January 17, 2024

Year in Review GERMIN 2023

By Bublina Peni-38351 Views-No Comment

As we reflect on the past year, it brings us immense pride to share the highlights of our tireless efforts in fostering meaningful connections between the Diaspora and our homelands. Through several initiatives and events, we have worked hard towards strengthening the bonds that unite our vibrant diasporic community with our roots in the homeland. From engaging cultural and professional exchanges to forging valuable partnerships, we have endeavored to create a space where the rich tapestry of Albanian Diaspora flourishes. This ‘2023 in review’ encapsulates the spirit of unity, collaboration, and shared aspirations that continue to define our collective ‘diasporizing’ journey.

Know-how and Skills’ Transfer / Exchanges

  • Know-how for Kosova’s Municipalities and CSOs

21 Diaspora Professionals have been linked with Kosova’s municipalities and Civil Society Organizations to contribute in a variety of development and capacity-building projects. From digital educational platforms to development strategies, diaspora’s know-how has been leveraged by local stakeholders. Read about one example.

  • Diaspora Mentorship for Women in Politics

52 elected and prospective elective women from municipalities of Shtime, Istog, Vushtrri, Suhareka, Lipjan, Rahovec, and Podujevë were mentored by 26 diaspora experts in key areas of interest, connecting and fostering mutual learning relationships. A final conference gathered all of them, as well as institutional stakeholders. Read more.

  • Regional Youth Mobility and Exchanges

GERMIN, together with partner organizations from North Macedonia and Montenegro continued the initiative “Enhancing Regional Cooperation and Mobility among Young Researchers in the Western Balkans” under the MOVE Grant Scheme, funded by the Western Balkans Fund. 6 fellows finished a 10-day fellowship in neighboring countries.

Advocacy & Diplomacy

72 hours program, 500+ participants, 74 speakers, 13 sessions, 21 partner organizations and institutions. On May 18, 19, and 20, 2023, GERMIN organized the third edition of the largest Albanian Diaspora Conference, “Diaspora Flet”, in Prishtina. Themed “How can we co-create?” – the conference aimed to explore and foster cooperation in various fields, positively affecting the diaspora communities and making significant changes in the countries of origin. Read more.

  • Kosova Improves Diaspora Voting

The Parliament of Kosova has enhanced the out-of-country voting by amending the electoral law, which includes Germin’s recommendation to allow physical voting in diplomatic missions from the next elections. Read more.

The scaling up of OriginAL Program

  • Two cohorts in one year: increased demand for the program

Sixty participants from 17 different countries experienced our homeland in a unique way through the OriginAL program. By visiting 15 cities, over 60 sites, and meeting hundreds of local peers, their OriginAL homeland experience was one of a lifetime. The OriginAL 2023 was one of great impact and an increased demand. We are currently fundraising for the 2024 cohorts, and your support is highly appreciated.

  • A succesful Fundraising Concert in New York

An incredible show by our renown Inva Mula together with pianist Genc Tukiçi and the band was organized in New York on May 24. This event, facilitated by Fadil Berisha, gathered over 800 of the Albanian-Americans in Town Hall Theatre to support OriginAL Program and its noble mission to connect young Albanians worldwide. Mark Kosmo of the Global Albanians Foundation pledged $1 million from now to his 100th birthday.

Facilitating Export Promotion & Diaspora Market Linkages

  • Kosova Women Entrepreneurs access Swiss German market

40 women entrepreneurs from Kosovo went to Düsseldorf where they had the opportunity to meet with dozens of diaspora businesses. In collaboration with Albanian-German Business Uninon in Germany, and supported by USAID Kosovo Compete, they also visited the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) of the city of Essen. Read more.

10 local businesses at the Diaspora Business Fair in Vienna

Through MARDI Project, GERMIN supported 20 local producers from Kosova to participate at the Diaspora Business Fair, organized by the Albanian Diaspora Business Network in Austria. The fair was held in Vienna on October 21, 2023. Over a hundred B2B meetings took place from companies of IT, Wood-processing, Food Processing and Textile industries. Read More.

  • Linking Diaspora ICT Businesses with home country

On October 13-14, 2023, we joined the largest technology conference in the region – KosICT, to facilitate the business-to-business (B2B) meetings between local companies and those from the diaspora or with diaspora background. Dozends of companies from the ICT and related sectors explored opportunities for collaboration and partnership. Read more.

Diaspora Philanthropy

  • Korçarët Ndihmojmë Korçarët

Dr. Yvonne Naum from Seattle, originally from Korça, inspired GAF to start this program by pledging  $22,500 as a start. Three projects will be initially supported to Helping Vulnerable Children at Naim Frasheri School; Roma Children at Day Care Centers, and Children with Disabilities in Korça. Watch Yvonne’s message for you.

Diaspora helping flood-affected areas in Kosova

In response to the January 2023 floods in Kosova, organizations, five diaspora-based organizations from the US and Germany initiated the “Diaspora for Kosova” fundraising campaign to support affected families and buildings. The Technical High Schools of Skenderaj and Mitrovica were supported to renovate their facilities damaged by the floods.

Diaspora Organizations Network

This initiative seeks to channel the collective influence of the Albanian Diaspora into a force for positive change. Our objectives consist on supporting Advocacy efforts of different organizations; supporting Cultural Preservation and Anti-Defamation; and empowering youth to actively engage in community-driven initiatives.