Andreas Broeckmann on Mon, 12 Jul 1999 10:08:28 +0100

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From: Balkan Sunflowers <>
Date: 09 Jul 99 23:08:04 +0100


(It's a Friday and Krayg is triskaidephobic - so there is no Update since
12 !!)

The last refugee camps, and the ideas for the next steps.

(July 09)


Update on Skopje
Funding News and Needs
Volunteer Groups


Although there are as such not many volunteers here at the moment,  things
are getting to run.  Three volunteers started this week in refugeecamp
Cegrane with children activities (and sport for teenagers). Soon they are
going to work, as planned with the mental and physical disabled and the
elderly at the compound of the ICMC, International Catholic Migration

The volunteers are overnighting there as well -possible because we arranged
the place of their tent in the ICMC-compound, eg under safe conditions.

Things have changed again. Did the UNHCR still state at Monday the camp
will be closed soon,  now today they have decided in Skopje that Cegrane
will be consolidated and refugees from other camps will come here. It left
the NGOÂ¥s in confusion as a lot of  agreements were already made about

The Shutka-project is also running, but not really at the extent we wanted.
in fact we decided as volunteers just to be one group of volunteers, based
in Cegrane. From there we travel to Shutka to run the just started English
lessons. The English lessons are going well, the pupils are interested and
there is a real effort of the local partner in the area.
We do have an apartment in the area itself, but  as only one volunteer
would actually live there (two volunteers are working and we found an
enthousiastic local youngster nearby who would like to cooperate with us)
we rather form a group in the camp and working in small shifts in Shutka.

Some more news about figures and political developments. The
refugee-situation as such is stabilising. According to numbers of the UNHCR
more than 200.000 refugees returned on a total amount  of 230.000. The
estimated number of refugees is now 20669, with the assumption -also made
by the UNHCR now- that there are still a lot of refugees living in
hostfamilies, who are not registered.
Some refugees come from an open camp in Macedonia in a military-runned camp
in Kosov@, near Prishtine. .

There is a voluntary repatriation programme by the UNHCR, whereby refugees
can return to Kosov@ for the moment to see what is the situation like.
Apart from also refugees, who spontaneous returned to Kosov@ coming back.
Last development is the repatriation of refugees from the third countries.
Also this will run much quicker than the UNHCR. The idea is that those
refugees will land in Skopje and go furtheron by buses to Kosov@. But as a
lot of countries are now starting with this, it will be another flow, and
the idea is already to have a temporary terminal at the airport to receive
all those refugees.

The Roma-refugees in the area of Shutka would not return logically, because
of the many insults of Albanians to the Roma-population in Kosov@. Together
with the Roma center of Skopje (who comes up for the right and interests
of Rom-population ) we will look further on the situation and see how BSF
can assist in this situation.
We are further in contact with the Youth Information Center, who want to
run intercultural workshops for youngsters  of Slav-macedonian and
Albanian-macedonian background. We are helping them with funding and might
contribute to the programme as the workshops will be based on bringing the
youngsters together on common interest (sport, English lessons, work and so
on)'. This would be for the longer term (sept 99-june 2000) and a lot of
things has to be elaborated on. To be continued....




Allmost all refugees from Kosov@ have left Albania and so have almost all
the NGO's who were here to help leaving Albania back the way they found it
when they arrived or even worst. Being the poorest country of Europe, with
the highest umeployment rate, a decreasing school system (ever year less
children go to school and less teacher want to teach), a hopeless
infrastructure, a high criminality, a legal autority without influence,
arms spreaded out into every single household and devostated by civil war
and total economical collapsed. With other words help is needed in Albania,
maybe even more needed here as in Kosov@, but you can't compare those two.

Children and youth in Albania are growing up under emergency conditions,
and are in a way as traumatised as children from a war zone. Being an
average civilian of Albania is almost as living in a refugee camp, the
living and housing conditions (beside the center of Tirana) are not that

Therefor some NGO's have decided to stay behind, at least with a part of
their programme, one of those being the Balkan Sunflowers. In many
occassions is had been shown that the presents of foreigners and the
contacts of local people with people from abroad has a kind of
normalisation effect on situation. Most NGO can help with money, but not
with human resources, we can, if we want help with human resources.

**Practical plans for the period July-September

Together with IRC (International Rescue Committee) and CRS (Catholic Relief
Service), supported by UNICEF, we are involved in the planning of
summercamps for remaining Kosovarian refugee and local Albanian children
and youth. This camps will start by the end of July and last till the
beginning of September. This camps which will take place in Elbassan,
Shkodra, Tirana and Durres. In this summercamps which will be mostly day
camps, children will come there in the morning and leave in the evening
(but maybe even will stay there the whole time) all kind of events and
activities will be organised.

At this moment we are in the middle of the planning. If volunteers are out
there who have been planning such kind of activities, like summercamps for
boyscouts or other children and youth groups, we would be delited if such
persons could come as soon as possible and join this planning stage. Also
for the participation in those summercamps we are looking for 30 till 40
volunteers which are hopefully having some of this type of experiences. It
would be very helpfull, since allthough Albania had under communism a long
tradition of summercamps for children this has been totally collapsed in
the last 8 years. And basically new ideas and new type of activities are
badly needed.

For the rest we are looking for volunteers who are willing to stay in
Albania and help here instead of going to Kosov@. Again we like to stress
that help in Albania, not only for Kosovar refugees, but also for the
Albanians is badly needed.

Funding News and Needs
We have a promise from the Netherlands Refugee Council of funding to help
with the first projects in Kosovo. Details are still to be arranged.

One of our volunteers had his laptop disappear while in Albania, and thus
we are looking for someone who can donate one to replace it for him. (We
are still looking for all the materials on our wish lists, computers

Volunteer Groups
For the moment it is impossible to give precise project descriptions for
each Sunday date that volunteer groups will be starting. The work that
volunteers are doing is decided nearer the time of their arrival, or after.

We are presently looking for volunteers to start any Sunday, for projects
in Albania and Kosovo (as and when they develop).
For Macedonia we have a need for volunteers as soon as is possible, so for
any arrival date soon. And then 23d July and 13th August are the project
start dates for later on.

for the co-ordination team, Belzig, Germany

Latest info about the Balkan Sunflowers:
or by email:
apply as volunteer:
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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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