Red Cross of Kosova since 1945. has been helping the most vulnerable categories in Kosovo and trying to make its community better.
Armend Shala, Media and Public Relations Officer, told us everything about the mission, activities, principles, and almost eight decades of work of the Red Cross of Kosova.
How was your organization established? What was your primary idea when you founded the organization? How did your mission develop through time?
Armend: The Kosovo Red Cross is the only National Association in the Republic of Kosovo established in 1945, which develops programs and activities within the framework defined by Law no. 03 / L-179 on the Kosovo Red Cross, rules and regulations of the International Red Cross, and Red Crescent Movement. The Republic of Kosovo recognizes the Kosovo Red Cross, an autonomous National Association which works for the public good, as an aid to the authorities engaged in the humanitarian sphere. The Kosovo Red Cross respects and is guided in its activity by the Basic Principles of the International Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement and International Humanitarian Law.
What was your personal motivation to work in the nonprofit sector?
Armend: My main motive is the Mission of the Kosovo Red Cross: “Facilitating the suffering of vulnerable individuals and communities, through focused, priority and sustainable programs, as assistants to central and local authorities, in accordance with the Basic Principles of the Movement of Kosovo Red Cross and Red Crescent. "
How did the COVID-19 crisis affect the organization's work? How much has the way you operate changed? What activities were you focused on recently?
Armend: The crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, made the Kosovo Red Cross play an important role in helping the vulnerable population, families in the difficult economic situation, the most vulnerable groups (lonely elderly people, people with specific needs, victims of domestic violence) as well as public awareness of Covid-19 and anti-covid-19 vaccination.
Which activities are you most focused on at this moment? Which are the most important goals you have planned to achieve in the future?
Armend: The Kosovo Red Cross is focused on achieving the objectives of the development strategy 2020-2030 in:
- Protecting lives, and livelihoods and advancing the recovery system from disasters, pandemics, epidemics, and crises.
- Enabling a healthy and safe lifestyle.
- Social Welfare for vulnerable groups.
How is your association funded? Which types of donors do you work with the most, and how? How can someone support your work?
Armend: The Kosovo Red Cross provides financial resources from:
- membership in the Kosovo Red Cross;
- activities for the realization of which the Republic of Kosovo, individuals, and legal subjects entrust to the Red Cross of Kosovo;
- traditional activities;
- donations from individuals and legal subjects of the Republic of Kosovo and foreign countries;
- Revenues from the implementation of programs and projects contracted with cooperation agreements with relevant ministries and internal and external partners;
- The Kosovo Red Cross does not accept donations that directly stem from the proceeds of activities that are contrary to the basic principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
How does your organization contribute to the development of philanthropy in Kosovo?
Armend: The Kosovo Red Cross contributes through fairness, transparency, and cooperation with institutions and citizens, motivating volunteers and citizens through their engagement in the daily activities of the Kosovo Red Cross.
How do you involve your community in your work, and why is it important? What does that support brings to your organization?
Armend: The National Red Cross Association of the Republic of Kosovo is committed and works to improve the quality and standards to provide incentive measures for volunteers and the community so that they become an integral part of the organization.
Do you cooperate with other nonprofit organizations? How? Can you tell me more about that?
Armend: The Kosovo Red Cross cooperates with local and international NGOs in the humanitarian field. Cooperation is realized through cooperation agreements for certain activities in the interest of the community.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Armend: Among the main challenges of the Kosovo Red Cross is the full accession to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the unification of a National Red Cross Association in our country.
What do you consider your greatest success, and what is next?
Armend: We consider professionalism, transparency, reliability, cooperation with the community, and the increase of philanthropy in the Republic of Kosovo as the greatest success.
The Kosovo Red Cross National Association is in the best position to identify and address the root causes of community vulnerability. This basic knowledge contributes to the development of sustainable projects and programs and increases the potential for a longer-term impact.