Project “Down Syndrom Kosovo“ finished succesfully
Due to more than one year of planning, coordinating and advertising, as well as some further cash- and fundraising projects, our seminar about Down Syndrome took place in two Kosovan cities on four days this may. In cooperation with the organisations “Down Syndrom Kosova” (DSK), “Deutsches Down Syndrom Info Center” (DDSIC) and “European Down Syndrom Association” (EDSA), two German experts presented their different topics to more than teachers and parents of children with Down Syndrome. An important step towards the development of a sustainable treatment of people with this disease in Kosovo.
In the beginning of 2014, members of the Rotaract Club Jena formed the idea of this project. To deal with the financial requirement, we organised several fundraising projects, e.g. a summer festival, a reading of a kosovan author, two blood donations and many more. Furthermore, many private donators helped to make this project happen, which were partly reached due to some of our articles in the local press.
The main focus were, of course, the people with Down Syndrom and thus the development of a seminar, which fits perfectly to their special needs. We contacted DSK, EDSA and DDSIC and formed together our idea of a seminar into a detailed plan. After many meetings online and on-site in Kosovo, all questions about seminar topics, finances, locality, translating, speakers, participants, etc. were solved.
The two-day seminar took place multiple times, once in Prizren and once in Pristina. These four days were presented by the two German experts Ms. Cora Halder, founder and manager of the DDSIC, and Ms. Prof. Dr. Etta Wilken, professor of special education in Hanover. More than 110 participants listened to their speeches about early intervention from birth onwards, speech therapy, school skills, behavioral issues, sexuality and preparing for adult life, as well as many more topics. To guarantee the understanding, everything said was translated consecutive into Albanian.
Many participants were filled with enthusiasm by the large scale and intensity of the seminar. Especially, since these topics are only poorly taught in Kosovo and its neighbouring countries. Thus, even some Albanian people travelled to Prizren/Pristina to participate in the seminar. Furthermore, Kosovan media was very interested, too. We were invited to a Talkshow and two additional TV stations filmed us and made comments, as well as some newspapers and a radio station from the German “Bundeswehr”, which is deployed in Kosovo.
We sincerely thank Ms. Halder and Ms. Wilken for their professionally and personally engagement, the organisation Down Syndrom Kosova for the committed and trustfully cooperation, and all donators as well as everyone who supported us during this project. Thank you.