MFK’s 2019 at a glance
As we approach the end of 2019, it’s time to reflect on the highlights of a busy and remarkable year at Millennium Foundation Kosovo. Over this year, we have initiated and been part of significant and inspiring activities and projects focusing mainly on improving the public availability and analytical use of data, empowering women and increasing their participation in the labor market, as well as pursuing innovative solutions for a sustainable energy landscape. Following are the four key activities we have launched this year, on top of other projects already in implementation since 2018, like Dig Data Kosovo – the annual Open Data Challenge.
This year has been very exciting for young women in energy and science, whom MFK is encouraging and empowering through its projects. We started the 2019 with the launching of Women in Energy Scholarship Program, in February, which aims at tackling the low participation of women in the energy sector which currently consists of less than 9% of women employees. Hence, MFK made it possible for 28 women from over 15 different Kosovo municipalities to be awarded full two-year scholarships to study in energy related fields, at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Iowa. The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, Hon Rep Eliot Engel, was present at the awarding ceremony held on July 8, 2019, and stated: “Recipients of the MFK’s Women in Energy Scholarships, after finishing studies in the US, will go on to serve the increasing number of companies and investors interested in the energy sector, while also facing a formidable task to lead and inspire the future generation of girls.”
Despite many efforts on women empowerment, MFK remains dedicated to gender and social inclusion, especially by addressing the issue of improvement of women’s participation in labor force by increasing education opportunities and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. To address this issue, MFK teamed up with an impressive range of entities from private and public sector, such as global corporations NASA, Intel, Bechtel, Microsoft etc. to organize the first-ever WiSciKosovo (Women in Science) Summer Camp which took place in Prishtina, from August 18-31, 2019. A hundred girls from Kosovo, USA, Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, participated in this 10-day camp where they had the chance to learn about computer coding in artificial intelligence, drone design, develop apps and learn about renewable energy, microbiology and animation.
In an effort to accelerate Kosovo’s transition to energy independence, in November, MFK launched Subsidies for Energy Efficiency Kosovo (SEEK), a $20.6 million-project aiming to reduce electricity consumption in the residential sector by piloting subsidies and other incentives to households to invest in energy efficiency measures. On this occasion, USAID Administrator, Mark Green, who was the keynote speaker at the launching event, stated ”…over time, greater reliability in the energy sector will increase productivity, and lower costs means income-saved and invested elsewhere.”
The signing of the contract and prompt implementation of the project to both install sophisticated air quality monitoring equipment, as well as train the relevant agencies in coordinating data-driven response to air pollution, marks an important step towards tackling a profound concern in Kosovo, namely the poor air quality, especially in winter months. New ambient air quality monitoring analyzers for 7 air quality monitoring stations and weather sensors will be installed for 12 AQ monitoring stations throughout Kosovo.
As we look back at an incredible year of support and collaboration, MFK expresses its deep gratitude towards its stakeholders, partners, implementers, and staff – in Kosovo and the USA – for their support, hard work, and contribution in making this year a successful one.
We encourage you to stay informed through our website and social media channels for our forthcoming endeavours, as 2020 will be an exciting year of continued growth filled with new projects and activities.