Children from Cabra answer our questions

Children from Cabra (Kosovo) answer our questions

Some of the questions asked by the children of the 82 belgian schools who participated in our interactive conference in March 2000 have been sent to the school at Cabra (see the "Testimonies" section).  Thanks to the satellite communication with CARE people in Mitrovica and Olivier David's assistance, we could get the answers of the children in the primary school in Cabra. Here they are - using their own words.

Answers from children in the primary school at Cabra :

Everyday's life

Do your parents work ? How do they get money for living ?

a.. No, they don't since 1990 when they were expelled from the working places, we exclusively live from aids.

Do you have libraries ?which books ?

b.. No, we don't, all 273 buildings are burned then smashed with bulldozers

Do you have pets ?

c.. No, everything is destroyed, dogs, cats, birds are killed.

Do you have supermarkets ?

d.. No.

Do you have television, movie pictures ?

e.. No, last month we got electricity, some families some TV.

Do you have video games ?

f.. No.

Do you have discos ?

g.. No.

Do children of very poor families have to work with their parents to help their family make a living ?

h.. At the moment all families are equal, they help to clean ruins.

What kind of activities are available for young people (like boy-scouts ?)

i.. None of activities.

What do kids do after primary school ? do they in general continue school, or do they go and work in factories ?

j.. As they can not afford to pay tickets for bus, only 10% continue.


How do children manage to learn when schools are destroyed ?

k.. They are attending classes in very dark tents which can not be heated although the temperatures were - 17 to - 27 o C.

What kind of school material do you have ? which material do you need ?

l.. We have nothing except some books, notebooks and pencils.

Do you learn foreign languages at school ? what about french ?

m.. Yes. English V-VIII class. We have no teachers for French.

Do all schools have correct heating systems ?

n.. No. 75% of them had no heating at all.

What type of courses do you have ?

o.. Albanian, English, maths, history, geography, music, art, physical education, biology, chemistry, technical education, citizen education.

Are your classrooms big enough for the number of children ?

p.. We have no classrooms at all

What kind of equipment do pupils have for school ? backpacks ? books ? notebooks ? ...

q.. See question 12.

Do you have to pay for school ?

r.. No.

Do you have a football field at school ?

s.. No.

Do you play football ?

t.. Yes.

Do you have gymnastics ?

u.. Yes.

Do you have doctors or nurses for the school ?

v.. No.

What does a day schedule look like ?

w.. 3 hours in school the rest in tents or prefabs.

Are teachers paid ? by whom ? (state, NGOs, parents ...) - do you get enough financial support for the schooling system ?

x.. Yes, 200 DM (100 US$ per month), from UNMIK only for November and December 1999. Nothing else.

Is school mandatory ? how long ? What is the normal schooling cycle in Kosovo ?

y.. Primary school 8 years, middle schools 4 years. High school 2 years, university 4-5 years and post diploma studies 2 years.

Are children of Kosovo motivated by a new start in learning ?

z.. Yes, at least they are optimistic.

Did you have big changes in your schools since the war ?

aa.. No.

are you happy about them ?

ab.. No.

The war period

In which countries did people from Kosovo get refuge ? All all refugees back to Kosovo now ?

ac.. 80% in Albania, 6% in Macedonia, 2% in Montenegro. No they are not all back.

During the war, what did you eat ? what did you do ? what did you have to do to survive ? How did you dress ? could you wash yourselves ? How many Kosovar families had to leave their homes ?

ad.. Most of the people ate only bread once a day, but I myself lived 7 days and nights with 8 walnuts, but water was as important as bread, because most of the sources, springs, wells were poisoned, each family and person had different food and clothes depending where they were during the war, 90% of Kosovar families had to leave their homes, Çabra 100%.


Do you get assistance from neighbouring countries for food and shelter ?

ae.. Yes, not only from neighboring countries but from the World.

Are humanitarian NGOs still operating in Kosovo ? which ones ?

af.. Yes, it's impossible to write down all of them.

All all schools reconstructed ?

ag.. No.

Who paid for the reconstruction ?

ah.. No. EU, UNHCR, etc.

Do you have enough food ?

ai.. Yes, but not fresh meet, milk and vegetables and fruits.

How many houses were set to fire ?

aj.. In Çabra all 273.

Are your houses reconstructed now ?

ak.. No.

How do you manage for the reconstruction ?

al.. We don't start at all.

Young people and their future

We all know where vengeance can lead. Do school children get some kind of education to mediation ?

am.. Yes, they do.

How will children of Kosovo be able to overcome the psychological trauma caused by violence ?

an.. Very difficult. 

Have war and ethnic purification become a model for solution ?

ao.. Unfortunately yes. They have to fight nationalism -chauvinism, bolshevism and fundamentalism if they like to live in peace.

What would you like to change in your country ?

ap.. Everything except the nature and skin.

What do you expect from the future ?

aq.. Better future, life and prosperity.

After having lived through so many events, how do you know react to the current situation ?

ar.. We are the greatest victims, but we are not going to revenge, if you use the same methods that occupator used, you are worse than it is.

What kind of family life are children considering for themselves in the fiture ? will they have children who will also go to school ?

as.. Up today families. Yes, education is our future, 75% of Kosovars are under 25 years.