My Experience in Kosovo

By on 6-08-2010 in Blog, News, philanthropy

Before I leave for any UNICEF field visit, I do quite a bit of research about where I’m going. I think like most people in the US, I didn’t know much about Kosovo at all. I vaguely remembered hearing news stories of the war back in 1999. There were reports of a conflict between Serbs and Albanians, talk of the NATO bombings, and of course Slobodian Milošević. But since then, there has been little news available. This is all my roundabout way of saying that it wasn’t until I got to Kosovo that I truly understood the complexities of this place and even more important, the complexities of healing a society in which everyone, in some way, was touched by war.

Day 1: Sunday, May 30

I participated in sporting and arts events with over 400 children in Kushtove/a (just west of Mitrovicë/a). The event was supposed to take place in Mitrovicë/a.

Why Mitrovicë/a ?

Mitrovicë/a is a city situated in the northern part of Kosovo. Eleven years after the conflict in Kosovo the city remains physically divided by a river, and politically divided along ethnic lines. The Kosovo Serb community lives in the north and follows the Serbian political and administrative system. The Kosovo Albanian community lives in the south and the local authorities belong to the Kosovo political and administrative authorities who declared independence in 2008. The Roma minority community lives on both sides of the river and it is the most marginalized population, vulnerable to extreme poverty and discrimination.

Tense inter-ethnic relations and ongoing intolerance characterize Mitrovicë/a region. Although there were no major security incidents during the last few years, the situation is perceived as volatile. Moreover as a consequence of long-term industrial mismanagement, Mitrovicë/a is one of the most polluted areas in the region, with very high blood lead levels especially effecting Roma communities.

UNICEF is working with all communities. It has a sub-office located in Zvecan, a town north of Mitrovicë/a, and it works with all necessary institutions and communities in order to ensure access of all children to quality basic services.

Through its education programme, UNICEF focuses on the most marginalized children trying to enable a school environment inclusive for children from Roma communities, children with special needs and pre-school age children. The education programme also engages children, parents and teachers in activities that promote peace building and tolerance among communities. The health programme supports prevention of lead contamination and better parenting education for communities. Other UNICEF programmes focus on social protection issues, and build capacities of practitioners to improve social services for children victims of violence, abuse and exploitation.

What happened on May 30?

As part of ongoing efforts to promote peace and tolerance among children and communities in Kosovo, and preceding other celebrations of Children’s Day (1 June), UNICEF and partners World Vision and Sport Sans Frontieres organized events for children in Mitrovicë/a.

Over 400 children from all over Kosovo (members of UNICEF-supported “Kids for Peace” clubs and Sport Sans Frontieres clubs) came together to participate in public drawing and sports activities as a vehicle to enhance cohesion, have fun and send messages of peace and tolerance.

After consultations with partner organizations, parents and teachers, it was finally decided not to expose children in a public event due to unrelated security concerns on the same day, so the event was moved to Kushtove/a.

The UN Development Coordinator Osnat Lubrani and the Italian Ambassador to Kosovo, Michael Giffoni, joined the event as keynote speakers. Their participation emphasized the importance that the international community attaches to the integration and prosperity of Mitrovicë/a region specifically and Kosovo in general.

There is still an unfortunate divide between the Serbs, Albanian and Roma communities. This was a wonderful opportunity to bring children together from these different communities.

Day 2: Monday, May 31

On Monday, we visited Kolonia, an informal settlement located in the suburb of the city of Gjakovë/a in the western part of Kosovo. This neighborhood is inhabited by 720 residents from the RAE (Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian) community.

One of many problems that categorize this community is the low level of overall education and extremely high levels of unemployment. The inhabitants of Kolonia, and especially members of the RAE community, tend to live in large collective housing of comprising many families. Living conditions are very bad, lacking even basic infrastructure. One of the main problems is the waste dump of the city, which is located just 100 meters away from this neighborhood.

The extreme poverty results in high numbers of school drop-outs, serious public health issues and chronic under-development of children. There is ongoing need for social services and support, early educational programming, homework support for children and youth, feeding services and food distribution.

Identified problems for children in this community in field of education

* Low education of parents of the children.

* Weak interest of parents for their children’s education.

* Continuous social economic problems that follow these children and their families.

* Engagement of children in labor to ensure income for their families.

* Domination of patriarchal culture (often this is a key reason for girls’ drop out from school)

* Lack of qualified teachers from RAE communities.

General needs of RAE community in Kolonia

* Need for overall education of population of RAE community.

* Need for integration of RAE community in Kosovo society.

* Need for continuation of integration of children in public schools of Gjakovë/Gjakovica, including secondary school.

* Need for adequate health services and health education.

* Need for overall infrastructure regulation in the neighborhood (rebuilding of the houses, the installation network of water supply, electricity, sewage system, building the schools, health clinic, youth infrastructure establishment, regulation and environment maintenance in the neighborhood, etc.).

* Need to enforce women and youth position in decision-making.

Several institutions and organizations have undertaken steps towards the improvement of the situation in Kolonia, but still a lot more needs to be done. The local authorities supported by the donor community in Kosovo have recently pledged to build new houses, which will enable decent living conditions for communities living in Kolonia. As a first step the Municipality has allocated the land and has committed 20% of the funding.

Of all my UNICEF field visits (I also spent time in Angola and India), visiting this settlement ranked up there in the hardest experience I’ve had on a field visit. To see people live in this kind of poverty is horrifying and unacceptable. To make matters worse, the garbage dump that surrounds the settlement has become the livelihood of the community. Many children spend their time collecting metal and scrap to sell for recycling in order to earn something for their families. Food for household consumption is also scavenged from the same dump. I wish this blog were scratch and sniff so I could share what the intense smell was like. Heartbreaking. There needs to be more done to help the RAE communities in Kosovo.

Krusha e Madhe

In the afternoon, we visited Krusha e Madhe (in Rahovac municipality), which is the site of one of the worst massacres of the 1999 conflict. The households in the community are almost all headed by women, since most of the men in this area were executed.

The massacre at Krushe e Madhe took place on the afternoon of March 25th 1999, the day after the NATO air campaign began. Accounts of the massacre tell of village residents taking refuge in a forested area outside Krushe e Madhe, where they were able to observe the police systematically looting and then burning their houses. The following day Serbian forces located the villagers in the forest; they separated men from women, ordered women and small children to leave the area and go to Albania (as refugees), and then killed most of the men from the village. Human Rights Watch reported that more than 90 men and youth were killed.

Many women lost family members, were widowed, suffered poor living conditions, and continue to experience the effects of trauma many years later.

The widows that I had the opportunity to meet from this village were truly inspiring. The stories they shared with me about what happened the day of the massacre – the day their husbands and in some cases sons were killed – were devastating. But seeing how far they’ve come, and the efforts they’ve made to raise their children, made me realize the innate human ability to prevail. They did what they had to do to move on and give their children a better life despite the pain that they still carry to this day.

There are several projects targeting the most damaged villages, hard-hit by economic hardship after the war, including Krushe e Madhe. Most women were financially dependent on others when they began to receive trainings and support. These projects enabled many of them to live independently and helped them in starting their own businesses.

Day 3: Tuesday, June 1

High Level Forum to launch the UNICEFChild Poverty in Kosovo” report:

Seizing on the occasion of Children’s Day (1 June), UNICEF, in partnership with the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS), organized a high-level roundtable debate to discuss the findings of UNICEF’s Report “Child Poverty in Kosovo”. The event aimed to initiate a dialogue on the current situation of children living in poverty, and discuss policy options regarding its alleviation.

Recent studies commissioned by UNICEF Kosovo show clearly that children are at significantly greater risk of poverty in Kosovo compared to the general population.

According to the latest poverty assessment, 46.2% of the Kosovo population is in poverty, whereas 48.6% of children aged 0-19 are in poverty. A full 18.9% of children are living in extreme poverty. The highest risks of poverty are faced by children who live in households with three or more children; children aged 0-14; children of unemployed parents; children in households receiving social assistance; and children in households with low levels of education. Whilst the risk of poverty is lower for children where at least one family member is employed, children in wage-earning households make up 36% of all children in poverty in Kosovo.

Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians, constituting 3.4% of Kosovo’s children, are the most marginalized group in Kosovo today, have low rates of enrolment in primary education in the context of multiple deprivations including higher rates of poverty, estimated at 60.5%.

The highest poverty risks are faced by children aged 0-5 (49.7%) and 6-14 (48.7%), with a lower risk for those aged 15-18 (41.7%). Overall 93.6% of poor children are aged 0-14, with 92.4% of all children in Kosovo in this age group.

Households with no members having completed education have high risks of child poverty (58.7%): 20.8% of poor children and 17.3% of all children live in such households. Investing in children is, therefore, important not only in terms of lifting children out of poverty now but is also an efficient and highly cost effective way of ensuring that current generations of children become healthy, productive and active adult citizens. Fighting child poverty is necessary to combat the inter-generational transmission of poverty, and to ensure that all children, regardless of their initial life circumstances and social background, enjoy equal opportunities in a society.

Children in Kosovo: The Top 5 Facts

Fact #1: Child survival in Kosovo is considered the worst in Europe. Based on the most recent reliable available data (2003), the mortality rate of children under five years old is estimated at 69 per 1,000 live births. That means that over one in 14 children die before reaching their fifth birthday. The infant mortality rate is considered to be between 35 to 49 per 1,000 live births, meaning at least one in 29 children die before reaching their first birthday.

Fact #2: One in every two children in Kosovo lives in poverty, while one in every five lives in extreme poverty. Around 32 percent of Kosovo’s estimated population of 2.2 million is under the age of 15, with only 6.5 percent over 65 years of age. Using the generally accepted consumption poverty line of €1.42 per person per day, 46.2 percent of the Kosovo population is in poverty, whereas 48.6 percent of Kosovo’s children aged 0-19 live in poverty and 19.8 percent live in extreme poverty. Children of minorities are currently facing an even higher risk of poverty with an estimated poverty rate of 60.5 percent.

Fact #3: Eight percent of families in Kosovo have not registered one or more of their children’s births. Birth registration is the permanent and official administrative record of a child’s existence, and is fundamental to the realization of children’s rights and the fulfillment of the most basic needs. Securing children’s right to be registered will allow access to vital health, education and other social services. Later in life, obtaining a passport, opening a bank account, accessing credit, voting and finding employment will become critical to enable a young person to become a productive and active member of society. There is also evidence of ethnic disparities, with the highest rate of non-registration within the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.

Fact #4: Only one child in 10 aged 3-6 years has the opportunity to benefit from any form of early childhood education. Often overlooked, the early years of childhood are critical to a child’s mental and social development. At present, few resources are allocated to establish institutionalized early learning programmes, which remain one of the most neglected areas remains early childhood education. Moreover, the few pre-school facilities operating have been further threatened as some 36 were recently closed down in response to calls for reductions in public sector employment. Another key education gap relates to children with special needs, with fewer than 10 percent enrolled in primary school, according to the most recent estimates.

Fact #5: Among all the children in Kosovo, those belonging to the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian (RAE) community are generally the most vulnerable. One in five RAE in Kosovo is illiterate, just two in three have attended compulsory (primary) education and barely one in 10 have been able to attend secondary school. The educational status among women is even more worrying. As a consequence of limited access to education, unemployment is particularly high among the RAE community, with only 12 percent having some form of regular income.

SUMMARY:

As you can tell from the above, we covered a lot on this trip. I will always bring with me the memories of people I met in Kosovo and their stories.

Kosovo has the youngest population in Europe with over 50% under 25 years old. This is a tremendous wealth with extraordinary economic potential. This highlights the fact that economic development in Kosovo is not likely to happen unless we invest in the younger generation. It is crucial to allow children to dream and it’s our responsibility to offer the opportunities to make those dreams their reality.

I would be remiss if I didn’t add that Kosovo is a beautiful place. It is much greener than I expected. There are rolling hills and beautiful wildflowers. The city of Pristina surprisingly had delicious food. In the evening the streets are full of young people participating in a thriving nightlife scene. It is Europe, after all, and you can certainly feel that culture of cafés and evening strolls when you’re in the city. This, coupled with the fact that the authorities genuinely seem to be focused on the social betterment of the children of Kosovo, gives me great hope for its future.

For even more information, please visit: http://www.unicef.org/kosovo/

Peace,

Light,

And Love,

Alyssa

89 Comments

  1. Wow!!! Alyssa I love your Kosovo video!! You’re so Amazing!! You take some Amazing pictures too!!! Keep up the good work!! :)
    ~hugs and Love~

  2. This is a fabulous summary of what sounds like a remarkable and moving experience. Thank you Alyssa for all that you do on behalf of the world’s children!

  3. This video is so beautiful! Alyssa you are so amazing, youve touched so many hearts, including mine. Please dont ever stop being the way you are.
    Love You!

  4. Wow. It’s very beatiful.Good Work. I’m from kosovo :)

    xoxoxox

  5. I love Unicef! Nice work.

  6. Alyssa, I love Your work, but in the way You’ve disapointed me… You said what Serbs ”did” to Albanians, but have You seen, heard, mentioned what have Albanians done to Serbs?!! Ofcorse not, they (USA, Albania,…) don’t want You to see it!
    They talk about Serbs all the worst! It is not the truth! Forget about polititions like Milošević…
    The real historiy of Serbs is showing her face… Serbs exist over 4000 years, and they have been base for ”Europian culture” .
    Peace,

    Light,

    And Love for anyone! Blessed be!

  7. its a nice vid Alyssa

    <3 hugs <3

    your nr1 fan from Belgium :D

  8. Following you on Twitter Alyssa has taught me what an intelligent, beautiful, and compassionate person you are and what you can do to influence people’s lives with fame. You are an inspiration to me and keep up the amazingly good work!
    Thank you for your help and compassion.
    Your fan,
    Christy

  9. I loved reading & watching this..
    You’ve managed to make my weepy & smiley at the same time.. Weepy because there’s obviously a reason you went and there’s still so much to do but I’m grinning like a fool seeing the joy you spread and read that the future of Kosovo does look bright :)

    Thank you for sharing this! You’re truly an Angel :)

    Love,

    Jenny

  10. Hi Alyssa,

    Thank you for your visit and for this report.

    Every problem is an opportunity:

    -Certainly stories of suffering are widespread around the world.
    -All people have the potential to accomplish great things.
    -It makes logical sense, financial sense, and is morally imperative to help those in extreme need.
    -Insufficient press coverage of extreme poverty provides enormous growth potential to the implementation of solutions.
    -Compassion is an elementary human response, and all who are persuasively presented with opportunities to help will feel motivation to act.

    If you’re looking for new work, there’s no shortage of stories in this.

    -As well as in the many aspects of the environmental crisis: oceans, animals, natural disasters, air, water, food supplies, habitation, ecosystems, etc.
    -And in the dangers of nuclear terrorism.
    -And in the need for enhanced global diplomacy.
    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    If Hollywood can make people afraid of pretend aliens, hopefully it can persuade people to care at least as much about the real-life world-encompassing crises for which their action is essential in delivering solutions.

    If problems are opportunities, and they are, don’t worry about ever having to look for work.

    Have a great week.

    Love,
    Steve

  11. Just beautiful ! You’re an example and a very human girl ! Thank you so much for your actions.
    Love,

  12. I wish peace and love for the people of Kosovo
    Keep doing these charitable projects, is very inspiring.
    You are an example for a world! And I’m very proud to be your fan!

    I Love You!
    Kisses

  13. This is awesome! You are awesome and you inspire me every day! You are amazing, keep up the good work! Much love to you Alyssa!

  14. Wow, I never knew things were so bad… It’s hard trying to imagine living like this. I’m filled with awe that you & UNICEF went there to help, folks really need it. I ‘m very impressed with you, Alyssa, for being involved! Your great compassion has lead you to join UNICEF & bring the spotlight on all these horrible comditions that folks all around the planet have to endure. Your compassion humbles me. UNICEF, keep up the great work that you are doing! Can’t wait for the day when folks can live well everywhere!! Love & Peace.. always. :D

  15. that’s the world need more actions and less words.

  16. Thank you for an amazing video and your post. I heard about Kosovo before but I’ve never known that situation there is so serious. Poland is close to Kosovo, but when everything’s started I was only 8 years old, so you know I wasn’t very into politics and that stuff…but now (thanks to your post) I know definitely more about it.
    You’re amazing, Alyssa :) Thanks for being such a great person and of course an inspiration.
    Love,
    Joanne xoxo

  17. Alyssa,

    I believe you’ve found a very real vocation. What a better representative from the love of the human race you can be! Peace without love is no peace at all, and what better way to start than with the children.

    It is now obvious to me the children of this area of the world have needs greater than most. Thank you for your leadership!

    Spread some giggles with the love,
    Paul Hathaway

  18. God bless you.
    I could see the pain you have in your heart when you were looking the ceiling inside that house.
    Nice to see somebody like you, somebody that cares, going in this missions.
    you might want to ask your tweeter community about ideas on how to help this people better and faster.
    Montreal, Canada
    Fernando

  19. Just do it.
    The more you know.
    I am VERY interested in this area of mostly under 25. What an example we can help make of w/ them.
    None the less-
    Thanks for sending someone! And thanks for a report alyssa_milano. Bath relax and relish in the fact, you may return- as you wish.
    Donna

  20. I’m very impressed with your humanitarian efforts Alyssa.

  21. alyssa you’re the best person .. you are so simple humble with others .. it shows the great person you are …!!
    Thanks for helping others … God bless you always … you and your family …!
    Your video made me mourn are beautiful .. like some people always need us … .. Alyssa Forever!!
    Jennifer
    my twitter is Jennifer_AMfan

  22. Keep up the great work, I know how hard it must be to see all u see and can only do so much….A big heart goes a long way Godspeed Lyss

  23. I think when i get older then i might join unicef organisation, my divine life purpose is very similar that you are doing Alyssa ;) you have a good heart and the god and angels are very happy for you;) their blessinga are with you.
    Light and Love
    Edgar.

  24. Hey Alyssa..great video..One mistake it’s “”Slobodan Milosevic”..that’s ok
    Were u on Kosovo with Albanian or Serbian children?

  25. Good Day Alyssa, Your detailed report shows everyone the lingering effects of war and prejudice. Excellent video, you should be a television executive. The most important thing in the whole world is Alyssa Milano-Bugliari loving and caring for impoverished children. Heaven knows we have multitudes here in the U.S.A.! Please continue your outstanding humanitarian philanthropy; it shows there is still hope for mankind.

  26. Great video. Your an example of generosity.

  27. Alyssa,

    Please keep up your humanitarian work in Kosovo and elsewhere. Really appreciate your focus on women and youth. If you’re interested in women’s health issues, please take a few minutes to watch this film about access to reproductive health in Africa: http://paidc.org/bArJfX

    If you like it, feel free to share it with others.

    thanks,
    Danielle

  28. Alyssa,
    I had no idea that Kosovo existed let alone all of the suffering going on. It breaks my heart to see anyone in need, especially children. They are our future and to see them limited and struggling angers me because this means we are not doing our jobs as adults, heck as human beings, to help them learn, to grow and to be and feel safe. I am ready and willing to help anyway I can whenever I am needed. So please call on me.

    I want to thank you for taking your time not just by going to Kosovo but documenting and sharing it with us. I know it was more than just a “duty” to you, you really care and it shows. Now we can take that knowledge and turn it into something positive. Those children need us how could we not help them.

    “I wish peace for everyone in this world, wherever and whoever you are. Don’t stop believing & keep on dreaming. Dreams really do come true. So keep your head high, look to the sky and know I am looking back at you.”

    Josie0420 (twitter)

  29. wow, you are such an inspiration and romodel! i luv u and all that you do (:

  30. I’m from Serbia,and i have to say that Albanian authorities are making Serbia look bad in world public…It’s a fact…

  31. Alyssa,

    Glad to see people like you are out there, Helping wish I could have been there. I could spend the rest of my life there. Helping the people. I was there in 1999 with the Marine Corps, I feel bad for the people. thousands of people living in the mud. Scavenging trash piles for food and other things. Of all the War’s I took part in. That one effects me the most. I have nightmares about the way things were there.

    Glad to see there not forgotten

  32. Hi.I want to tell that it ws very nice from you to visit Kosovo.I just have one question.Why you didn’t come to visit as,Serbian childrens?We are not bad people like everyone says we are.

  33. You truly are an inspiration with all the work you do. I hope someday that I can help even half the people you have.

    Thanks for helping to keep us all informed of how much others need our help!

    choros1(twitter)

  34. I am sorry that you not came to the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica….

  35. The music and images of all those kids were really captivating. I truly hope a good life is ahead of them. They took a shine to you! :)

  36. Hi,
    I’m from serbia. And just wanted to say that many more serbs are refugees from kosovo. Thru history kosovo was always part of Serbia and now it is taken from us. It’s unfair.

    blessings

  37. You are a very good person. It’s honourable, that you visit people who are living in poverty and I respect you because of this. The video and the script are very good. The saddest part is how they killed the men in the forest.

    You are beautiful! :)

    Bye
    Zoli

  38. In addition to being great for the kids by promoting the UN’s efforts, there is a goodness about Alyssa that the kids will grow up to associate with Americans in general… talk about winning over hearts and minds ;p

  39. Hello,
    Your videos and pictures are touching. And as always your hard work and social responsibility is very much appreciated. I did have a couple of questions though. As someone who comes from a conflicted territory I have always thought that the only way to make a change in the self-defeating venom that is spewed (by both sides of any conflict see Serbian/Albanian Teodor comments) is through children. Unfortunately as you may or may not have seen in Kosovo, political tyrants prey on the impressionable minds of the youth. They come up with dehumanizing names for each other so that they do not have to bear the cruelty that they inflict upon one another. They coarse the youth, and fill their minds with hatred and blame rather then hope and aspiration. This has been my experience anyway. My question to you was how were the children? Did they welcome you as an American? Was there a thriving community that looks like it can one day put aside the violence and work to rebuild a nation? When the little girl that was dancing show you her skills, was she also going to school? What were some of the barriers you felt were immediately apparent there?

  40. hey, im from kosovo and im thankful for what you’ve done, im trying to pursue an acting carrier so hopefully i’ll se you in hollywood soon and i survived that war in 1999 i almost got killed, so if you can help me with this acting carrier please e-mail me i will appriciate it so much alyssa, your the best i was suprised when i saw this!!

  41. Hi Alyssa and thank you for visit in Kosovo. I am from Kosovo and I have to tell serbs something who replied here: have you ever thing about our history? Have you ever thing for our territory? You have never thing for these facts. Your politics have ever been against us! Why you all leave us free, we have our history and everything and don`t need Serbia. You killed us for what???? Just to take our history, our territory.
    I hope your politics will change and the ballkan will be how other countries with peace and everything.

  42. The world is proud to have people like you!!!
    I would only like to turn the attention on one existing problem we are facing when it comes to visiting places where war happened. With all the respect to generosity and compassion as you and all great people who work for the UNICEF have, one thing could not be ignored ,and that’s the strong political and publicity impact which brings negative component toward one nation .And UNICEF can help a lot in changing that.We should not divide innocent people no matter which ethnic group they belong.In each war there are victims for both side and Kosovo is not exception. Not to mention the civilians they died after NATO aggression in Serbia that nobody is mentioning!?
    My message would be that we should try to bring peace between nation s,try to help people not to continue spreading hate and not to favorize any nationality.

  43. which is why most Alyssa ….. not like the other star is selfish and vain.
    Think of other people than she. this is it we all love and always washed’ll be happy because he is selfish non-residential important than being selfish and reckless to everything and to love it vsem.mame a yak je.ALYSSA IS SIMPLY THE BEST THE WORLD!

  44. Hi Alyssa I’m so happy that you came at our state . You saw just Mitrovica , if you could see another places in Kosovo you’d be surprised because we have a lot of great things. You’re doing a very good job just keep going
    With love Debora from Mitrovica
    you can com and visit us another time:D if you have time

  45. you are a good example of a great human. together with UNICEF and ambassadors like you, Kosova will cure those war wounds, and as you saw we are ready to build a new state, living with all the communities (including serbs) and guaranteeing them a peaceful and happy cohabitation. finally I wish you could tell your friends George Clooney and Sharon Stone (who protested against our independence) that how much Kosovas people has suffered.
    from Kosova with LOVE

  46. I read a part of Alyssa’s visit. I’m Albanian from Kosovo where I like many others experienced the war and the Serbian aggression against Albanian civilians, and I will never forget that sight.
    Just wanted to add something on the population, where the state consists of 95% local Albanians, Serbian 3% and 2% other communities (Roma, Ashkali. Egyptian Turkish, etc.)
    Also I’ve looked Alyssan in local television program, and I want to thank you for the work you do for children.

  47. Dear Alyssa, I appreciate you and your work very much, and you are very popular here in Serbia, as well as TV series Charmed that is on third re-run.
    Your work is impressive and amazing. Facts about hard life of kids, and overall habitants of Kosovo are heartbreaking and true. But I think your article doesn’t give information about both sides – Serbian and Albanian. You mentioned massacre of Albanians in 1999 war, but you didn’t say anything about hard life of Serbs in Kosovo and horrible things that were done to Serbs. No one’s innocent in war, so, when you mentioned Albanian suffering, you should also mention Serbian. You see, Kosovo was part of Serbia since medieval times, and was the heart of medieval Serbian empire. It is full of orthodox monasteries built centuries ago by Serbs. Those days, Serbs were major population in Kosovo. Now, Serbs are minority in their country, living in terrible conditions. Foreign soldiers are the only ones enabling existence of orthodox monasteries in Kosovo. Kids are being born with serious deformations because of bombardment, Serbs in the parts of Kosovo where they are not major popularity are afraid to leave their house because of Albanians. Serbs were being killed. Albanians were being killed too. Serbs are still being killed and terrorised, but Albanians are not any more. Everyone in Kosovo is victim of that terrible war, but Serbs are the only ones who are victims both of war consequences, both of Albanians. I don’t hate Albanians, I don’t hate Americans (no matter of 1999 bombardment) because I don’t judge to a nation because of the acts of a single person.
    I’m hoping I expressed myself well, since I’m 14-year old boy from Serbia, and I don’t speak English very well. I’m still your fan. Hugs and kisses. :)

  48. Alyssa you are truly an inspiration and it’s just great that you’ve visisted Kosovo! God bless UNICEF! But why have’nt you visited also Serbian children? Have you seen the destroyed serbian churches? There are many serbian children suffering in Kosovo every day :(

    I pray for Kosovo and most for his children!!!

  49. First of all i want to say thank you for your visit in Kosovo,i live here and i hope things will change for good here .im a huge fan of you but i didnt have money to travel to mitrovica to see you but anyway im happy that you come.
    BIG KISS from KOSOVO

  50. Thank you Alyssa for all that you do on behalf of the world s children

    Thank you for Alyssa for visiting Kosovo

    god bless.

  51. Thank you for visiting Kosova, Im albanian and I want to thank you and all the countries that helped us to win the freedom from Serbia.

    We are trying to build our state Republic of Kosova by respecting all the childrens and other people in Kosova.

    Thank You Alyssa Milano

  52. Alyssa thank you very much for being here in Kosovo to help those children.
    is really an honor that an actress like you to come and visit Kosovo
    And don’t forget Kosovo people love you

  53. Hello Allysa
    Thx for all your Contribution in Kosovo
    Good bless you.
    Frank Paris.

  54. i think the photo opportunities are a wast of resources ,millions spent , and that’s just for the UN publicity and lunch bill , , some rich dude drives past,slums it for a few minuets and makes arbitrary judgments on life style , educated by a disproportionate and or delusional value system , these photo opportunities it just makes the wine sipping snobs feel better about there selfish greedy life style , no offence intended ,,,

  55. The reason why we can not go on is Serbia .serbs are the worst people in the world.(W) thnx >> Alyssa (f) :D

  56. sorry for misunderstanding some of your shows, i watch tv thats why, from james

  57. allysa…. you are the most generous and amazing man i know gosh… and i dont know how to describe how i feel right now you are amazing!!!

  58. hey alyssa im your biggest fan you are my role modle you are my inspiration and i hope to be just like you one day i am 19 and in the process of trying to become an actress as we speak and ive even been performing at the youngstown playhouse in youngstown ohio i am gonna be moving to california soon also i hope to meet you and learn from you. which i hope you consider it you have so much in common with me you just have no idea!!! you are a wonderful, nice, kind, caring person. and you are a wonderful actress and a great singer!!! any movie with you you in it is sure to be a good one any song sung by you is sure to be a good one. i have your movie fear and all 8 seasons of charmed! ive seen pathology,wise gal, where the day takes you, and ive been watching romantically challenged you are good and wht your doing or did with unicef is great please writ me sometime and give me some tips on the acting world 295 park ave youngtown oh 44504 apt 6

  59. Proving once again that you are truly an amazing woman, Alyssa. Keep up the great work you do with unicef!

  60. Good job Alyssa

    Kosovo is a part of Serbia, but the children in Kosovo do have a problem with the Albanian people and have a huge fear, but are trying to cope and adapt…

    Поздрав из Cрбије

    Thank’s for coming

  61. good afternoon, nice dreams

  62. Wauuu!Alyssa Milano is a very good person.I am a big funs .Just continue with that work.I love your film CHARMED.BYE

  63. you fellows!!!)

  64. It is so sad to see how politic can use children and UNICEF to make something look the way is not. It is so sad to use you, the VIP people to do political champagnes . But do you know what is the sadness thing in the hole story ??? You don’t even see it

    http://english.pravda.ru/world/europe/02-04-2008/104752-Carla_del_Ponte-0

    sometimes things are not the way they look like or someone try to make them be

    disappointed fan

  65. Great!! Uuuuumm take a Camera? Please forgive me, I Love you~!
    Ventura California… Crown Prince River Jude Pheonix

  66. Hey Alyssa!I’m your big fun.But I must say that I am disappointed and I am realy sad because you haven’t seen everything.There are many serbians children who can’t go to school,play with friends…have normal life…Every day is fear for Serbs who lives there.You should hear bouth sides if you want to know the truth.Albanians are destroying our culture we have built for centuries.Destroyed our churches, monuments, cemeteries, and everything that represents us and our past.We are not murderers or criminals, we are just defending.So much of me. I hope you’ll come back to Kosovo and you’ll at least try to hear the second story.
    Thank you Alyssa!

  67. Hi Alyssa, I just read this article, and I’m very supprised and shoked, I really am. I am very thankful what u did for Kosovo, and albanian families, but u also have to look other side of the story, serbian story. U have no idea how many serbian children are on the other side of Kosovo, without parents, without support, how many wifes has lost husbands, that Albanians killed. My best friend lost her father there, Albanians killed him, they force people to leave their homes, burn their houses and terorize. There isn’t a day when I look in the newspaper and I see how people on Kosovo lose lifies because of albanians. USA thinks that Serbs are gulty for the war, but we aren’t, we aren’t the bad guys here, and I’m really dissappointed if u think so. Hope u’ll some day come to Kosovo and help serbian families and children, cuz they really need someone to take care of them! Don’t judge people without knowing both sides of the story.Again, thank u!

    Kisses from Serbia!

  68. It was rally nice of you that you visited mi country…Im sorry my ex country cause it`s not the part of Srbija any more…Anyway I dont know any famous person who put so much effort in my country…THANK YOU

  69. wow Alyssa I cant belive….I am from Serbia but not from Kosovo ..Its awesome that you visit our country thank you so much for that!!!

  70. Hello Alyssa…I”M from Montenegro (that is very nice country near Serbia… I <3 SERBIA) and i'm very glad that u visited Kosovo…And i'm truly hope that u one day visit Montenegro…I'm admire u're work…And i also i wanted to say that i adore CHARMED especially PHOEBE … U're so good actress …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmLl1rvt55s

    my funniest scene from charmed…In this episode u payed so well…. but it isn't nothing new… U'RE THE BEST ACTRESS ON THE WORLD…

    COME AND VISIT MONTENEGRO…. PLS… LOVE ya… :**********

  71. Do you realy think she read any comments that you people leave here?

    But still ill say something just to be well mannered…

    I am glad that you had time to come to serbia,i read some of the comments that you people left. We don’t hate albanians even now when they invaded our country and our homes, but they hate us much more… Genocide… But still thank you for coming to serbia again.

  72. this albanian song is terrible you could chose any Serbian song they are much better and more beautiful than this….95% of those childern in video are Albanian….Where are the Serbs???they are living hell much worse than Albanians….but any way thanks for visiting Kosovo and you could come to Belgrade in Serbia to meet your fans….but I hope soo you’ll visit Belgrade sometimes…love you Milan from Serbia <3

  73. Serbs are the bad guys here, that’s why there’s only 3 % left in their own country old more than 1000 years. That’s why they were bombed, that’s why they were killed and still are and that’s why their organs were being sold by Albanian terrorists. Serbs do not deserve to live in their own country. Albanians should take over the world cause they don’t use protection while having sex and have 10 children that they can’t raise and they don’t go to schools so they are very smart,they could be easily controlled. Would you be happy if someone like that came to your country made you leave your fatherland your house and then declare independence. That’s so cool. There’s more and more of them everyday and one day and Kosovo won’t be enough.

  74. Kosovo is a hart of Serbia,it’s sadnes thet you did’nt visite serbian kids who live much worse then albanian.It’s political propaganda,you mast been informed better befoure you came.What about serbian people leave ther fatherland becouse albanian terorist,and what about distroid church.You mast heard bouth side nice Alyssa

  75. OmG! I just read all that comments, and saw the video…I just cant believed how all world is against us (serbs) …. I love u Alyssa, but its just shamed that u dont want to hear the other side of the story…U cant judge if u dont know everything… Lets see how u and ur people feel if one day, for example chinesse take ur country , perhaps california, and they want to move all americans people, just because they say thats their country, because there are too many of them, how would u feel??? its not a great feeling at all!!! I’m sooo dissapointed at u… Dont be so naive…

    Greets from MARINA, future president of Serbia and Kosovo!!! God blessed all good people!!!

  76. Awww just watching that i had tears in my eyes! You are very lovely Alyssa and i am a huge fan! Your’e work is fabulous and i love everthing you do. I hope i can be like you one day. You are my inspiration. Love you loads..and god bless!

    Yours fathfully
    Leanne May ( uk )
    x

  77. Thank you very much Mrs. Milano for visiting Kosovo and supporting this Country. You choose such a beautiful and a meaningful song for this video. An Albanian would know what the song is about. And to the people who argue here about kosovo being a part of Serbia I think they should be a bit more responsible for what they say. Kosovo is Kosovo , Never was Serbia, Never will be. Churches and Mosques don’t make a Country part of another Country. Genocide of Serbs is documented. Ever heard of Albanian Genocide: NEVER. Ever heard of Albanian people killing serbian men and boys in SERBIA: NEVER. Mafia exist everywhere. Don’t come and tell me Serbia doesn’t have mafia. I am not saying albanians are the best but at least in World History we are pure. We have never tried to kill a whole Country . We wanted just freedom in OUR LAND.

  78. Ilir you are stupid asshole… shut the fu*k up, and move your big ass from Kosovo!!!

  79. Hi Alyssa!

    I’m from Latvia but i’m living in sweden. ( i am adopted )
    My biggest dream is to meet my parents because i have never done that.
    Because my family in Sweden.. Well it could have been better..
    In Latvia some people are wery poor, it was probably for that reason my family did’nt keep me and when the people in Kosovo get water they come one little step closer to meet they’re dreams.
    If every person was If more people were as kind and considerate as you mabye my dream could come true to, some day.!
    I know that this sounds a little bit wered, but i am wered to so it fits wery well :D

    Love

    Laura

  80. Just so you know, I’m 12 years old and but my birthay is december 19 :)

    haha, i know that my birth days was not necessary to know but i don’t care!! haha

  81. Hello! Is it okay that I go a bit off matter? I’m making an attempt to view your article on my ipad but it doesn’t display correctly, do you have any recommendations? Kudos. My kind regards, Maragret.

  82. My love. I’d came there if i could. Im your biggest fan EVER!
    please please please come to Macedoniaaaaaaaaaaa!

  83. hi alyssa.. i was just looking and reading about your previous tv show charmed and stumbled across this website.. I didnt know you had one, i mean legit.. Ive spent my whole day reading here, words by words.. Captured my hearts in every aspects of your life, and sometimes wondered if someone like you would visit my country (philippines).. Though my hometown was pretty scary as it was all over news television across the country for, such tragedy.. But those things are just one of those painful moments we have to bear.. And clearly your humanitarian work and ways could help a lot of my people along the poor areas and slum.. I dont know if this thing may get to you but im still thankful that somehow i did spoke from the heart regarding my country.. Thank you alyssa for being an angel to those kids in kosova.. Godbless and be healthy always..

  84. What is the name of the song in the video?

  85. I am so glad that you made it to Kosovo or as we call kosova. I am Albanian but not from Kosova. You have always been one of my favorite actresses Alyssa, since i was a little girl i watched you in charmed. You seemed to be a very passionate and sensitive human being! I could tell by watching you. Keep up the good work. All the best and God bless you!

  86. Great post Alyssa, Keep up the good work writing from a deep perspective upon things:)

  87. Smiley Culture dies of a stabbing during a police raid… and they’re trying to say he did it to himself. Yeah, right.

  88. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, todavia no veo el ultimo capitulo….

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  2. Kids 4 News | Blog | [Blisstree] Alyssa Milano Blogs for World Children's Day: Daily Do-Gooder - [...] Alyssa Milano, a UNICEF Ambassador, travelled to Kosovo to be part of the commemoration of World Children’s Day. Now, …
  3. Kids 4 News | Blog | [Blisstree] Alyssa Milano Blogs for World Children's Day: Daily Do-Gooder - [...] Alyssa Milano, a UNICEF Ambassador, travelled to Kosovo to be part of the commemoration of World Children’s Day. Now, …

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