Kosovo Refugee Assistance
Shortly after the cessation of the NATO bombing campaign, in July 1999, EWMI established an office in Kosovo. With funding from the American Jewish World Service and the Joint Distribution Committee, EWMI provided assistance to Kosovo’s civil society, taking a “hands on” approach to assisting local NGOs and providing training to NGOs in the rural regions of Kosovo. The short-term goal was to assist the local NGOs by creating a structure that would allow them to have the ability to receive grants not only from the “emergency phase” donor community but also from established Western foundations and organizations. This entailed establishing both a local and international network of donors and partners, and providing small grants. During this period, over 80 Kosovar organizations from all ethnic groups participated in EWMI’s seminars on NGO development, which involved training by NGO personnel from CEE countries and the Balkans. In all of the training conducted, the majority of the participants were women, and the average age of the participant was below 35. Completing the training, participating NGOs could apply for “seed grant” from EWMI.