By Nita Bashota, YES 2017-2018, Kosovo, hosted by Aspect in Canton, IL
Spring was here and I could feel it was time for beautiful colors to appear again. Despite all the colorful flowers and trees that blossomed this year in Prishtina, I felt our city needed more. Just in time, we, the YES alumni in Kosovo, organized Run With Color Kosova, a 5K Color Run, to celebrate Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) on April 20. Color Runs are events held worldwide for different charity purposes. Participants wear white and color is thrown at them was they run. This was our second year organizing a color run, and our concept was simple: to promote and encourage healthy lifestyles, happiness, and civic engagement in our community while also raising funds for Voices of RAE, a non-governmental organization that aims to enhance the well-being of members of the Roma and Egyptian minority communities in Kosovo.
Bringing all this to life required hard work and dedication. Our determined team of eight alumni gathered a group of ten non-alumni volunteers through the online volunteer recruitment platform Kosovo Volunteers. We also had support from the restaurant Meridian Kitchen, which allowed us to use their space and mixers for making the colored powders.
The marathon took place at the National Park of Gërmia, a well-known and highly frequented park in Prishtina. The sun was shining, a local DJ - DJ Caboo - was playing some beautiful tunes, and everyone was splashing colors at each other. What a scene! This year we had the chance to work with a larger group of donors than the year before, which made our work easier. Donors included Meridian Kitchen, Meridian Express, Buka Bakery, Gagi Print, and Translation Centre. In total, the event engaged eleven alumni, ten non-alumni volunteers, and approximately 100 participants and successfully raised $280.
We are thankful to everyone that participated and contributed this year, we hope we’ll see everyone again next year!
This project was organized through a Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) matching grant funded by the YES program and administered by American Councils. In addition to Nita, the following alumni were involved in the organization of this project:
Anda Rama, YES 2016-2017, hosted by ASSE in Berlin, PA
Visar Zeka, YES 2014-2015, hosted by AYUSA in Prosper, TX
Behar Bunjaku, YES 2017-2018, hosted by CIEE in Palestine, TX
Erris Boshnjaku, YES 2015-2016, hosted by Greenheart in Faribault, MN
Rine Fetahu, YES 2013-2014, hosted by American Councils in Baton Rouge, LA
Ermal Gashi, YES 2015-2016, hosted by YFU USA in Pilot Mountain, NC
Altin Kondirolli, YES 2016-2017, hosted by YFU USA in Zionsville, IN