Bringing smiles to the faces of children 0-6 from rural areas in Kosovo

Thursday 21 May 2020

Bringing smiles to the faces of children 0-6 from rural areas in Kosovo

Save the Children in Kosovo has provided support to 323 children aged 0-6 with educational and hygienic packages in 10 rural areas which lack access to early childhood education during Covid -19. The distribution was organized on 22nd and 23rd of April 2020 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Municipality Education Directorates (MEDs) and educators in 10 rural areas in Kosovo.

Background

The start of year 2020 found Kosovo and the world with worrying news, where an outbreak of a novel coronavirus was in progress. The doctors and medical professionals at WHO informed the public for the risks of this virus, with WHO declaring on January 30 that the coronavirus was a public health emergency of international concern, and upgrading it to a pandemic by early March due to is fast spread.

Taking into account its capacities and conditions in the field of medicine, the Kosovo Government took measures before the first cases appeared, thus closing all educational institutions in Kosovo, including preschool institutions and ECCD Centers. In Kosovo, the first two cases with this virus were reported on March 13. The Kosovo Government introduced swift measures to fight this pandemic spreading further by closing down all businesses, schools and advising citizens to stay at home. In late March, the Ministry of Education introduced remote learning from the TV as a temporary measure. However, children aged 0-6 were not included in these measures even though the need was immense.

Save the Children in Kosovo immediately approached all ministries, including the Ministry of Education to offer its expertise and capacities in the fields of education, child rights and protection. Save the Children, the Ministrity of Education and UNICEF joined forces to identify current needs in regards to ECCD. This resulted in having to develop a distance learning platform for children of ages 0-6.

Therefore, in this joint partnership, the early childhood distance learning platform was launched on April 14th, providing parents and children access to tools and activities in ECCD. Within one week, the platform was used more than 500,000 times by parents/caregivers and educators.

The distribution of packages to children in 10 rural areas in Kosovo

To further support parents/caregivers and children who attend the Early Childhood Care and Development centers in 10 rural areas, Save the Children in Kosovo, through an assessment, identified the community/children’s needs. This resulted in the organizing and distribution of 323 packages with educational toys, didactic materials, books, brochures and hygienic kits to all the parents/caregivers and their children whom attended activities at these centers prior to their closure. This was well received by both parents/caregivers, the local Municipal Education Directorates and school representatives. Mr. Egzon Jashari, Director of Education in the municipality of Mitrovica was thankful of Save the Children’s initiative to support children aged 0-6 from Mitrovica municipality.

“We are very thankful for this initiative of Save the Children especially during this time of need, when we are being faced with a pandemic such as COVID-19. These packages contribute greatly in two ways; first, it contributes in the development of educational activities at home, and secondly, it provides parents with protective measures through hygienic materials as well”

-Egzon Jashari, Director of Education, Municipality of Mitrovica

The distribution of packages was done in close collaboration with the Municipal Education Directorates, schools and staff of Save the Children in Kosovo, in line with the standard operating procedures for COVID-19 and emergency protocols of Save the Children. The school directors were instrumental in the successful distribution of the packages, informing the parents/caregivers, as well as in the preparation of the safety distribution measures on site.

“We thank Save the Children for these packages for the children and their continuous support that was given to our school, hoping that this collaboration will continue in the future. The packages are more than welcomed as children really need didactic material to learn at home. What Save the Children has done is wonderful as it has included many children 0-6 in the pre-school education, which will provide great support to those children in upcoming education such as the primary school education and further.”  

-Arben Fejza, School Director at “Fazli Greiqevci” primary school, Vernica, Mitrovica South

Many messages of gratitude were received afterwards, thanking Save the Children for ‘bringing smiles to their children, by bringing these ECCD centers to their homes,” and providing them with the means to implement the activities as proposed in the early childhood education distance learning platform.This could not be done without the support from Save the Children Italy who we thank for their continued support for all these girls and boys from rural areas and their families during this unstable and difficult period for everyone.