All through the difficult transition and war in Kosova, we Albanians had one constant and true friend.
As you know, Alice James (Mead), a children’s book author from Maine, dedicated the years from 1994 to 2005 in protecting and advancing human rights by helping ethnic Albanians and Roma in Kosova from the pre-war era to this day.
By chance, Alice learned about the brutal ethnic cleansing and repression in Kosova and was outraged by the fact that these injustices were unknown to the international community.
Being a humane, conscientious and a brave individual, Alice decided to make a trip herself to Kosova for the first time in 1994. While there, she interviewed local youth, visited high schools, spoke to local Albanian officials and published her first book (Journey to Kosova) in an attempt to expose the dire political situation in Kosova. She also made the documentary Kosova and the Death of Yugoslavia to show UN officials and global leaders the reality and violence against children, women and a repressed population. These images had never been seen before by outsiders.
What’s more, after her return to the US, Alice helped arrange for many students and later their cousins and siblings (over 20) come to the US by finding host families for them. She helped every single one of these students continue studies in high school, college and beyond. For any trouble students encountered while in the US, and regardless with what family they stayed, Alice and her family were always there to help. She also helped arrange for their families to arrive to the US as refugees through working with International Organization for Migration and the Red Cross. After the war, Alice helped establish Kosova Action Network, where she worked tirelessly in freeing 2,500 prisoners of war, including Albin Kurti.
As years have passed, Alice’s health has suffered, and she is now retired and disabled. This October she is hoping to move from Maryland to Massachusetts in order to be closer to her specialized care providers. Now, she needs our help to cover some of the costs.
My dear fellow Albanians, I call on you to be brave, as Alice demonstrated for us many times over and was our voice when we didn’t have one. Please contribute whatever you can to help Alice through this difficult time. Our coming together, showing gratitude and supporting her when she is in time of need is more important than any monetary value we are able to reach. An email, photo, or visit or a ride or outing means a lot as well.
Time to pay it forward.
P.S. Please visit Alice’s page for more information
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