Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ) held the 2017 FIDES award ceremony for recognition of philanthropic contributions in Kosovo. FIDES award is given to express gratitude to the companies and individuals who have contributed to the common good and FIQ believes that this award will serve as an inspiration for others, educating the public how to work for the good of the community. A video-presentation of FIQ's work opened the ceremony. Ms. Dajana Berisha, Director at FIQ, emphasized that FIDES praises individual citizen humanism, the vision of the private sector to assist education and innovation, the loving and continued support of the diaspora, youth volunteerism and the contribution of leaders in protection of environment and empowerment of women.
"The award ceremony for philanthropic contributions in Kosovo has already become a beautiful tradition which fills us with optimism and hope that beyond the political exhaustion, the country offers human, natural and financial capacities that enable us to mobilize and invest wisely for the future. It's a miracle to make the day of a human being, or improve the life of a family, or a community”, she added.
This year FIDES is dedicated to youth as FIQ works with young people throughout Kosovo, in building their capacities for decision making, and for civic activism within communities in Kosovo.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Ramush Haradinaj, special guest of FIDES 2017 who also gave the post mortem prize for Mr. Robert Elsie said that contemporary philanthropy was seen as a strategy to enrich the culture of charity, and thanked FIQ for its work to promote philanthropy as a mechanism that enhances co-operation between the three sectors - public, private, and civil sector - with the goal of mobilizing the communities for sustainability and social responsibility.
"This investment creates the ecosystem of values of Kosovo society and which FIQ promotes by bringing closer people, institutions and development sectors to Kosovo," Haradinaj said.
He stressed that he is proud to award the FIDES 2017 Post Mortum Prize, to Mr. Robert Elsie for his contribution to the enlightenment of the history, culture and life of the Albanians. Elsie a Canadian albanologist who died a month ago left to the Albanian nation a legacy of Albanian works translated into English, and German and in this way helped present the Albanian reality to the world.
This price was accepted by Mr. Artur Metani, Elsie's friend, and professional associate.
FIDES award for contribution at national level "Hasan Prishtina" was awarded to Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo for its contribution to projects that advance education, innovation and culture. The award was handed by Dajana Berisha- FIQ.
Director of Raiffeisen Bank Mr. Robert Wright said he was honored to receive such a prize.
"Since the beginning of our operations we have supported projects in education, culture, art, sports, social welfare and we will continue to work in this direction in the years to come," he said.The FIDES Award for Environment was given to ERA Group, which has done wonderful work and engaged constantly on environmental protection by educating young people about the environment. This award was given by Jan Axel Voss, Deputy Ambassador of Germany to Kosovo.
"Today's diplomats have to consider environmental issues because they can cause a political problem. If Kosovo does not care about the environment, there will be problems in the future. We all already know that air pollution is a serious problem that has resulted in the loss of human lives. The implementation of policies in favor of the environment is responsibility of all institutions of Kosovo, but it is also our responsibility to educate the young generations on the value of the environmental and natural resources of Kosovo, "he added.
Fatos Lajci, leader of ERA, thanked FIQ for the nomination saying he was proud of the work of the organization which since its foundation brought people from all over the world to appreciate our natural beauty.
"The environment is linked to economic development and we hope that environmental issues will receive the deserved attention by the state," he said.
The FIDES Award for Diaspora was given to Mr. Fadil Berisha for the continuous support of the Albanian community in the USA .
This award was given by Dr. Lori E. Amy, professor at Georgia Southern University, founder of OTTOnomy who said diaspora builds trust, care and responsibility for the common good.
"They use their achievements to create opportunities and build a future for their birthplace. And such is the nominee Berisha, who devoted his life and work to the promotion of Albanians outside his home country’.
Liza Gashi, Program Director at Germin, accepted the award on behalf of Berisha.
FIDES Award for Empowerment of Women, was given to Ms. Kadire Tahiraj for her unparalleled contribution to the protection of women’s rights and their economic empowerment. This award was handed by Ms. Margarita Xhepa, People's Artist.
"As a woman, as an artist, as an Albanian I feel so good to hand this award, also knowing how proud I have always been of Albanian women and their tradition of work. Society cannot be developed without having a woman leader, or a mother, as the main figure in the family, "Xhepa said.
Meanwhile, Kadire Tahiraj said that the message of the Center for Promotion of Women's Rights in Drenas is that these women be accepted by the society and through economic empowerment to be given the chance to live free of bias and prejudice.
FIDES Award for Individual Contribution, was given to Mr. Vezir Ramushi for contribution to the most marginalized social categories, such as families with social assistance and health needs.
This award was given by Dr. Murat Jashari, representative of the Jashari family, who acknowledged the sacrifice of Albanian mothers adding that Kosovar philanthropists like Mother Teresa and Hasan Prishtina are a model for the nation and the world.
The FIDES Award for "Young Leaders" was given to the Grupit për Familjet në Nevojë for their voluntary contributions to families, with particular emphasis on children who come from families with social assistance and health problems.
This award was handed by the well-known footballer Lorik Cana.
"These associations and foundations with their will and their activities, and the values they promote, try to be an added value not only for themselves but for all the people they work , grow or do business with, enabling us to finally triumph as a society and as a nation, "Cana said.
Meanwhile, on behalf of the Group, Kaltrina Zeka said she is proud of the results of the organization’s work and what it has achieved.
"We started as 3 people, with 4 families and today we help about 50 families a year. One of our actions helping children to continue their education. The most delightful part is the children bringing their savings and toys to other children for whom Santa is just a dream. The idea is that if we as students are able to help 50 families, each corporation can offer much more "Zeka said.
Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ) has been operating in Kosovo since 2000 and since 2008 it aims to promote philanthropy as a mechanism to support sustainable development and overcome the culture of charity in Kosovo and in the Western Balkans, thus fostering a culture of strategic investment for the public good. In 2009, FIQ started working not only on promoting philanthropy, but also in encouraging philanthropic actions in our society by acknowledging individuals, businesses, diaspora, civil society organizations, and municipalities for their exemplary work for the common good. Our wish for the 10th anniversary of FIDES is to see philanthropy and work for common good intensify and reach all communities in Kosovo.