"Kosovo/a Initiative" Assessment Mission
R E P O R T
DRC Job no. 503-556
Supported by FRESTA
Issues raised by local NGOs
Regarding the NGO role and possibilities of cooperation, some of the NGOs interviewed believe that NGOs should fill in the information and development space, establishing solid networks of cooperation across boundaries. These should involve mutual visits, continual exchange of information (especially from the field), bilateral contacts and cooperation, organizing various events on the topic of returns, conduct public campaigns (such as the most recent one conducted in Kosovo, raising awareness about the missing persons of all ethnicities) and similar activities aimed at changing the attitudes of people in general.
Also stressed was the crucial importance of the media in all this and the need to report both on good and bad things that happen, especially in Kosovo.
Some of the more specific issues raised by local NGOs that the team has met with include, for instance, the inaccessibility of personal documents for their beneficiaries, due to the fact that some registry books have been moved to Serbia proper. It was agreed that this is a concrete activity that could be initiated with already experienced NGOs from the SEERAN network who have been running document provision through power of attorney projects for beneficiaries from Croatia.
Another important input from the Prizren based NGOs was that there are extensive minority return facilitation activities in this region and many requests are put to them regarding return of Serb IDPs to the region. Simultaneously there is an evaluation exercise going on together with UNHCR on the impact and other aspects of Go and See Visit project in the same region.
Another return related issue that was stressed during the meetings was the need for the so-called balancing projects for villages with majority Albanian population following the return of minority communities.