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Interview de Mme Isabelle Servoz Gallucci (Conseil de l’Europe)

 

 

 

 

What are the main priorities and objectives of the Council of Europe in Kosovo?

Wherever the Council of Europe works, it protects and promotes human rights, democracy and rule of law. Here, the Council of Europe has concentrated its efforts on activities related to an efficient judiciary, the fight against economic crime and money laundering, minority rights protection, cultural diversity, access to education, inclusive education, freedom of expression and of the media, and election observation. The Council of Europe works to support local efforts, including through backing up the important work of civil society organisations such as PL4Y International.

 

 

According to you, how can sport be a tool to bring people together?

Sport brings communities together and has therefore a social and cultural impact. It is a unifying tool. It is an opportunity to receive education. It is a language that everyone understands and a tool of mutual understanding. This can actually be summed up by referring to the Olympic Games philosophy of friendship, respect and excellence. Sport helps developing more cohesive, tolerant and inclusive communities that value diversity.

 

 

Why did the Council of Europe decide to support PL4Y International’s activities in Kosovo?

The Council of Europe promotes the above-mentioned core values notably through the carrying out of activities bringing people together. When it came to support a project aiming at contributing to social inclusion of youth in society, especially of children and youngsters from minority communities, the Council of Europe sought the best partner to implement it in practice. Considering the long experience of PL4Y International in the whole region, and the aim of the organisation to – precisely – contribute to the social inclusion of all kids, especially the most vulnerable through sport and games, PL4Y International appeared to be the best possible partner. And the Council of Europe is very pleased with this choice, which proved to be the right one.

 

 

Finally, we were very pleased to welcome you to our Joint Event in Skenderaj. What are your impressions on this day?

The Joint Event was a real success! Some 70 kids from Albanian, Roma and Serbian communities gathered, playing altogether all day; trainers and volunteers, also from different communities, whose time, energy and commitment was genuine and sincere. No political consideration, one common language: sport. There was laughter, fun, enthusiasm and friendship. It was a success not only because it brought together kids from all communities, religions and cultures, but also because it could not have been organised without the strong commitment and dedication of all the partners involved, including the local authorities, and of course the parents who saw the value of encouraging their children to participate in the event in Skënderaj/Srbica, despite the difficult experiences and history which exists between people in this region.

 

Thank you for the invitation, for the great time spent there, for the wonderful work carried out with the kids, the trainers and volunteers. And you went far beyond than that as the project, indirectly and inevitably, brought together the local partners, stakeholders and the parents. Thank you for your impressive efforts and unfailing dedication. Your action, our support together with other partners, have been rewarded, and we have once again learned from children: they showed – and reminded – us the way for integration and inclusiveness, respect and tolerance.

 

 

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