Burim Uganda Blog “I Believe in the Power of These Songs”

April 14th, 2014 at 1:48 pm
Posted by Shrop
Burim teaching at Bakhita School (this is where we were asked to teach the children born to child soldiers)

Burim teaching at Bakhita School (this is where we were asked to teach the children born to child soldiers)

It’s been good to be back in Gulu, Uganda. The weather has been good, the food is good and people are welcoming me everywhere I go.  Usually when I first get here I have to start many things over and that takes a lot of time, and then by the time I get the schedule going it’s time to leave.

This time has been different, though.  I was able to immediately start when I arrived. Things are working out very well for us.  I am teaching almost 1,000 children in 4 different locations and am training 17 student teachers who are attending teachers’ college.  I teach them both music and SMF teaching skills.  And then I have training with our SMF Youth Volunteers every day,

Burim and SMF Youth Volunteer Colins with the Student Teachers they are training

Burim and SMF Youth Volunteer Colins with the Student Teachers they are training


The SMF Youth Volunteers have been a big help in teaching the kids.  We write lesson plans together, we prepare together, we teach the class together, and this way it’s a lot more fun for the kids and for me.  I am working hard to get them ready so when I leave they will continue classes in the locations that are close enough that they can travel to.


Youth Volunteer Colins Teaching With Burim at Pabo

Youth Volunteers Colins and Innocent Teaching With Burim at Pabo

Transportation is a big problem for us–when I am not in Gulu, it is extremely difficult for the volunteers to go and teach at Pabo (about 80 minutes drive from Gulu) or the Bakhita school (about 20 minutes drive from Gulu).  The children in the Pabo area have suffered some of the worst after-effects of the war, and the Bakhita school is where the children who were born to child soldiers are attending, so these children are very important to us and we want to give them our program year-round. But I have been meeting with the music teachers in both of these locations and training them privately, and I will be leaving enough materials for them to continue until we will be able to come back.  These music teachers are working very hard to accomplish more while I am here so they will be ready to teach using our instruments.

Music Class at Pabo

It’s really been great for me to see all of these people getting involved in helping their community get organized and amazing to see how much they appreciate music in their culture.  Many of them have been telling me that nothing has healed their trauma as much as Music, and that’s why they still continue to use Music for healing and make music a big part of their life.  A head teacher at Pabo told me that what we bring to those kids is a big smile in their face and also a lot of songs to keep them busy so they don’t have to think about their poverty  or their parents struggling.  Me being from Kosovo, I can totally relate to all of this because we had to go through the same things.   I believe in the power of these songs because they have worked for me and they have worked for thousands of children in Kosovo, and they are working here in Uganda too.   I am very happy to be part of this.

Music Class at Bakhita

Music Class at Bakhita

Singing Class at Pabo

Singing Class at Pabo





First Post from Burim in Uganda!!!

March 22nd, 2014 at 2:41 pm
Posted by Shrop

Burim arrived in Uganda on Tuesday.  Flying to Uganda means an overnight flight with a few stops and plane changes, and arriving in the middle of the night.  He arrived in Entebbe on Tuesday at 4am.  Burim then traveled to Kampala (the capital of Uganda) and spent the day there getting supplies and taking care of things like banking.


He arrived in Gulu on Wednesday and after working out the details on a place to stay for the duration of his time in Uganda (we didn’t want to stay at the same place as before because we were robbed), Burim started setting up meetings with schools and the youth volunteers.


This is the blog Burim wrote about his meetings:

First I went to Gulu Public Primary [elementary] school.  Their music teacher had already registered 60 children for our program.  I will go there twice a week to do music education (writing and reading music) because that’s what they are lacking, and also singing and playing instruments as well. Also I am going to train the teacher, so when I am gone he will teach the kids at least one day a week using our instruments.


Then I went to St. Bakhita school–this is the school that asked us to come and work with their children who were born to child soldiers.  This school is outside of Gulu, and when I went there they welcomed me with lunch and drinks and they were very happy that I am back in Uganda and back to their school as well. The meeting went very well, they have a new person who is in charge of the administration and academics, But the founder was also there to make sure we do things right. This school now has 3 programs:

1.       Nursery school

2.       Primary school

3.       Teachers college

We decided that for the nursery school we will do fun songs and play games and use hand motions and play different things to entertain them, and just have fun and help them feel good during that time, but not to teach them notes or anything because they are young and can’t write or read yet.


Primary school (where the children who were born to child soldiers attend) is going to have our full music program with everything we do–writing and reading music, playing instruments, and singing.


At the teachers college, I will train them in Music and when I leave Uganda these student teachers will continue teaching our music program in both the primary school and the nursery.  For now I will meet with these student teachers on Saturdays, but during the school break I am going to meet with them at least 3 days a week to help them get ready to teach our music program.  They already know teaching skills and writing lesson plans, so it will be easy for them to get ready to teach music.


I met with the Youth Volunteers and they are so excited to start our training and teaching together again.  We have some Youth Volunteers who have graduated from High School and are working, and they still want to volunteer during their free time.  It was so nice to be with them again- I have really missed them.  Next week I’ll be visiting our programs in Labala and Pabo–I can’t wait!

Listen to These Voices!

December 30th, 2013 at 8:56 am
Posted by Shrop

Dear Friends,

If you feel overwhelmed by this busy time of year, take a moment and listen to these voices:

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Ugandan I.D.P. Camp Student


I’m one of the war victims.  I love this program because it has made me relax sometimes when I am exhausted in my brain.  It has helped me in so many, many ways and because of the music foundation I have overcome the bad things which happened in the war.

* In our country we face a lot of problems because of the war.  The Shropshire Music Foundation is very important.  The war-affected children have a chance to relax and forget their memories of the war and their problems.  And this program has contributed a lot to my safety so it has also solved some of my problems.

Kosovar I.D.P. Camp Student

Kosovar I.D.P. Camp Student



I play harmonica and I like it a lot because it helps me to relax and feel better when I am angry.  I like to play it and learn all the other songs, and to get to know and play an instrument.

Being a volunteer is such a great experience because you teach amazing kids and also make new friends.  The Shropshire Music Foundation has made me a better person because now I feel more mature and I can solve problems easier.

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Catholic and Protestant Children Together in Concert


*  I like this program because it brings Catholics and Protestants together and you realize that there’s not really that much of a difference between us.

*  I love this music class because you meet lots of new friends and learn lots of new notes.


These beautiful children thank you.  You have given them the gift of music, and more importantly, you have given them the gift of peace.  They are not angry anymore.  They are becoming leaders in their communities.  They have hope for the future.

Now we need your help to continue reaching them.  And to reach out to another group of children with the same needs: the children of Syria.  Over 1 million Syrian children, who are living in refugee camps after fleeing a war where they have become targets as well as victims.

Can you help?  We need to raise $70,000 by February to continue our life-changing programs in Kosovo, Uganda, and Northern Ireland.  We need an additional $30,000 by July to begin a new program with the Syrian refugee children.  Please help.  Please give these children peace—though music.


You can donate here: http://www.shropshirefoundation.org/donate/



Thank you for everything that you have done.

Thank you for making all of this happen for all of these children.

Thank you for continuing to make this extraordinary program a part of your lives and the lives of thousands of children around the world.


With much love,

Liz Shropshire, Founder and International Program Director


P.S.  If you can’t donate as much as you have in the past, please donate less.  If you are able to donate more than you have in the past, please donate more.  Please donate.  

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Please donate because more children need us than ever before.

You can donate here: http://www.shropshirefoundation.org/donate/


Give the most unique gift in the world— PEACE THROUGH MUSIC!

December 2nd, 2013 at 6:15 pm
Posted by Shrop

This year, instead of a store-bought gift, give your friends and loved ones the gift of knowing that they have a part in giving PEACE to children living in war-zones.

They can wear their gift in the form of our SMF t-shirt and know that their gift brings music to children who have nothing but violence, rubble, and fear in their lives.

In addition to supporting our programs in Uganda, Kosovo, and Northern Ireland, your gift will support our next project: SYRIAN CHILDREN living in refugee camps in Turkey.

2 pics together for email

The Difference SMF Programs Make

$30 gift: the recipient will receive a TEACHING CHILDREN PEACE THROUGH MUSIC t-shirt and a card saying, “ In addition to this t-shirt, my gift to you is 7 pennywhistles (or 5 harmonicas) plus music classes for children living in war-torn countries.”

$50 gift: the recipient will receive a TEACHING CHILDREN PEACE THROUGH MUSIC t-shirt and a card saying, “In addition to this t-shirt, my gift to you is 13 pennywhistles (or 10 harmonicas) plus music classes for children living in war-torn countries.”

$100 gift: the recipient will receive a TEACHING CHILDREN PEACE THROUGH MUSIC t-shirt and a card saying, “In addition to this t-shirt, my gift to you is 30 pennywhistles (or 22 harmonicas) plus music classes for children living in war-torn countries.”

$200 gift: the recipient will receive a TEACHING CHILDREN PEACE THROUGH MUSIC t-shirt and a card saying, “In addition to this t-shirt, my gift to you is 65 pennywhistles (or 46 harmonicas) plus music classes for children living in war-torn countries.”

$500 gift: the recipient will receive a TEACHING CHILDREN PEACE THROUGH MUSIC t-shirt and a card saying, “In addition to this t-shirt, my gift to you is 163 pennywhistles (or 122 harmonicas) plus music classes for children living in war-torn countries.”

(If you would like to give a different amount, we will adjust the number of pennywhistles or harmonicas.)


Kosovo Youth Volunteer Fitore in her SMF T-shirt

To order, use the “Donate” button at this link: http://www.shropshirefoundation.org/donate/

In the message section, answer the following questions.

If we need to clarify anything, we will email you.

Gift Giver’s Name _________________

Gift Recipient’s Name ____________________

T-shirt Size (specify child’s or adult) ___________

Address you would like the t-shirt and card mailed to ______________________


Amount of Your Gift  __________

Whether You Would Prefer to Give Pennywhistles or Harmonicas ____________

Which Card Greeting You Would Prefer: “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hanukkah”, or “Happy Holidays” _____________________

If you have questions, please email me at Liz@shropshirefoundation.org


Thank you—from Liz and the children!!!




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Send Burim to Uganda!!

October 21st, 2013 at 2:37 pm
Posted by Shrop
Burim Teaching Children Living at Pabo IDP Camp

Burim Teaching Children Living at Pabo IDP Camp

A few days ago I received an email from our Ugandan youth volunteers asking us to send Burim to Uganda as quickly as possible.  They really need him to do more training with them and help them with the program there.


Burim Training Ugandan Youth Volunteers

Burim Training Ugandan Youth Volunteers



We had planned to send Burim to Uganda this fall but couldn’t because we didn’t raise enough money with our summer mailing.


Burim Teaching Singing Class At Pabo IDP CampCan you help us now?  We need to get him over there in January. We need to buy his plane ticket from Kosovo and pay for his housing and transportation cheapest viagra within Uganda.

Burim Helping Volunteers Teach at High School

Burim Helping Volunteers Teach at High School


In Uganda we have programs with Former Child Soldiers, “Street Children” (children who don’t go to school because their families can’t afford it), Children living in Camps, High Schools, and Elementary Schools.   The programs are really struggling without Burim there to give them training and guidance.

Burim Helping Volunteer Cambell Teach "Street Children" Living at Pabo IDP Camp

Burim Helping Volunteer Cambell Teach “Street Children” Living at Pabo IDP Camp

We need to send Burim to Uganda this coming January, and have him stay there for 3-4 months.

Burim Helping Teach Children at Pabo IDP Camp

Burim Helping Teach Children at Pabo IDP Camp

We need $8,000 to do it. Can you help?


Burim Teaching at Elementary School

Burim Teaching at Elementary School

Please click here http://www.shropshirefoundation.org/donate/ to donate.  You can make a one-time donation or sign up for monthly donations.  Both will help so much.


Burim With Some of His Students

Burim With Some of His Students

Thanks and I love you!


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BYUH Interns' Last Week in Kosovo

August 30th, 2013 at 3:53 pm
Posted by Shrop

By Sarah Chandler

At the very beginning of our internship, Liz had us each write down our goals that we hoped to accomplish while we were here. Among those were, grasping the language, gaining an understanding of the culture and people in Kosovo, building a stronger music foundation and making friendships to last a life time. While none of us can speak the language fluently we have all gained a working vocabulary consisting of; yes, no, thank and sorry. We have enjoyed our language lessons and getting to learn and practice new words from the volunteers. During our nightly trainings we had the chance to build upon our music skills and get to know a little bit more about the kids, sometimes after practice we would enjoy a light dinner with the volunteers, giving us more time to talk with them. We occasionally had some extra time with the volunteers and they would take us on tours around town and share their personal stories with us, of why they joined the program and what it has done for them. While there is still a lot of work to do in building up Kosovo up, teaching children peace through music is a great start. There is a saying that children are our future; so should we not give them the tools they need to make the world a better place?

The program teaches different qualities to buy viagra no prescription build up character such as; respect, being responsible, being honest and dependable. Each week we have had classes that go into further detail on each of these qualities. I know I have gained a new perspective on life and the way I see myself and others around me, it has been a needed reflection opportunity. Something that I will take away from the program that I have really liked is that even the most experienced veterans are still learning, for in life we are always learning if we open our minds to new perspectives.

I have so many wonderful memoires and new friends to take home with me, and I hope to make even more with the volunteers here as the program continues on. Each one of us from BYUH has changed a little because we have been able to experience the people of Kosovo. Being here has helped us each in deciding what to do with our lives; Alec has decided he wants to work with refuges, Chantel wants to get into Real Estate, Yury will continue on for one more year of school, and I hope to return and work on the archeological digs happening nearby. It is a bitter sweet moment to arrive at our last days; we are dragging our feet to returning. This last week alone has been packed with fun celebrations of new things to come, a birthday and a going away party as one volunteer leaves for Iowa to go to school. I know that the Shropshire Music foundation will help this young man as he prepares for his journey in Iowa as it has helped others before him. I hope you have enjoyed reading our blogs and have gained a better understanding of what the Shropshire Music Foundation does, and have gained your own opinion. There is no way I can share everything I have learned or every memory made, so instead I will share some pictures that I hope bring a smile to your lips.

As you look over each of these pictures, I feel it only right to share some of my memories or experiences from the last week. Teaching the kids games without speaking their language is difficult but can be made fun with a smile, some giggles and some dance moves! Getting kids to sit still long enough to take a picture is a very difficult task, it’s almost impossible to not smile at the faces and noises they make while posing. During some of our free time, we liked to explore the city; we really liked the oldest part of town.


1                                                       My dancing partner!

2These kids are amazing and so much fun to work with, we will miss teaching singing with them and jamming out on the drums.

3Yury and I found this in the oldest part of town while exploring, it was too cool not to capture. It says “Aloha from Hawaii,” it’s only perfect since Yury will be going back for school in the fall.



Falmendarit, I hope you have enjoyed reading about our journey as much as I did experiencing it.cash advance charlotte mi merchant cash advance funding

Hanging With the Kosovo Youth Volunteers

August 27th, 2013 at 2:43 pm
Posted by Shrop


By Alec Alaka’i Miller

Me in Prizren

Me in Prizren

The Shropshire Music Foundation is an amazing program and we are all so grateful for having been invited to participate in it. The foundation is doing wonderful things here in Kosovo and no doubt is having significant effects in its other programs in Northern Ireland and Uganda. The program hopes to be a bright spot in the lives of those who participate in it; and help support youth for a better future.

Yuri and Chantel Helping Teach Singing Class

Yuri and Chantel Helping Teach Singing Class

Here we have had the opportunity to meet with the local volunteers and work with them to develop their teaching skills. Being a volunteer can be rigorous and time consuming but the benefits afforded to those volunteers and their pupils; is immeasurable. I am consistently astounded by each volunteers’ personal dedication not only to the program but their love for each other and each of the students they teach. Many of them have worked their way through the program learning music and a variety of instruments for years and are now using that training to help others.cropped -BEST--FIXED -All cute all 3 copy

Not only does the program viagra online pharmacy aim to teach music, but to build confidence and character of each child while putting a smile from ear to ear on their face. Each of the volunteers that teach these children, and keep the program moving, is so unique and special with their amazing personalities. We’ve been repeatedly amazed by them, and we are doing our best to contribute by teaching the volunteers games and lessons. We hope these lessons can be used to help grow a healthy culture of trust, cooperation, and honesty that will have a perpetually positive effect on the students and eventually Kosovo as a whole.

In Prizren With the Kosovo Youth Volunteers

In Prizren With the Kosovo Youth Volunteers

A saying that I’ve always liked is “it takes a whole village to raise a child,” because it shows the responsibility we all have to look after the most vulnerable members of our communities. Here the volunteers are involved in creating a brighter future for the children of Kosovo. The Shropshire Music Foundation, and those whose charitable contributions keep the program running, have had an amazing effect on the lives of the local volunteers. These volunteers have now turned around to help the next group of children who enter the program.  Our lives have also been touched; we’ve made great friends and learned so much through our training with Liz. As long as this program continues it will surely be an asset to Kosovo’s future and life altering to those who contribute to its future success.

Sarah Dancing Karate With Kids After Singing Class

Sarah Dancing Karate With Kids After Singing Class

So far Yuri and Chantel are doing well working to keep our classes under control and focused on the task at hand.

Sarah on the other hand lets loose after class by dancing and what seems to be karate moves with the kids.

I’m still trying to get the Albanian language down but I’m still a little lost and confused.


Music and Peace Go Hand in Hand

August 22nd, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Posted by Shrop
Me With Roma Girl from Brekoc

Me With Roma Girl from Brekoc


By Yury Zavala Castro, 2013 BYUH Kosovo Intern

A few semesters ago, I took a psychology course that left a phrase engraved in my mind: “Difference is not equivalent to deficit.” My stay in Kosovo has helped me come to a more profound understanding of that phrase. The differences were evident and as transparent as a clear summer day. Although at the beginning I felt out of place, the welcoming smiles of the people and the pure happiness of the children can make anyone feel at home. The Shropshire Music Foundation does truly what it states: “Teaching peace indian pharmacy through music.”

Ever since I was younger, I dreamed of having the opportunity to work with children. This program has been one of the most impacting experiences in my life. Not only am I learning to love a culture completely foreign to mine, but I’m also learning along with the children. I’m learning music. I’m learning to smile. I’m learning to be happy. I’m learning to genuinely love others. And I’m finding peace.

Singing Class With "Camp Kids"

Singing Class With Young “Camp Kids”

We began this week by going to work the Roma kids outside of the city. From what I’ve come to understand from the volunteers native to Gjakova, the Roma society is not integrated into the Albanian society. We arrived at the school bright and early, but the kids were even more awake than us.  The innocence and happiness coming from the children’s eyes once they saw us arrive was overwhelmingly majestic. To receive that reaction upon the first moment you arrive is reinforces the desire to try to make them even happier. There is absolutely no way that you can look them in the eyes and not smile. Our time at the school consisted of the singing songs with and playing games for about two hours, but it time flew so fast that it seemed less than an hour. The environment truly does change once the music and singing is introduced. It becomes even livelier than what it begins as.

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“Titi Torea” With Older Camp Kids

On Tuesday, we traveled to the Mazllum Kepuska school in Gjakove and waited for the children to come, but many were out of town. So that day consisted mostly of intensive training for the volunteers. I have always considered myself to be music illiterate since it was something I never mastered. Although I love music, art, and dancing, I was never in the right environment to be able to progress further in it. This program has not only allowed me to view the impact of music on others but also on myself. It has restored my self confidence and reminded me of a something I had forgotten, I can do anything I wish as long as I dedicate myself towards achieving that goal.

Wednesday began with singing and clapping with the younger “camp kids”–kids from who used to live in the IDP camp for families left homeless during the war.  After we sang a couple of songs with them, we took them outside to play games and eventually did a couple of artistic activities with the children. When I work with these children, all I wish to do is to solve all their problems. However, that’s neither my goal nor this foundation’s goal. Personally, I feel that this program not only teaches them to play music, but also gives them a refuge from the daily troubles of life.

"Cup Song" With Older Camp Kids

“Cup Song” With Older Camp Kids

Thursday consisted mostly of introducing rests to the older “camp kids”. The children picked it up so fast that I honestly wished I had their musical ability. We also taught the kids the “cup song” which they enjoyed very much. Their mistakes were easily forgotten and overcome once they conquered the movements and beats of the song. After a couple of tries, we were even able to play the cups to a melody. Finally once the session ended with the children, they returned home and our day consisted more of intensive training. On Friday, we were able to visit a historical town of Prizren. Fridays are usually like the other weekdays which consist of working with the children, but due to special circumstances we switched our Friday schedule with the Saturday schedule.

In Kosovo, every day is a new experience and the working with the children gives the days a priceless enchantment. This program has discovered how impactful music can truly be in everyone’s lives. It’s impossible to not feel at peace when you learn and play the music in this program. Without a doubt, music and peace go hand in hand.http://greatvines.com/buy–cheap-accutane

Brigham Young University-Hawaii Interns Bring Aloha to Kosovo!

August 10th, 2013 at 3:35 am
Posted by Shrop
BYU Hawaii Interns Arrive at Kosovo Airport

BYU Hawaii Interns Arrive at Kosovo Airport

By Chantel Hunt, 2013 BYUH Kosovo Intern

Our Peace and Conflict Resolution program at BYU-H loves Liz’s Music Program ever since she came as a guest speaker. Since that first time, Liz has returned several times to our tiny campus in the Pacific to hold cheap viagra no prescription week-long intensive trainings with our students (and hopefully find a way to squeeze in some beach time). When Liz isn’t around we have weekly meetings with our Peace Through Music Club to keep practicing our skills. We learned how to play the Kosovo folk song, “Ani Mori Nuse” and our club performed it at a campus cross-cultural music event.

Last summer was the first time Liz brought BYUH interns to Kosovo, and this year, we are happy to be able to follow suit. We each have our own goals of what we would like to learn and accomplish while we are here. We are excited to work with the children, the Kosovar youth volunteers, and of course, work directly with the heart and soul of the program–Liz Shropshire. Three out of four of us flew into the Pristina Airport July 31st with some of us traveling as long as 36 hours from our original destination. Liz and Burim greeted us with big smiles and hugs and our first of many 1.5 Liter water bottles. We quickly loaded our bags and headed through the Kosovo countryside to Gjakovë for some food and much-needed rest.

Alec Trying to Speak Albanian to Local Children

Alec Trying to Speak Albanian to Local Children

Alec has enjoyed learning the language and trying to use his limited Albanian to talk to people. Sarah and I both loved meeting the children at Brekoc school. I loved their excitement and energy and Sarah feels the trip was definitely worth it to meet them. Because of passport issues, our fourth intern, Yury joined us just last Tuesday. She loves Gjakovë so far and is really looking forward to trying some baklava sometime soon.

Sara With Roma Children We Teach in Brekoc

Sara With Roma Children We Teach in Brekoc

Another highlight of the program so far is the youth volunteers. Many of the current volunteers lived in the refugee camps and since learning music with Liz, have stepped up to help bring it to the younger generations. We admire them for the time they dedicate to being positive and active role models when they could be doing other things.

We look forward to more interaction with the students and volunteers and hope we can add value to Liz’s program and to the lives of those we meet.


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Together with Kosovo IDP Kids Again!!!

August 7th, 2013 at 10:57 am
Posted by Shrop
crop -great camp singing

Singing Class in the SMF House!!



Today I got to teach my favorite Kosovo kids–the ones who grew up living in an IDP Camp (for families left homeless after the war).  They now all live in an apartment built for them by the city, and the change in the kids is pretty dramatic.


crop - camp singing 2They are growing at a normal rate and learning so much better. And their behavior is improving, even if slowly.  It’s really wonderful to see this.


Singing With the Kids Outside--Taught by Youth Volunteers Qiki and Vlora

Singing With the Kids Outside–Taught by Youth generic cialis cheap Volunteers Qiki and Vlora

When they lived in the camp we would either go to the camp or bring them to the SMF house 1-2 times per week.  Now that they are in the apartment we still need to work with them.  They all have problems due to being born and growing up in the camp, which had become pretty toxic by the time it was closed– 11 years after the war ended.


crop vlora qiki teaching 2These children are some of the poorest in all of Kosovo.  But they are amazing and are able to find happiness so easily.



Playing "Duck Duck Goose" (the camp kids favorite game)

Playing “Duck Duck Goose” (the camp kids favorite game)

So here they are–enjoy! They are AWESOME kids!!!

Burim Teaching Notes to the Older Camp Kids

Burim Teaching Notes to the Older Camp Kids

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