City: Lupç, Prishtinë
Issue: Peace and Justice - Inclusive Institutions
Experts 1Katie Zach Goldman, Lead Evaluator Katie Reusch, Partnerships Expert
Experts 2Carla Friedman, Youth Expert
Rinë Fetahu (19, Kosovo) has always dreamed about a peaceful and sustainable environment in her home country. After spending a year in the United States as a YES Exchange Program student, Rinë decided to put the English skills she acquired to good use by helping those with less education opportunities in Kosovo. She created a language program that provides interactive English lessons for students with special needs called “I too can speak English” that provides equal learning opportunities for young people in Kosovo.
In 2014, Rinë participated in YES Exchange Program and spent an academic year in a high school in Louisiana. Rinë was inspired by the idea of community service that she witnessed in America and decided that upon returning home, she would utilize those ideas for bringing positive change to Kosovo. In particular, Rinë witnessed the numerous learning opportunities available to youth with disabilities in the United States, something that is not as easily accessible in her hometown.
Rinë’s “I too can speak English” project provides English learning opportunities for children with disabilities. The language program targets students with visual, hearing, and motor impairment from the cities of Prizren, Peja, and Prishtina. Rinë cooperated with her fellow YES program alumni and developed a teaching plan adapted for kids with special needs. The lessons use interactive games, visual images, and videos to facilitate the learning process. The idea behind the project is not only to give an opportunity to children with disabilities to learn language in a more comfortable and interactive way, but also to empower them and make them believe that they can be the leaders of tomorrow.
Through her project, Rinë is bringing awareness to the challenges that youth with disabilities face, and providing learning opportunities to them. We hope that if Rinë continues to dream big and engage more young people in her projects, Kosovo’s future will be strengthened.