Localisation with Partner CSO’s and Child-led Groups
Drafted by: Festina Kabashi, Advocacy, Campaigns and External Relations Coordinator & Senem Safci, Civil Society and Partnership Specialist, Kosovo NO
Within the Sida-funded CSO Strengthening Programme, Kosovo National Office (NO) continues to provide support for demand-driven capacity strengthening to seven (7) local CSO partners, three (3) national child-led groups (CLGs), and seven (7) children’s local municipal assemblies (CLMAs).
The strong linkages of partner CSOs with institutional stakeholders supported the engagement of the Office for Good Governance in Kosovo (OGG), the Office of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, the Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights, Ombudsperson, the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning, and Infrastructure (MESPI), Ministry of Local Government Administration (MLGA), Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS) and municipal duty-bearers in child rights dialogue and promoted tools and mechanisms for inclusive monitoring of child rights.
Building on the strategic partnership with Kosovo NO and institutional stakeholders, partner CSO Syri i Vizionit (SiV) supported the OGG and MLGA to establish the first ever Municipal Team on Child Rights, setting up the local mechanism for the implementation of the Law and the methodology of working. The growing experience of SiV in identifying children’s needs and advocating with CLMA’s at the local level, was the key driver to scale up this mechanism across all municipalities in Kosovo.
For the past 13 years, CSO Syri i Vizionit (SiV) has partnered with Save the Children Kosova/o (SCiK) in a long-term program to strengthen civil society. The program focuses on developing organizational capacity, promoting child rights governance and social accountability, enhancing child protection, and implementing inclusive education mechanisms at both local and national levels. Through this partnership, SiV has helped establish Teams on the Rights of the Child, which have encouraged the Ministry of Local Government Administration (MLGA) to require municipalities in Kosovo to establish these teams as a key mechanism for ensuring children's participation at the local level.
SiV organized the constituent meeting and drafted a three-year work plan to establish the first Team on the Rights of the Child in the Municipality of Peja. This work plan has served as a model for other municipalities in Kosovo. SiV and SCiK have been continuously consulted by the responsible division within MLGA throughout meetings and workshops with representatives of the Teams from 12 municipalities. Together, they have provided guidance on the role of these teams and helped to raise their capacities.
SiV and SCiK also play an active role in coordinating national institutions and organizations that work to implement the Law on Child Protection. They have helped to increase responsibility and cooperation with the Office for Good Governance, the Ministry of Local Government Administration, and municipalities.
Throughout the year, SiV and SCiK will continue to support the Team Members in Peja and initiate the implementation of the work plan as a model for other municipalities in Kosovo.
Naser Lajqi – Project Manager, Syri i Vizionit (SiV)
In the ongoing work with local and national CLGs, Kosovo NO supported their engagement with their peers in ways that work for them and through inclusive physical venues. Based on the findings of the ‘Young Voices’ survey conducted in 2021, Kosovo NO supported CLGs to generate evidence-based advocacy, campaign and to participate as child rights holders in advocacy meetings with the Inter-ministerial Committee on the Rights of the Child in Kosovo on the International Day of Children and UNCRC day. Shadowing the same priorities, which seek accountability from local duty-bearers, Kosovo NO and partner CSOs supported CLMAs to engage in safe discussions on key child rights issues in seven municipalities in Kosovo, on issues that affect them directly such as gender spectrum, inequality, and climate change and the environment. As a result, children have ensured a buy-in and specific commitments from these stakeholders to identify ways of addressing such issues, in close consultations with them. Kosovo NO supported a wide coverage of such processes through public media, ensuring the voices of children are heard by a wider audience, including the general public.
Olt with the Respect Our Rights group march through the streets of Prishtina calling for climate action. Their sign reads “today we march so that tomorrow we can live.” Photo: Laura Hewison/Save the Children
Before joining the CLG - Respect Our Rights – RoR -, taking a step towards change was a gradual process. However, after joining RoR and working closely with Save the Children, I really opened up and acquired excellent communication skills. Save the Children played a vital role in helping me become more communicative and open-minded. Before joining, I was limited to changing myself individually. But now, I am grateful that I can spread awareness and make a difference. Save the Children and other NGOs have given me a voice, and I am thankful for that.
Olt, a 17-year-old climate activist and member of RoR group.
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