Yesterday, 13th of June, IBCM was very excited to host two professors from James Madison University (JMU): Dr. John Hulsey and Vesna Hart, and their students Madison Fien (Political Science major), Nick Dunard (Information Analysis major/Political Science minor) and Kate Hogan (Psychology major and Political Science minor student). The students, together with their professors, coming from Virginia, USA, had the opportunity to meet some of IBCM students, and together identify and discuss possible solutions for social challenges of Mitrovica, at the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) project site here in Mitrovica.
After meeting at the IBCM Riverside campus, both our and JMU students and staff went to visit DRC project site in Roma Mahala in Mitrovicë/a, where they have been introduced to the DRC’s previous and current efforts in securing stabilization of return and integration of Roma, Ashkalia and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovicë/a. After a short presentation of the project successes and challenges, the project-site tour was arranged where direct communication to the project beneficiaries was potentiated. Furthermore, JMU and IBCM students with their professors were divided into three groups, to further discuss with the project’s beneficaries about three cross-cutting themes:
1. Gender – focus on: Women in business
2. Environment – focus on: Integral waste management/recycling
3. Human rights – focus on: NGOs from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovica.
After brainstorming ideas and having a broad discussion with people directly affected from these three issues, the students had the chance to deeper understand the life of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovica and suggest solutions from their personal experiences.
For the students of JMU it was the first time they visited Kosovo. During their short stay they had the chance to visit Mitrovica and other Kosovo cities as well.
We would like to thank the JMU students and staff for the lovely visit as well as DRC for their hospitality, and wish everyone much success in their future endeavourses!