July 2, 2020

Diaspora ED finished its marathon of lectures

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Summary

Diaspora ED was a project which aimed to bring together Diaspora professionals and artists with the high school students in Kosovo. The main goal of this project was to give an opportunity to the Kosovo students to benefit from these interactive lectures in improving their soft skills. 10 Diaspora professionals were engaged as lecturers in this project and shared their journeys, experiences and knowledge in soft skills to the Kosovo High School students.

Lectures in High Schools: 

  • “How to achieve in life”

Our first lecture “How to achieve in life” was held on 4th of March 2020, at “Xhevdet Doda” High School, Prishtina and the lecturer was Mark Kosmo, a renowned Albanian-American living in the U.S.A. Mark is a well known activist about the national issues amongst the Albanians in the U.S.A, and a chair of a few organizations there. His lecture was focused on the importance of soft skills during life. He emphasized how the network of people that he knows, has paved the way for the successes that he has had until now. He presented the students with the theory of “six degrees of separation”, which is the idea that all people are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other. 

  • “Education and soft skills”  

Our second lecture “Education and soft skills” was organized on 9th of March 2020 at “Lutfi Musiqi” High School, Vushtrri and lectured by Muhamet Idrizi. Muhamet is a PhD candidate in Education, and works as a teacher and a German state official in Hamburg. His lecture was focused on the importance of education in life. He explained to the students in Vushtrri, that education holds the key to success in their lives, no matter where they live. Based on his experience as a teacher in Germany, and a former migrant student himself, he emphasized how in Germany those that study and work hard, go far in life. The differences between the education systems in Kosovo and Germany are vast, but he stresses that no matter the circumstances, the students should not be down hearted but continue their education and pursue their goals in life.

  • “To stay in Kosovo or to move abroad”

Third lecture of the Diaspora ED project “To stay in Kosovo or to move abroad” was organized on the 10th of March 2020 at “Andrea Durrsaku” High School, in Kamenica. The lecturer Avni Mustafaj is a well known activist of the Albanian community in New York and was part of the delegation which met with the U.S.A. president Clinton during the war in ‘99, to address the war crimes in Kosovo. The lecture was focused on drawing parallels between living in the U.S.A and living Kosovo. He emphasized that American dream which is portrayed in the Hollywood movies is not necessarily the reality in which the people in the U.S. actually live. He presented both pros and cons of living abroad and urged the students to make the decisions themselves whether they want to stay in Kosovo or move abroad.

  • “Becoming a Graphic Designer in a connected world”

On the very same day, at “Adem Kastrati” school, Gasper Sopi, lectured the students in Gjilan about “Becoming a Graphic Designer in a connected world”. Gasper is one of the successful graphic designers based in Croatia, even though during the last two years he has been living a “nomad” life around the world. This school was chosen on purpose, given the artistic profile of the subjects and Gasper’s profile. The students were presented with Gasper’s journey in design and also got to know more about the online opportunities to improve their designing skills and to promote their work.

Online Lectures – During the COVID-19 lockdown

  • “The changemaker journey”

Our first virtual interactive lecture was organized on the 30th of April. Mentor Dida, a well known change-maker in the U.S and Kosovo, talked about the opportunities that the Kosovo students have to study abroad and the potential challenges that they may face once moving there. His second part of the lecture was focused on the impact that these students can have on their community as change-makers.

  • “It’s never too late to study”

Zymryte Hoxhaj, a well known graphic designer in Germany, on the 12th of May 2020, lectured the students on the discussion “It’s never too late to study”. She used her own personal professional journey to explain to the students that they don’t have to usher onto decisions or studies, if they are not sure about them because there is no time limit when they have to start or finish their studies. Another important aspect of the lecture was that not everyone should aim to study and work in fancy jobs, because there is necessity and good income in the essential jobs as well. 

  • “Youth exchange opportunities and skills” 

Our third interactive virtual lecture, “Youth exchange opportunities and skills” organized on the 19th of May 2020 was led by Ilira Aliaj. Ilira lives in Germany and her profession is closely related to youth exchange experiences. She presented the youngsters in Kosovo about the different international exchanging opportunities that they can have in other countries and fields of interest. The importance of the new networks and the skills that the youngsters gain during these exchanging experiences, helps them in the future.

  • “Travelling abroad with a Kosovo Passport”

“Travelling abroad with a Kosovo Passport” was our fourth virtual lecture organized on the 26th of May 2020. This interactive lecture was led by Lavdi Zymberi, a UN Volunteer in South Sudan, who has travelled to over 40 countries around the world with a Kosovo passport. She presented the youngsters with the information about the tricks, hacks and tips on how to travel cheaply and safely with a Kosovo passport.

  • “Three degrees in three languages”

Tringe Krasniqi, a psychologist in the U.S.A led the fifth virtual lecture “Three degrees in three languages” on the 4th of June 2020. She discussed with the students about her personal journey in studying in three different countries and languages. The students were presented with the opportunities that they have in studying abroad, particularly in France. 

  • “To live through art”

Our last lecture “To live through art” was led by Vlashent Sata, a famous Albanian singer in France. Through this lecture Vlashent informed the young students about the importance of being authentic and persistent in their art. He emphasized the impact that studying in France has had in shaping him as an artist and urged the students to research opportunities in studying abroad. 

This Project in numbers

A total of 509 students benefited directly from these lectures. These students came from 24 different municipalities, 47 different schools in Kosovo and two students came from Northern Macedonia. Through our social media channels there have been over 6,000 viewers on Facebook and above 150 on Youtube who have benefitted indirectly from these lectures.

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