open
a business, because in the house she has
2-3 other women who have a childhood experience, someone
with ironing, someone with handworks, so it’s a profession that you can easily
open a business with. So go on, those who are interested, I’m talking about Facebook users
who are watching us, let them turn to Menakom, but not just
Menakom for training, and it is easier not only to get hired but also to set up their
own business. Thank you.
Thank you Mr. Zymberi, perhaps you are the best example of
a family business, and you have started this business
as a family. You are also an example for sponsorship. You make children’s clothing that
participate in international music competitions. I know you are now modest and
you are not showing off, but many of the competitions that have
presented Gjilan and Kosovo the participants wore your dresses,
so thank you publicly. Perhaps it is an example for others who are thinking of following
your own path. Thank you for mentioning it,
(incomprehensible) for a company to fail in the moment when it does
not sponsor a cultural, sports or any other activity. We as a company, since the very
beginning, so, we as a company we have started with Miss
competitions and other activities, we have never stopped and our
assistance was always present because only then we feel proud with
whatever we can do to help. Thank you. We have another question
from Facebook, it is a question for all three panelists, it says that:
we know that the private sector is in need for employees or
labor force, what would you recommend to the young people of Gjilan,
where to focus, what kills should obtain in order to be prepared
for the job market? Can please each of you provide your
opinions on where to focus the young people from Gjilan in order to have
easier access to the labor market, not only in Gjilan but also
in Kosovo. From my point of view as a leader
of this organization, part of civil society organization
in Gjilan and Kosovo, and as a teacher which I have
failed to mention before, I have worked over 30 years in
schools throughout Kosovo and now in secondary and high
schools, where we have pupils who from the 9th grade they have to
get oriented. Now this relates to a planning, our delays or our
planning shortcomings, and it may be that for example
in a business, as Metush mentioned, not to have
interns who would be interested in going there, let’s say for
a textile or design profile there is no vocational school in Gjilan
or elsewhere. Well, I think that here, there should be more frequent
meetings in planning and especially managed or led
by the municipal directorate of education because we are
talking about the municipal level of employment, looking into what
the needs are, researching the market, researching the needs
of companies or different businesses, and depending on this to open up
relevant directions especially in secondary and high schools,
respectively in professional schools, and in those schools not to have
courses that produce graduated but unqualified staff. Here I see a blemish and this
is being repeated. If we talk about Gjilan, I am well
aware that a very large proportion of 9th grade students
go to gymnasiums and not to vocational schools. Maybe they don’t even have good
orientation choices, maybe they thought they would
complete such a school and then they couldn’t find a job
and I think that should be explored here.
I will get some examples, since lately we have been going through
different municipalities delivering training in the field of
education and have contacts with leaders, schools in different
municipalities. Let’s say in the municipality of
Vushtrria, a large proportion of pupils are
willing to go to vocational schools and mainly to agricultural
schools, and the fact that the Vushtrria region, people there
work their land, and has shown to be profitable, many things are
taught in theory, the practice is there and normally from the
practice, from the concrete work on their lands they reach the profits
and of course, the gymnasium is not attractive to them, but it is
likelythat they have (incomprehensible) three-way municipal leadership, municipal education
leadership, school principals, parents and so on,
and it works, so it is a very good model that
should be practiced in Gjilan and everywhere in Kosovo, and
this is an opportunity for young people to get active and
to even see a perspective in this country and not to always think
about leaving. Kosovo is rich. Thank you Mr. Enver, Mr. Ramadani? As Mr. Enver explained it in
more details, I would be brief, the issue of
orientation is very complex because it depends on a multitude
of factors, capacities, but also the will of the youth. I think that it is very important to
enjoy the work that we do. I believe this is primary,
then professional training and adaption to the market needs. We dare not think that today
a young man engaged in agriculture or production, will
not result for him in profitability and security, so we
are making efforts as an institution in both, planning
and promotion for example every year we adapt
to the demands of farmers, youth demands and I think we as
a municipality we prefer the agricultural secondary school. This school must be further developed. I think that the capacities or
assets she has today offer the opportunity to transform it into
an agricultural institution, and I believe that it would be
attractive to young people and the region, but also it would
have opened up new opportunities for anyone interested
in dealing with agriculture. Thank you Mr. Ramadani. Yes , Mr. Zymberi, also if you have
to add something. Perhaps I am reiterating because the
panelists said almost everything, but, I do have a request addressed
to young people, and that is that they should love their profession,
every type of work that you like doing it, it’s a profession. Cleaning lady is not a cleaning lady
but she has a profession and she should have a title, because the
cleaning today is not very simple. We have so many things in our homes,
companies, offices which require for gentle cleaning, the table, or
whatever else, where you need to know and learn
certain chemical elements used for the leaning of a
particular thing. Therefore, if we will come to like our
profession, we will be successful and there is no doubt about that. We need to talk to our children,
offer them orientation, the parent, the kindergarten,
teachers, professors, must make sure the person is
properly oriented. We need to understand that every diploma
of ours is a commodity for sale. We are for sale and everyone
is for sale, if we do not prepare then
nobody buys us. I mean, all the time we either
sell or buy. As a profession you have to choose
a profession that is for Kosovo and is in Kosovo. We cannot prepare for airplanes when
we do not produce aircrafts here, but we produce uniforms,
we produce food, and here we must orient our mass
to be ready for the market where we are already present. Thank you. Thank you, this shows that is very
important to be professionally oriented and to go where needed and
based on the needs of our country, respectively Gjilan. I apologize, but I have a request
addressed to the schools or institutions, which every day are
mentioning vocational schools to have a stronger relationship with
businesses because we are ready, we have the infrastructure, we have
the tools and most often in collaboration with the
teachers, to have not only the theoretical part but also in the
practical part to come together with the students, train
with the staff and catch up with the practice to move faster. Thank you Mr. Zymberi. Now we come to the second part
and we have only few minutes, the question we have for you the
panelists is that how much we are ready to move on to the next decade or
the next 20 years without donations and international support. How much we have established
stable mechanisms, how much sustainability have we created
in our programs so that we no longer need additional
support from foreign international donors or from USAID, which is
our sponsor“ . It is easier for the municipalities
because the civil society sector receive
taxes and at least have a consolidated budget, they can
do planning and execution. Normally the non-governmental sector
will face bigger challenges as I mentioned earlier, but it is also
the wisdom I would say of civil society leaders to focus
on, first of all on profiling and normally profiling means greater
professionalism within the organization and staff
working there. Projects need to be better. I think that good projects provide
funding that can ensure sustainability everywhere. But lately we have also received
funding from the public sector, the Kosovo budget, through ministries. It may be noticed that maybe these
funds often do not end in proper destination, not always the
best projects come out winning, the organizations apply with good
projects to secure the funds, but hopefully in the future we will
have more transparency and we normally hope that the best
projects will end up being funded. The other thing that I have mentioned
more or less, certain civil society profiles of
non-governmental organizations, if they are functional, can provide
services, and through the various services that the community and
society in general need, but also outside, out of Kosovo
why not, like abroad, they can operate here by providing
services to businesses and organizations overseas,
and in this way can generate revenues and thus become sustainable. There are challenges, but, our duty
is to face these challenges and overcome them. We hope that we will all get engaged
in order to progress further. Thank you Mr. Kqiku, Mr. Ramadani,
for the next 10-20 years, how ready are you as an institution
to continue? Initially, I think financial support
for the agricultural sector is needed for some time,
not only from state institutions but also from different donors, and in
addition to financial support, I think we still need the experience of
countries that have a much longer tradition than we do. Although personally, the fruit-growing
sector, which is still very consolidated, for this sector I see a bright
long term future. We have already begun to come up
with products on the European market, and I see that this sector
will be present in the European market within a
short period of time. Also, I see the vegetable sector
as a very big opportunity, most of all I see organic or
bio-based production as this country is not contaminated
by industry, with extremely large opportunities. I believe that the products that are
manufactured here are of the standard that Europe today requires. The plowing sector I believe is very
challenging because the land surface does not allow further expansion
and to cover our needs we should increase professional engagement,
the raw materials we use have much greater genetic potential than
we do today, our focus will be on meeting our needs. The same goes for the livestock
sector, unfortunately, the raw material almost all comes
from imports mainly ( somewhat 20% only here). In the long run we have to meet the
local needs because we have conditions, the
opportunities are there. For the long term or the period
of 20 years, I see the “Arberia” high school become
an agricultural institution for the eastern part of Kosovo,
the Rrafshi I Dukagjini has the Peja Institute and I think
all potentials are here, be it human or material potentials. Then I see it as hopeful the initiative
of Iber-Lepenci to move on to the “Ana Morava”
and I believe this is a huge possibility, I believe that
a particular focus should be directed towards rural tourism
where we have great opportunities and I see that this sector will
grow well, and above all I consider that
insurance in agriculture and emergency funds need to be completed
sometime in the future. This is my assessment. Thank you very much Mr. Ramadani, Mr. Zymberi, what do you think in the
private sector for the next 10 years, how sustainable can this
sector be without donor support? Yes, I will take an example of a
female employee of mine, she asked me a question once by
saying why we cannot sell our dresses in Turkey? I told her that the reason why is
very simple, she said what is this reason then?
I told her that we need to increase the quality of our products
and the price. She promised we will achieve both and
indeed we have achieved both. Now, if we will be able to continue
without the donations, the donations are very welcome especially
for new countries such is Kosovo. I don’t know about other countries,
if they work or do not work with donations, but, luckily we
have also our government as well which is slowly coming to
terms with the need to help businesses and I hope they will be more oriented towards
private business. Other institutions were in focus, such
as the post office and the private sector were often
forgotten. We need quality in terms of
our products, preparing staff because the business
has no time to lose, it has the competition, not only
internally but also externally and many times when we want to grow,
we have no one to turn to for workers. That is to say, if the quality of schools
and workers increases, their training is done, then
I believe that we too will be helping others and we will
not need donations. So, a lot of work is needed, but donations
are welcome for a while at least. Thank you. Dear Participants, the ones present here with us
and the ones following us, our time for discussions today has
come to the end. We heard very motivation stories, got
a message that we do not have to give up, very often we can despair,
give up, but we still have to know that we have 1 million
reasons to work harder for our state, for our Gjilan and what we each dreamed
about all these years in a row. Thank you USAID, until our next meeting, goodbye and thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *