June 14, 2024

From London to Kosovo for the Welfare of Children with Disabilities

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From London to Kosovo: For the Welfare of Children with Disabilities. Fatmire Halili Bunjaku talks about her experience as a diaspora expert engaged in her homeland.

Visits to Kosovo during holidays have now become almost an annual tradition for Fatmire Halili Bunjaku, who lives in the United Kingdom, where her family migrated in the 90s.

Fatmire’s career in Britain developed in various fields, enabling her to gain extensive and diverse experience.

I have different experiences; I have worked in international private schools, public schools with children who have come from different countries. I have helped them integrate into the English system due to the language, to learn English.

says Fatmire.

Fatmire’s experiences also include working with children with disabilities, mentioning collaborations with Amnesty International and the National Autistic Society.

This year, unlike others, from March 15th to April 15th, Fatmire had the opportunity to contribute to Kosovo by helping children with disabilities through the Citizen Engagement Activity, implemented by the Kosovar Foundation for Civil Society (KCSF) in partnership with USAID in Kosovo. Facilitated by GERMIN, she had been engaged with the Association of Paraplegic and Paralyzed Children in Kosovo, known as HandiKOS.

I was never engaged in Kosovo since I left in the 90s – this was the first program through which I contributed in my homeland”

Fatmire Halili Bunjaku

During the four-week engagement at HandiKOS, Fatmire made a significant contribution by informing and training parents and children with disabilities. She taught them new ways of treating cases and dealing with emotional problems. During this period, she trained 60-70 people.

At HandiKOS, I initially worked with parents, teaching them stress management strategies and learning methods. I explained that early intervention in children is extremely important because the earlier the child is helped, the greater the success,” explains Fatmire.

Methods for understanding and managing emotions taught in the United Kingdom were one of the main lessons she transmitted to children with disabilities.

In England, they use a method for understanding emotions with red and green colors, and based on those colors, children understand what feelings they have and then learn how to cope with the situation,” she emphasizes, adding that one of the most beautiful moments for her was the gratitude of the parents.

Fatmire Halili Bunjaku, a Kosovo diaspora expert, during a lecture at HandiKOS

However, Fatmire also talks about the other side of the coin, mentioning the lack of conditions faced by children with disabilities in Kosovo and cases of stigmatization by society and their own parents.

Unfortunately, it is very painful that children are stigmatized, but I think it is very important to intervene as early as possible in children. If the child is helped in time, that child changes,” says Fatmire.

She points out that “Parents who have children with special needs have two paths: either accept and help them or always leave them dependent. I believe that every parent wants to make their child independent. The only way to achieve this is early intervention.”

By giving a part of herself to Kosovo, Fatmire has reached a new level of personal fulfillment and is happy about her contribution.

I am very happy to have had the opportunity to contribute in Kosovo, and I think there is a lot of potential for the diaspora to give back.


Fatmire’s message to other diaspora members is to try to contribute because there is a need. In this regard, she values her good experience: GERMIN supported me and gave me the opportunity to contribute, so whoever has the opportunity, it is good to come and contribute,” concludes Fatmire.

The engagement of diaspora experts” is part of the Citizen Engagement Activity, implemented by the Kosovar Foundation for Civil Society (KCSF) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kosovo. GERMIN is a partner of KCSF in implementing this activity.