Balkan Sunflowers on Fri, 13 Aug 1999 20:01:48 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> [Balkansunflower-list] update 16

Balkan Sunflowers Update # 16


Currently Balkan Sunflowers has a lack of volunteers. Please apply.
Specifically, we need:  Macedonia - 3 week volunteers starting Sept 3rd or
Sept 24th Albania - 6 week volunteers starting Sept 3rd and onwards
Kosovo/a/a - 4 week volunteers starting any date now.!  We also need
medium and long term volunteers to fulfil more of a co-ordination role for
all three countries and for the international office. Details available

Who is doing what


We are doing seven classes English, organising children-activities,
dance-classes and art, games at the playground.


Photography-workshop, esp. meant for young women, a camp newsletter, we
work closely together with the local NGO, ADI, Association for Democratic
Initiatives, English lessons, visiting families, children-activities
together with other NGO's.


The volunteers are working in Pristina, Peje and Gjacova with the
Kosovarian Youth Council, on childrenīs programmes, on playgrounds, in
schools, a city park doing cleaning actions, better insulation for public
buildings and sort out permissions and mine awareness education. Even
squeezed into one sentence it is still too much work for the volunteers


Five summercamps started this week in different locations in Albania, with
small teams of Balkan Sunflowers international volunteers working
alongside the volunteers of the local organisers. Despite the heat the
volunteers managed to make children play, sing and forget their thirst. 
And after these have finished we are beginning more long term community
building work and education work in schools - more detail to follow. 

United States of America

Balkan Sunflowers US is becoming legal! The coordination team in the US is
currently working on obtaining a legal non-profit status of the US part of
this blossoming initiative. The team is doing that - among others - for
financial reasons (to make life easier sourcing grants and other
donations). Meanwhile, the US BSF server has started to work. The team has
e-mail addresses and the web site is under construction. Katarzyna from DC
will be the person responsible for processing application forms of US
volunteers. As one of US Coordinators, she's been doing this to some
extent anyway :-)


Danae visited the international office last week to get to know personally
the folks she has had on the other side of the telephone line for the last
3 months. She will come for a visit again next week to work on a fund
application for a long term initiative to suport the Tetovo Youth
Information Centre. 

The international office (the typist is kind of reluctant to say
coordination office, after a discussion with Danae on what coordination
means and what it involves) made another public presentation of BSF, with
slides from Ramona, and speeches from most of the office team, with a too
short speech from Danae about the projects in Macedonia. 

Finally the international office received the first and second phone call
from the team in Pristina. >From the second phonecall the most important
information unfortunately went somewhere to phone heaven, but not to the
office. Such is the difficulty of communication with Kosovo/a at present! 


On Aug the 12th, US BSF has the first training session for prospective US
volunteers. This event will take place in New York City as some of our
vols fly to Europe from this city. With a brief history of Balkan
Sunflowers founding, projects and accomplishments, history of Balkan
conflicts, information on dealing with war trauma, practical issues like
travel, accomodation, work in the field.


After some linking and writing Marilou was successful with a grant for
44.000 DM from the Dutch Refugee Council for projects in Kosov@. A friend
and supporter of the international office carved and then auctioned a huge
wooden sunflower sculpture raising 2400 DEM. 


The international office managed to collect quite some debts since the
existance of Balkan Sunflowers (around 7000 DM) and is now looking for
people to guarantee those. 

Ideas and Plans

>From 15 Sept. 1999 - 15 March 2000 we want to go on the road with a
mobile "Mine and Weapon Awarness campaign" in Albania with video films,
theatre plays with local pupils, creative writing training, sport and more
creative activities,-non violent conflict resolution training, Mine-,
Weapons- and UXO's awereness building. 

Together with War Child, Albanian Youth Council, Amurt and some other help
we want to build up community centers and community activities all over
Albania in poor parts of cities. As well as continue work with refugees in
Albania, clear is that more will stay in Albania than most organisations

In Stenkovec 2 (refugee camp in Macedonia) we would like to work in a
Children-home nearby our office/apartment. In Shutka we are looking for
another place to do the games and lessons, as the number of children (and
the noise) is growing everyday. 

In Kosov@ Balkan Sunflowers wants to do long term projects dealing with

A friend of the Belzig office offered to make a video on Balkan
Sunflowers, equipment and skills are sorted. In case it gets finished any
time the video can be of course used for fundraising, training and public
relations, but we need approx. 2000DEM to finish this. 

Thank You

Thanks to Volker for the computers, Antonius for the Sunflower, Bill and
Madjana for the auction, all auctioneers for their participation, Ruediger
for an article on Wam, Connection and Zeitpunkt (and Leila) for articles
on BSF and again Volker for driving all the stuff down, and the‚
attractive female translator' for helping him through customs. 

List of Needs

Long term volunteers, including two highly stable, sensitive and mature
individuals, for projects with traumatised people in Kosov@

The international office team could do with an experienced fund-raiser,
working in the office or elsewhere, with good communication lines to the

A laptop computer for the international office to be able to continue work
when not in Germany.  Toner cartridges for HP 5MP for the international


WE ARE MOVING FORWARD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-) :-) :-) (US
Balkan Sunflowers Team in their internal update) 

for the co-ordination team, Belzig, Germany
Latest info about the Balkan Sunflowers:
apply as volunteer:

our bankaccount always needs feeding:
Accountnr:      160 160 1
Accountname:   Balkan Sunflowers e.V.
Bank            Oekobank Frankfurt (Germany)
Blz             500 901 00

Tel: +49-33841-30670 
Fax: +49-33841-30671
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