EULEX and Assist Kosovo empower Kosovo’s youth to become agents of change against gender-based violence

03 March 2023

On 3 March, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) kicked off the project “Youth empowerment against gender-based violence”, which is implemented in partnership with the NGO Assist Kosovo.

The project aims at preventing and fighting gender-based violence by raising awareness among Kosovo youth and by equipping young girls and boys with the necessary tools to actively advocate for gender equality and women empowerment within their communities.

The Executive Director of Assist Kosovo, Visare Berisha, and EULEX’s Gender Advisor, Chiara Tagliani, welcomed a group of 12 members of the NGO and human rights activists, who will be trained on how to teach their peers to become Active Community Leaders, speaking up against gender-based violence and fighting inequality.

Presenting the objectives of the project and explaining the program of the upcoming training sessions to the participants, the Executive Director of Assist Kosovo encouraged them to leverage their inner confidence and motivation: “During the training you will learn technical and phycological tools, such as advocacy techniques, active audience listening and cultural sensitiveness. However, what counts the most is that you can communicate your enthusiasm and commitment to the others,” Berisha said.

The young activists who have been selected to become trainers of Active Community Leaders come from very different backgrounds, but they have all in common the passion to change things and to help empower others.

One of the trainees, Flutura Balaj is a 23-year-old astrophysicist from Istog/Istok and the author of “Shtojzovalle”, a documentary on the magical power of women presented at DokuFest in 2018.

Explaining why she decided to join this project, Balaj stressed that she has always been very passionate in promoting gender equality: “Although I was born in a very small city, since when I was a child, I have always been encouraged by my mother to dream big. Unfortunately, they often encourage boys to dream big and not girls; this is why I want to help others to pursue their ambitions, fostering free thinking and telling them they can become everything they want.”

The project will continue in the upcoming weeks with multiple training sessions organized across Kosovo aimed at developing a network of young Active Community Leaders.