Andreas Broeckmann on Thu, 1 Jul 1999 08:58:37 +0100

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From: Balkan Sunflowers <>
Subject: [Balkansunflower-list] BALKAN SUNFLOWERS UPDATE 12
Date: 30 Jun 99 22:11:13 +0100


'the times they are a-changing ....'

Kosovar albanian refugees return home, Balkan Sunflowers looks to next step.

(June 30)


Decisions, decisions
Volunteer Groups
Longer Term Work
Funding News and Needs
Other News


Hallo to you all.

Many people were asking us if we still needed volunteers now that the
bombardment is over, and refugees beginning to return to Kosova/o. In the
last update we stressed that we needed volunteers urgently for the Way

And now we are writing to say that for the moment, we are putting on hold
volunteer groups (see below). Why the sudden change?

Well, the situation is changing faster than ANYONE imagined - and will
continue to do so. Resources and money are stretched, but we are now
looking at the good news - the Kosovo/a people are returning home and we
can look forward to creating some longer-term peacebuilding projects.

But as we explain - this changing situation is placing yet another strain
on our financial resources!

Decisions, decisions

First of all thanks go out to all people and organisations that have worked
and helped so far.

With one of the fasted refugee returns ever seen - up to 40,000 a day, is
estimated that the last refugee will have left from Albania by the end of
next week, maybe one week more. What will happen and if some of them come
back for the winter it is on open question, but rather it is estimated that
everybody will leave Albania and don't come back.

So we have a challenge: just when we have enough volunteers here now to
work in many camps, and we had the contacts and even the local funding in
place to do it. But now the refugees are gone, and also the NGO's.

So the big question is what to do now. We will be staying in the region, of
course. The problems have not finished with the bombardment.

We will keep working in Albania and Macedonia, for example the Shukta
project in Skopje now has a longer term funding and will continue.

And we will be seeing what we can do in  Kosovo/a .

There could also be the chance to work with serbian refugees, in
partnership with local groups.

All those who have been active for  Sunflowers and have a relevant input
are now discussing which of these options are feasible and how. And when.
As soon as we have some definite news, we will make another Update.

Volunteer Groups
We are 'putting on hold' all groups in Albania which will start after the
11th July - we will still need volunteers after this date, but we cannot
make any firm arrangements at the moment.
The same applies for the Stenkovec project in Macedonia - we just do not
know how long there will be refugees in this camp.
The Shutka groups continue - see below.
Longer Term Work
As mentioned,  we will be continuing the Shutka project in Macedonia; this
is not solely refugee-orientated.

Then, we are now looking for other longer term projects to build peace . As
an example , in Macedonia we have made good contact with the Youth
Information Centre in Tetovo. They are not heavily involved in refugee
assistance projects per se, but are doing a lot of inter-ethnic youth work,
including a multi-lingual ecology magazine and and training workshops (on
consensus decision making, conflict resolution, democratic leadership,
civil society).

Funding News and Needs
First the good news:
A successful application was made by our partner VIA NL to the Council of
Europe Kosovo Program for the Shutka project working with refugees and
others in the Roma communities in Skopje, Macedonia.
We received a couple of donations towards the Way Stations projects..
And a netherlands foundation , called 'Kinderpostzegels' , has offered to
support the Tirana-project. The grant is given as a  guarantee, because of
the changing circumstances, if the Tirana refugee projects finishes soon,
we have to ask them if we can use the rest for another project which has
some structural character.

Now the Needs:

Pathfinder money
Once again, we need to find 'start-up capital' - if we are to explore the
situation and find out what is really needed for Kosovo and/or the Serb
refugees in Montenegro and Serbia. Just as with our Pathfinder missions to
Albania and Macedonia, this involves a lot of travelling and temporary
accomodation costs which can never be recouped.

Core Costs
The core account for Balkan Sunflowers is in debt - we spent a lot on
initial costs of establishing the projects, and now these projects are not
lasting long enough to pursue the funding options which would have helped.

Other News:

Sunflowers sponsors Art Exhibition

This exhibition was from refugees in Macedonia who were students of the
Arts Faculty, Pristina. It takes place Tetovo Cultural Palace. More details
will shortly be put on the website.

See BSF in action!

The web site now contains many beautiful photos of our work - for example
the inside of the Peace Hostel in Tirana, and the lines of traffic in the
mountains at the Way Stations.
And smiling children everywhere!


for the co-ordination team, Belzig, Germany

Latest info about the Balkan Sunflowers:
or by email:
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Accountnr:         160 160 1
Accountname:    Sunflower
Bank                   Oekobank Frankfurt (Germany)
Blz                       500 901 00
Telephone numbers: +49-33841-30670 +49-33841-30671 (fax)

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