Adele Eisenstein on Thu, 8 Apr 1999 11:25:06 +0100


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Syndicate: Re: Motrat Qiriazi/Heart and Hand Fund


> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 15:46:15 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Marta Drury <deadcow@igc.apc.org>
> 
> 
> Dear Friends:
> With the TV, newspapers and radio full of the war
> over Kosova, I'd like to share one way we as individuals
> can help the ethnic Albanians.
> 
> The war has particular immediacy for me because of my  friendship 
> with Igballe (Igo) Rogova.  I met Igo almost a year and a half ago at a
> Global Fund for Women lunch at which she and her partner, Rachel
> Wareham, talked about their work in Kosova.  I'd like to tell you a little
> about her story. 
> 
> Igo is an ethnic Albanian who used to do technical work at a TV 
> station.  When Milosevich came to power in Serbia, she and her sister,
> Safete Rogova, a well-known actress, were among the many ethnic
> Albanians who lost their jobs.  Under Milosovich's rule, ethnic Albanians
> were systematically stripped of their rights to language, education, 
> culture, and freedom of movement and speech.  (Igo was stripped of 
> her passport for four years at one time.)
> 
> Despite these hardships and the Serbian police monitoring
> their movements, Igo and Safete founded Motrat Qiriazi, a non-
> govermental organization, that works to rebuild civil society 
> and preserve Albanian culture. They have focused their efforts
> on educating and empowering women and children living in rural
> villages in Kosova.  Drawing on their talents and understanding 
> of the culture, the two sisters have succeeded winning the 
> support of entire villages without alienating the male leaders.
> 
> Igo and Safete were two of the winners of the 1998 Resourceful 
> Women Awards.  Last October, I traveled to the Balkans to spend a 
> week with Igo.  While deepening our relationship, I was also able 
> to witness Igo at work with ethnic Albanians and Roma women.
> She is a brilliant communicator, a careful listener, and operates
> from the largest well of generosity I have ever seen.  
> 
> Two weeks ago, Igo and 31 family members gathered in her mother's
> house in Pristina, the capital of Kosova. Once NATO bombing began,the 
> Serbs brutally retaliated against the ethnic Albanians, killing people, 
> cutting off food supplies, and dropping their bombs on the city.
> 
> They now join the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees 
> stranded in neighboring countries, not knowing when, if, or  under
> what circumstances they will be allowed to return to their homes. The 
> conditions at the borders are horrific but, true to character, Igo chose 
> to stay longer in the Neutral Zone to help other people rather than cross 
> the border to friends, food and a warm shower.
> 
> As we know from past experience,  projects that support women and 
> children are the last to be funded in times of crisis.  Igo will not wait
> until this war is over to go to work. She will soon return to her life's work
> of helping women and their families improve their lives.  Motrat Qiriazi
> has close working connections with American Friends Service 
> Committee and UNICEF.  Other Kosovar women activists (Igo has trained
>  over 20 herself) will join with Igo and women activists from surrounding
> Balkan countries to continue the work.  Because of the new circumstances, 
> however, they will need more help than ever before.
> 
> I have established the Heart and Hand Fund that can fund internationally.  I
> am asking you to join me in supporting the future work of Igo Rogova and 
> other like minded activists. Please give at whatever level you can manage.  Contributions are tax deductible and all monies donated will go  directly 
> to women activists.  Stock transfers are also possible.
> 
> Feel free to share this letter.
> 
> 
> Please make out your check to the Agape Foundation.  Add a note that the
> money is for the Heart and Hand Fund/Kosova and mail to: 
> 
>                      The Agape Foundation/Heart and Hand Fund
>                       1095 Market Street  #304
>                       San Francisco, Ca  94103
> 
> Thank you.  
> Peace
> 
>  Marta Drury


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