Volunteering for gender equality through Kosovo Volunteers!
BY: Lisar Morina
4 June / 2018
Volunteering helps youth develop a lifelong service ethic and is associated to having a 27% higher chance of employment. KoVo is now fully embedded into national legislature of Kosovo, and is used to validate the working hours of volunteers.
Meet Vigan Dika and Enkela Morina, both 19 years old, and both from Prishtina. Over the past week they’ve been involved with ArtPolis as volunteers at FemArt festival, which is a platform for presenting ideas and creations that bring forward feminist concepts and their development in Kosovo.
Vigan and Enkele have both used the Kosovo Volunteers (KoVo) Platform to find this opportunity. KoVo is a platform designed by UNICEF Innovations Lab that is in many ways a marketplace that connects employers with skilled young people, volunteers, and employment seekers.
Volunteering helps youth develop a lifelong service ethic and is associated to having a 27% higher chance of employment. KoVo is now fully embedded into national legislature of Kosovo, and is used to validate the working hours of volunteers. We always love to say that KoVo allows young people to write their own ticket in life, so we took the opportunity to sit down with these two inspiring adolescents, change-makers and feminists standing up for equality to see just how this opportunity is gearing them up for their professional careers. Find their interview below:
Hey guys. What do you think of KoVo now that it has helped you find such a great volunteerism opportunity?
Enkela: Hi. The FemArt organizers told us about KoVo. I hadn’t heard of it before. It’s super cool. You basically open up a profile and list your interests and then the platform will match you with opportunities that suit your tastes. In my case that was gender equality and women’s empowerment. So grateful for this!
Vigan: I would have to say the same. You don’t really have to go through pages and pages of opportunities to get to something that you like; the platform does it for you. Very easy to use and handy. I was impressed by the platform!
Why did you decide to do volunteer work? What does volunteerism mean to you?
Enkela: Volunteering is a great way to get to know people of different backgrounds, and it allows you to contribute and get involved in issues that really matter to you, which in my case is gender equality.
Vigan: I see volunteering as an important experience that can help you in the future, especially when it comes to career prospects. In Kosovo it’s hard to get a work experience due to limited opportunities, so volunteering might just do the trick for me!
So, what kind of work do you get to do at FemArt?
Enkela: So far I was engaged heavily in supporting artists in setting up and carrying out their exhibitions, I did logistics for them, so basically like an assistant to them. I love interacting with them!
Vigan: Most of my work is logistics. So, basically handling most things logistics things for artists so that they can focus entirely on their exhibitions. I get to communicate and learn from so many artists.
And what are some of the things that you are learning as you volunteer?
Enkela: I would have to say definitely communications. It’s an important skill. Knowing how to approach different people. It’s important if you want to get things done.
Vigan: It’s definitely communication for me as well. But there’s also a deeper sense of responsibility that you get. Might be funny, but it’s cool for someone our age to get to know that feeling. I’m responsible for a lot of things around here and I want to do my job well and not let down anyone!
What does the ‘girls’ empowerment’ and ‘gender equality’ cause mean for you?
Enkela: It’s a great cause and I support it so much. Our society still has so much to accomplish in terms of gender equality. Violence is not always physical. ArtPolis and FemArt work to empower women. I share the same values as the organizers do. So I’m happy to have this opportunity to contribute and work with like-minded people!
Vigan: It’s a really important cause. Equal rights for men and women should have been made a reality a long time ago, but I still notice that women are discriminated against. I love that I get to volunteer at a place which values and promotes gender equality.
Could we perhaps both call you young feminists?
Both: “Just feminists, not young ones,” they said protesting and giggling all the while.
KoVo doesn’t stop at just the platform. The Lab also holds the KoVo: Volunteers Management Workshop (of which ArtPolis was also part of) which teaches CSOs and/or Institutions about successful volunteerism management practices like orientation & training, supervision, recruiting and planning, and finally about the Administrative Instruction on Youth Voluntary Work signed by the Ministry of Culture.
Wanna become a volunteer? Open up a profile now at www.kosovovolunteers.org
Feminist-inspired motifs in a mural painted as part of the FemArt festival.