We are in need of an urgent solution for our Mitrovica Rock School. The school’s funding situation is desperate: since July, we have been unable to renew any teacher contracts and have had to suspend our lesson program.
Thanks to the United States and Netherlands Embassies in Pristina, we are still able to go ahead with the 2015 Remix Band Program, with two training weeks for ethnically mixed bands in Skopje, Macedonia, and activities in Mitrovica in between. Six (!) new mixed bands have been formed, bringing the total number of ethnically mixed Rock School bands to 11. These bands are now preparing songs that they will finish and perform in Skopje in the last week of August. With this large interest in our mixed band activities and high student enrollment, we find it hard to justify the pending closure of the school to our staff and students.
What has gone wrong? Over the past year, we have submitted upwards of 20 inquiries and proposals to potential donors in Kosovo, the EU and the US. However, with more and more donors withdrawing from the Balkans, fundraising is increasingly competitive and many donors’ guidelines prohibit repeated funding, a huge problem for a project that aims to have a long-term impact. Local income generation, mostly made up of student contributions and rental of space and equipment, has risen, but given the economic situation in Mitrovica and the social aims of the school, it is not nearly enough to sustain the project.
We therefore appeal for your help. Do you know of a fund that we may not have tried? Do you have a connection with a potential sponsor or patron? We are desperate and hoping there may be an option that we have overlooked.
We have over 100 young musicians in north and south Mitrovica who are counting on us to save their school. Please help us keep them “rockin’ in the free world.”
– the Musicians without Borders team