Motivational Training of Young People

During our early days in Kosovo, one of our very first projects was to supply motivational and Christian leadership training in English to Serbian minority youth. Our group numbered up to 50 at times, and we met every Saturday for about 3 hours. These were high school students ages 16-18. While the schools themselves did the best job they could teaching the basic scholastic subjects, we felt young people in general were lacking in the type of training that would help them in the future to be strong, diligent, honest, hard-working leaders, willing to take initiative while maintaining high moral standards. I guess this could be said of youth everywhere in the world. We also believed that in today’s world, a good working knowledge of English would be beneficial in helping them find better, higher paying jobs. It’s amazing now after 14 years to look back and visit some of our trainees from that time and see them all grown up in their late 20’s and early 30’s, married, working in good jobs, and successful.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Our best Roma student, Sebo, started his own little school that at one point had over 40 Roma children ages 6-8 yrs old attending, which was a real accomplishment since the Roma culture is not accustomed to sending children to school, especially at such a young age. Because Sebo was such an exceptional and outstanding Roma young person, he found himself getting a lot of invitations from different international aid agencies, and attended numerous international conferences on human and Roma rights. Later on he attended university in Switzerland, specializing in human rights, and became Kosovo’s Roma represent-ative to the U.N. Currently he is deputy mayor for minority affairs of his municipality.
  • Bane became mayor of the municipality where we conducted our training, and has since gone on to become the deputy prime-minister of Kosovo.
  • Gore became mayor of the municipality where we conducted our training.
  • Ivan has worked for various international organizations, and has become an entrepreneur in various cottage industries.
  • Vanja has for years directed his own humanitarian NGO.
  • Sanja has worked for the Christian NGO World Vision, a bank, and several private businesses. She is currently teaching at the local school.
  • Nela operates her own shop.
  • Sue is the director of a kindergarten.
  • Yugi was a grade school teacher in his home village for many years, and has now been promoted to principle.
  • Yasmi is married to a Belgian man and has a successful life in Luxembourg.

Sadly we were not able to maintain contact with all of our former students, but we are so happy and thankful that the ones we are in contact with have taken the training that they got from us and gone on to make something of their lives. More than just being successful, we have been impressed by the ability of these young people to overcome the temptation to be pessimistic or fatalistic, and chosen rather to manifest many of the positive attitudes that we worked so hard to instill in them, such as: compassion for others, a willing spirit, giving sacrificially to help others with less, etc.