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Donors, Project Staff, Implementers & Contributing Organizations

This project was made possible by the generous financial support of the Open Society Institute's Roma Culture Initiative.


Adem Osmani
Adem was born and raised in Gracanica’s Roma Mahala. He has worked for Balkan Sunflowers, Children’s Aid Direct, and Medecins Du Monde; he currently resides in Italy. He was responsible for conducting all interviews, in addition to translations, site research, equipment maintenance and audio/video editing.

Sebastjan Šerifovic
Sebastjan was born and raised in Gracanica’s Roma Mahala. He has worked for Balkan Sunflowers, Children’s Aid Direct, the OSCE and UNMIK's Department for Missing Persons, and the BSF Roma and Ashkalia Documentation Centre, a Roma human rights, advocacy and education NGO. He currently studies in Switzerland. Sebastjan was responsible for conducting all interviews, in addition to translations, site research, logistical concerns and audio/video editing.

Aferdita Beriša
Aferdita was raised in Obilic town but fled in June of 1999. She lives with her family in the Roma Mahala in Plemetina Village. Aferdita has worked for Balkan Sunflowers and Communication for Social Development, where she developed Roma youth radio programs. She was responsible for conducting interviews, as well as translations, site research, logistical concerns and other duties.

Bobby Anderson
Bobby worked in Kosovo, for various NGOs, from January of 2001 through 2004. He currently works in Indonesia. He was responsible for project conception, development and management, including security, logistics, procurement, equipment maintenance and inventory. He carried out all relevant writing, editing, research, and post-production activities.

Sincerest thanks to Madga Adamowicz, Veronika Tomka and Emily Marinez at the Open Society Institute's Roma Culture Initiative, who provided direction and advice; Mary Anderson, who generously contributed her extensive web design and data management skills to the project (without her, it would still on CD-Rom); and Jonathan Jennings & Sanda Flegar, without whom this project would never have been undertaken. Both contributed to the concept, goals, and structure of this work.

Sincerest thanks and gratitude go to the Roma who gave their time and memories to this project. Special thanks to Adilje, Afrim and Hava Osmani; Sebahata, Hamit, Selda & Senida Šerifovic; Ibrahim Eljšani; and Aferdita, Drita, Hava & the Beriša family in Plemetina. Generous assistance was provided by Rand Engel, who contributed his time, ideas, and wealth of experience, as well as a Land Cruiser(!); Daut Qulanxhiu, for his generous assistance in Prizren; Kieran D'Arcy, who conducted trainings (in Adobe Premiere, Cool Edit Pro, Soundforge and other multimedia software), as well as valuable ideas, advice and several beautiful photographs; Oliver Vujovic, who conducted trainings in journalistic standards and methodologies; and Gregory Scarborough, and his organization, Music That Matters, for his work in Shutka, Macedonia, and his Muzo Bizlim recordings. Additional thanks to Jessica Taublib-Kiriat, Laura Friederichs, Artan Canhasi, Casey Cooper, John Wyeth, Pascal Ryffel, Sabine Wiers and Claire O'Donague.


Balkan Sunflowers and Communication for Social Development

Balkan Sunflowers (BSF)

BSF is an UNMIK-registered INGO with offices in Pristina, Plemetina, Prizren, Gnjilane/ Gjilan and Gracanica. BSF also has sites in Skopje/ Shutka, Macedonia and Tirana, Albania. They have implemented projects for UNMIK, UNDP, UNDEP, UNICEF, CARITAS, KFOR, OSI, IRC, OSCE, IOM, ADRA, AJJDC, ARC and others. Since the Kosovo war ended in June of 1999 BSF has:

  • Implemented capacity-building trainings and programs for local Roma NGOs on behalf of the OSCE
  • Created and managed Roma youth/ resource centers in Gjilan, Gracanica, Plemetina and Žitkovac
  • Developed and taught base numeracy/ literacy programs for Roma children, teens and adults
  • Conducted protective accompaniment and advocacy for minorities in Gracanica, Gjilan and Plemetina
  • Implemented village outreach & advocacy programs and conducted tolerance-building activities between ethnicities
  • Staged five multiethnic summer camps with more than 1500 direct beneficiaries
  • Developed and implemented Care for Our Kosovo- a year-long, UNICEF/UNMIK-funded environmental campaign conducted via radio, television, newspapers and other printed media
  • Re-started the Kosovar scouting movement and founded multiethnic scouting troops
  • Founded the Peja Video Teens project which created Postcards from Peja, a documentary film later screened at Sundance and New York’s Human Rights Film Festivals
  • Produced In the Hands of Youth, a UNDP-funded small arms awareness film
  • Conducted psychosocial activities for children in 9 refugee transit centers
  • Reconstructed and restored four public parks in Gjilan/ Gnjilane and Peja/ Pec
  • Held photography workshops, video classes and human rights education seminars

For more information on Balkan Sunflower’s work in Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania, or to explore volunteer opportunities in the organization, please visit the Balkan Sunflowers website.

To read BSF's 2004 Annual Report, click here.

Communication for Social Development (CSD)

CSD currently implements a Dutch Government-funded biweekly radio program for returning Serb and Roma IDPs in Kosovo and Serbia. CSD is also responsible for the UNICEF-funded Bla Bla Café- a multiethnic, multilanguage youth radio program broadcast throughout Kosovo. CSD also produces weekly agricultural radio programs in Serbian and Albanian.

CSD is a local journalist’s NGO, headquartered in Gracanica. CSD has two broadcast studios and additional offices in Pristina, North Mitrovica and Nis, Serbia. CSD’s primary specialty is electronic media and broadcast journalism; its members are professional journalists with years of print and broadcast experience, and senior managerial experience in several international NGOs including the American Refugee Committee, Mercy Corps, Children’s Aid Direct and Balkan Sunflowers.

CSD members have implemented numerous radio/ reportage campaigns (in Serbian & Albanian languages) under the auspices of other international organizations. Most recently CSD implemented a UNICEF- funded radio campaign regarding AIDS awareness.

For more information on Communication for Social Development’s work in Kosovo and Serbia, please email postmaster@balkanproject.org

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Who We Were, Who We Are: Kosovo Roma Oral Histories
©Bobby Anderson 2003-2009. All rights reserved.

This project was made possible by the generous financial support of the Open Society Institute Roma Culture Initiative.

Additional thanks to all other
donors & implementers

This study may be freely distributed, in whole or part, so long as the source is cited:
Who We Were, Who We Are: Kosovo Roma Oral Histories © Bobby Anderson 2003-2009
Is there something you feel we're missing? Do you have any comments, suggestions, or need additional information? Please write Bobby Anderson at bobby@balkanproject.org