It all started the first day of the Diaspora School in Kosovo. We were 50 participants from all over the world, but with one thing in common – our interest to invest time in getting to know Kosovo and its people. We were selected because of our professional backgrounds and stated motivation for participation in the first ever edition of such an initiative. The diversity in the school is naturally reflected in the group that developed the concept, “See you in Prizren”. We all had a wish to contribute to the thematic scope of DSK 2017 that dealt with Innovation in Education, but at the same time with different ideas on how to approach this theme.
After getting a presentation from the local ambassador of the group, namely Fitore, who teaches English language for high school students in Prizren, we agreed that we would pursue an idea that would enable students in Prizren to write stories about Prizren as seen from their perspective. We simply thought that by giving a voice the youth, we would be engage them in telling the untold story of Prizren. The idea was thought of as an extracurricular activity for students that wanted to increase their english language skills, by integrating digital collaboration tools that would enable us in providing the students them practical knowledge in oral history and story writing. The became clearer after days of intensive workshop during the DSK. We wanted to organize a workshop, consisting of interactive lectures, where student would learn applicable techniques of story writing, as well as become familiar with the concept of oral history. The lectures would play on the professional capacities and strengths of each group member, and would create a starting point for the students to do interviews and write stories about the town of Prizren. Once completing the stories, the students would be able to collaborate through google docs, and thus receive feedback on the texts they produce. In this way, we wanted to ensure that a mechanism that was facilitated by digital communication tools, could serve us in giving students the opportunity the practice the english writing skills.
The last part, arguably the most important, was to create a practical online platform, where the students could publish and disseminate their stories about Prizren. The platform would be structured with the aim of serving as a valuable resource for anyone wanting to learn more about Prizren’s rich culture and history, but through the lenses of its youth. At the same time, we were certain that a dedicated platform where young students could expect to have their writings published, would further incentivize them to practice their english language skills, and also dwell into the untold stories about their own town. Thus, the See You in Prizren initiative was presented to a jury on the last day of the DSK, which put its faith in that the idea would bring benefits to high school students in Prizren that wants to practice and improve their english language skills. This platform and the stories that fills it, is the result of the initiative so far.