Mirlinda wants to change her life after prison, for that she needs access to education.
Mirlinda (not her real name) is just 18 years old and has already had a rough start to life. After being abused by her father throughout her childhood, she ran away from home. A young girl without a home, Mirlina found a group of people that took her in, only to take advantage of her. Mirlinda’s new “friends” abused her, and forced her to act as bait for men who they would then rob. One day during one of the robberies a person died and Mirlinda was found guilty for complicity to murder. She was just 14 years old when she got sentenced to a 9-year prison sentence at the juvenile detention center in Kosovo.
In prison she started to turn her life around, she managed to get her high school diploma but now has reached a wall. Despite her efforts there seem to be no more opportunities for her to further her education, but Mirlinda does not want to go back to her life before prison, she wants to study.
Last December we met Mirlinda, she asked us if children in the Netherlands could study while they were in prison because she would like to have this opportunity for herself. We think she should have this opportunity.
Mirlinda wants to change her life for the better. What does Mirlinda want to study at university? Criminology! She wants to have a chance to benefit society and search for solutions to prevent others who may have also had rough starts to life from potentially turning to crime.
Together with the University of Pristina we started discussions with her, arranged a study mentor (a recently graduate) and asked permission from the Prison Director General for her to attend university.
Mirlinda has not had the easiest start to life, she has been in prison for 4 years already, but the prospect of being able to study at university has lifted her spirits. She is learning English and enjoys contact with study mentor, who regularly comes and breaks the monotony of prison life. She is closer than ever to achieving her dreams but now money stands in the way.
Mirlinda’s study cannot be funded by the juvenile detention center in Kosovo, but you can help!
In this joint Kosovo-Dutch project, we only need to raise 1000 euros for her university education. Therefore, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and the University of Applied Sciences in Leiden, together with our counterparts in Kosovo, kindly ask for your help.
Please support the education of Mirlinda and give her a future!