Professors Without Borders put together a virtual three week teaching programme for women in the UNDP and Youth 4 Kosovo ‘Empowering Youth in Kosovo’ project.
Week one consisted of Social Entrepreneurship led by Kasia Hanula, who boasts 10 years of experience in running social impact campaigns. Rachel Warnick, a specialist educator and learning designer, facilitated an interactive session on Communications in week two, followed by Carola Hieker, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Richmond, the American University in London, delivering a lecture on Leadership during week three. Coordinating the project was prospective Psychology BSc student Zana Blakcori, whose family is originally from Kosovo.
The bespoke learning experience was highly interactive and personalised, using a blended model combining individual pre-sessional preparation with lively exercises and discussions on probems within Kosovo today. Participants received real-time feedback on their contributions during each session. Furthermore, the female-only student selection allowed both the participants and lecturers to speak more openly about sexism in the workplace and how to combat it. The participants’ feedback was extremely positive, with many feeling more prepared for the workplace environment.
Following the sessions, former peacekeeper Tessy de Nassau led an intriguing online roundtable discussion on ‘Women in the Workforce,’ speaking to actress and entrepreneur Maude Hirst and entrepreneur Sophie Le Ray. Emerging from a background of acting, Hirst spoke of her battle on the pressures of repressing her voice and maintaining a facade. Le Ray, on the other hand, touched on her journey of sustaining a healthy relationship with the highs and lows of her company. Each offered a different perspective on the situation coming from different generations; however, both agreed on two steps to overcoming obstacles in the working world- finding and creating your support system and finding your voice.
Overall, many of the problems women face are universal, occurring in a similar manner in both developed and developing nations. Working with the UNDP allowed Prowibo to reinforce a global support system for women, which is particularly critical in today’s international job- market.