“Fitore! Fitore!” – excitement on the field for Plemetina pupils

15 Jul 2013

imageUN Volunteer Minna Pesu with RAE Children and BSF Volunteers in a game

UN Volunteers serving with UNDP Kosovo in cooperation with Balkan Sunflowers / Plemetina Buildings Learning Center organized sports day with full of new experiences and moments shared for 30 children from Plemetina in Obiliq/ Obilic.

Around 30 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children aged 6 to 11 participated in the sports day in Prishtina. At the beginning of the sunny Saturday, the love of sports was shared and enjoyed at the basketball court of the Prishtina Basketball Club. The excitement to experience seeing a match of basketball after being taught about the rules of the game the week before through activities at the learning center was mixed with the excitement of exploring the court complex. After the basketball game, the group proceeded to the football stadium, where more fun followed.

While the older children were engaged in a heated football match, I joined a group of small ones in a circle where we were learning the months by throwing a ball from one to another. The kids were chanting “..janar, shkurt, mars, prill…” (“January, February, March, April,...”)  while throwing the ball to one another. When I got the ball and it was my turn to say the following month, it was obvious for all present how much more advanced in reciting the months in Albanian the 6 year old Plemetina pupils were than me. My tiny embarrasment was followed by laughter, and we all experienced that learning can be fun, especially in a group! The games ended by loud cheers and shouting of “Fitore! Fitore!” (“We won! We won!”).

The Plemetina Buildings Learning Center is run by Balkan Sunflowers, an NGO that aims to promote local volunteerism and to bring volunteers from around the world to work as neighbors and friends in social reconstruction and renewal by organizing educational, social and cultural activities. PBLC (Plemetina Buildings Learning Center), founded this year, is the newest learning center by Balkan Sunflowers, having a second one nearby in Plemetina for children attending to parallel system in Serbian Language and other 3 being located in Fushë Kosova/ Kosovo Polje, Shtimë/Štimlje and Graçanicë/ Gracanica. It is intended to improve the quality and level of access to education, reduce school dropouts, and increase school enrolment and inclusion among children form Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo.

Afterwards the group continued to the Taukbashqe park to enjoy a picnic lunch – and play some more. Afternoon was filled with golf and bowling activities. At the end of this excursion, it is difficult to say who enjoyed the sports day the most - the kids from Plemetina or the UN Volunteers participating in the games. What we all knew is that the day was a success. At the end of the day we all won, not in terms of a single football match but in terms of enjoying the beautiful summer day outside in each others company. Fitore!

This activity was implemented through a UNV Kosovo-led activity scheme promoting volunteerism for peace and development.

RAE Children from Plemetina enjoying Prishtina football stadium
RAE Children from Plemetina enjoying Prishtina football stadium