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The Education for Peace Scholarship Program: Helping Kosovo Build a Peaceful and Prosperous Future through Quality Education, while Providing American and Canadian Universities with Outstanding International Students from Kosovo
The Education for Peace (EFP) Scholarship Program was established in April 2006 after Texas Lutheran University (TLU) decided to provide three full-tuition scholarships annually to deserving Kosovar students. TLU’s decision to become the first host university of the EFP Scholarship Program came after Mr. Faton Tony Bislimi, TLU grad ’05, convinced Dr. Jon Moline, president of TLU, of the value of establishing the program. The EFP Scholarship Program’s purpose is to establish scholarships for Kosovar students at American and Canadian universities. EFP is more than thankful to TLU for having been the first American university to initiate this program.
The EFP Scholarship Program helps deserving young Kosovars accomplish their dreams of earning a quality education abroad. Kosovo, the newest country of the world as of February 17, 2008, went through much discrimination and even war in 1998-99, which prompted NATO’s first ever military action to stop the ethnic cleansing. Today, Kosovo is not only the newest country in Europe, but it is the youngest. Over half of its two million people are under the age of 25. The human capital that Kosovo has is invaluable. However, the education system – which suffered tremendously during the times of unrest and war – is still recovering, leaving many smart, intelligent, hard-working, and kind students far from what they could become in a more advanced, modern, and sophisticated educational system, such as that offered by universities in developed countries.
The EFP Scholarship Program was born to help Kosovo build a peaceful and prosperous future through quality education.
The impact that young Kosovars educated abroad could have on the Kosovar society are enormous. Kosovars in general are quite respectful of educated people. Tomorrow’s leaders of the new Kosovo are likely to be today’s EFP students at TLU and other universities across the United States and Canada.
The EFP Scholarships have been granted and hosted by Texas Lutheran University between 2006 and 2009. Each year, the program provided a few brilliant Kosovars the opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts) at Texas Lutheran University in the field of study of their own choice. We are working to enlarge the program by getting more American and Canadian universities onboard to host Kosovar students on EFP Scholarships.
While we are currently (2010-11)
not offering new EFP Scholarships, the following information is still valuable
for interested candidates to review.
We encourage all
qualified individuals to apply bearing in mind the limited number of
scholarships we are offering and the rigorous criteria they must meet. Each
applicant is evaluated based on the information and relevant and required
documentation they provide along with their application. An interview will also
be conducted in Prishtina. Based on a thorough and careful review of the
application materials and the interview performance, TBG Foundation will write a
recommendation to the university Admissions Committee for each interviewed
candidate. The final decision on admission and scholarship awards, however,
rests with the host university Admissions Committee.
So, if interested, please check our website for detailed information on application procedures when future Calls for Applications are issued. Note that we also publish a call for application in several Kosovo dailies.
The Education for Peace Internship Program – Teach for Peace is an exclusive opportunity for students of EFP Scholarship Program host universities to experience the newest country in Europe and the world, Kosovo. Details of this program will be made available to the EFP Scholarship Program host university in time for students to apply and get ready to embark on an unforgettable and enriching experience during the summer. Selection criteria for these students will be decided by the host university in cooperation with TBG’s Kosovo Educational Exchange Center.
We are strong believers in quality education as an instrumental tool for development. As you know, Kosovo is perhaps the poorest country in Europe, even though Kosovo has many riches. One of these invaluable riches is its energetic, intelligent, and hardworking army of young people as stated earlier. Therefore, the Education for Peace Scholarship Program is one very important way to help Kosovo build a prosperous and peaceful future through quality education.
There is no question that your university has much to offer to international students and especially those coming from the developing world. At the same time, we believe that your university would also benefit tremendously from a group of carefully selected deserving students who, because of their unique background and excitement to succeed, would be a great addition to your campus.
So, why not consider your becoming a host university for the EFP Scholarship Program by providing undergraduate or graduate tuition scholarships for Kosovar students. As your partner, we help the EFP students with funding for the rest of their expenses while studying abroad.
There is no better way to connect with and learn about other nations than through education. For Kosovo, there is no better way to promote peace and prosperity and to leave its unpleasant past behind than by providing its young generations with the quality education that a democratic and developed country can offer. The future of Kosovo depends on the quality of its youth. Your university can do its part in helping this newborn country become peaceful and prosperous by providing its best students with the quality education your university offers. Our EFP students are seeds of a brighter future for Kosovo. And, planting as many of these seeds as possible is our noble cause.
Because we understand that this partnership between TBG Foundation/Kosovo Educational Exchange Center and the EFP Scholarship Program host university must be of mutual benefit, we have developed the Education for Peace Internship Program (EFPI), so that the host university’s students can directly benefit as well.
The EFP Internship Program in Kosova will offer an exclusive opportunity to EFP Scholarship Program host university students to spend several weeks in Kosovo teaching English during the summer. Besides teaching English, the EFPI Program students in Kosovo would also be offered a course (free of charge, instructed in English) from a Kosovar college in the area of European History, Politics, or Culture. All EFPI Program students will be staying with Kosovar host families - so that they are able to learn more about the local culture and experience first hand the tradition of the Kosovar society.
While we are currently offering only the Teach for Peace project as part of the EFPI Program, we plan to provide EFP Scholarship Program host university students with internship projects in other fields in the near future. Nevertheless, the EFPI Teach for Peace is a wonderful program -- academic and cultural -- for our EFP Scholarship Program host university students. It is administered by our foundation’s Kosovo Educational Exchange Center.
For all those who desire to support a noble cause, such as quality education – for those who deserve it but cannot afford it - we extend our hand and ask for their support.
Our foundation exists because its founder, Mr. Bislimi, initially used his own money, time, and resources to cover the administrative expenses of our operation. Today, we have a portfolio of great students that need your support as well. And, we are more than thankful to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kosovo that has supported the Bislimi Group Foundation’s administrative and operational activities in 2008-09.
While we work hard to nourish our relationship with all of our supporters, we are also reaching out to new partners, new universities, and new donors to help the EFP Scholarship Program continue to grow.
Your support today will help make someone’s dreams for quality education come true. And that someone may be a leader, a doctor, an engineer, a scientist, a writer, an economist, or a professional of another field that will help an entire country move forward. There is no better feeling than knowing that the leaders of tomorrow’s Kosovo, once an impoverished and war-raged country, were the students you once helped.
Texas Lutheran University (Seguin, Texas, www.tlu.edu) is an exclusively undergraduate university of the liberal arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in 1891, TLU has been recognized repeatedly by US News & World Report magazine as one of America’s best comprehensive colleges. The university also was included in 2007 in The Princeton Review list of best colleges in the western United States. What makes TLU special is its sense of community, its rigorous academic program and its environment where students grow and succeed.
As for Kosovo, TLU is special because it has welcomed on full-tuition scholarships ten EFP students. TLU is the place where our EFP Scholarship Program was started and has become an educational community that helps establish the dreams of talented young people from a developing country despite all difficulties.
TLU’s investment in the EFP Scholarship Program is more than monetary; it is an investment in the future professionals and leaders of a brand new country. TLU has changed the lives of our current students there and through them it has made a significant, positive difference in their families, friends and the nation in general.
Today, as we plan to grow our EFP Scholarship Program further, we are asking other universities to follow TLU’s example and good-hearted and generous people and their organizations to catch the vision of Kosovo’s bright future and support the EFP Scholarship Program.
“…The EFP Scholarship Program provides a
great mutual benefit for US students as well as the Kosovar students since
they are able to share information and experiences about their respective
“…I am so impressed with our current
Kosovar students and their presentation just days after Kosovo's historic
declaration of independence…”
“…It is a privilege and a blessing for TLU
to have the fine students from Kosovo here, and to know that they are doing
well. It is a privilege to have you [Tony Bislimi, TBG Foundation] as a
supportive alumnus as well, and to know that you will work to continue to
send us more fine people from your country...”
The selection criteria for the successful applicants are set in full coordination with the host university. Our office in Prishtina usually pre-selects qualified applicants through a selection process that includes a formal written application, essays, and an interview. Most successful candidates are recommended to the host university’s admissions office to make the final decision on admission and EFP scholarship awards.
We always strive to provide our host universities with the very best students there are, so that not only the recipients but also the host universities benefit from the program.
Each Spring we publicly announce our call for applications for the EFP Scholarship Program in Kosovo and provide detailed information on applications requirements and criteria on our website.
All of our EFP students at TLU have become an active part of the campus. Most of them participate in the university’s honor and academic societies, student programs and clubs, sports, etc.
At TLU, they also organize specific events for the rest of student body and faculty – to bring closer to the campus their home country, Kosovo. Preparing a Kosovar Traditional Dinner, sharing Home Made Kosovo Meals with students, participating with their National Costumes and Dances in cultural events, holding Presentations of Kosovo, etc., are only a few of the social activities that our EFP students put on for their friends, faculty, and staff – besides their full time academic engagements.
EFP Students prepare and
serve a Thank You traditional dinner to their TLU professors (Nov 2006)
Drenusha and Aida with TLU professors at the Thank You dinner
While they are socially active on campus, our EFP students never forget that their number one mission is to succeed academically. All of them have maintained high GPAs. Most of them have made it to the Dean’s List and the Provost’s List. Some have also earned membership into US national professional honor societies, such as Delta Mu Delta, Alpha Chi, and the university’s own Honors Program. Their professors have only the best words to say for our EFP students.
“I have known almost all of the Kosovo
students , starting with Tony Bislimi, who have attended TLU as part of the
EFP program. They all have excelled in the classroom , but more importantly
they have added to the international flavor of our campus and played a major
role in educating our students and our faculty about Kosovo and the
surrounding region. I do hope we continue and expand the EFP program.”
We always strive to make sure that only the best of the best applicants for the EFP Scholarship Program win the scholarships. We want to provide the opportunity for an excellent education to those who really deserve it and, who without a scholarship, could never achieve it. So, we look in our pool of applicants for individuals with good morals and human virtues, honesty, academic excellence, kindness, respect, and above all an unending willingness to succeed and share their knowledge with others while abroad and upon their return to Kosovo.
To give you an idea of what kind of students we help select for the EFP Scholarship Program, here are brief profiles of our current EFP students at TLU.
Aida Sopa: A freshman student at the South-East European University in Tetova, Maceodnia, when she applied for the EFP Scholarship, Aida is a bright Kosovar young student. Her passion for life and learning knows no limits. She is dedicated and hard working. Her academic achievements are excellent. She strives to earn an American degree and a quality education so that she can become better prepared to serve Kosovo in the near future. She has a good command of English, and the South-East European University she attended before coming to TLU is an English language university. Always ready to get involved in community service activities, volunteerism is a key attribute of hers.
Bukurije Zeqiri: Bukurije or Buki is a student with a passion to succeed. She has been very active outside school, besides keeping a nearly perfect academic record. A freshman at the American University in Kosovo, when she applied for the EFP Scholarship, Buki finished high school with a 4.0 CGPA. She had a very tough life during the time of war and occupation in Kosovo (she lost her father), but never stopped dreaming about and working towards a brighter future. Given Buki’s academic achievements and personality, there is no doubt that she will excel at TLU and we look forward to her becoming another success story at TLU through our EFP Scholarship Program.
Drenusha Bislimi: Drenusha became a TLU international student scholarship recipient in 2006 after she was introduced to TLU through our EFP Scholarship Program. Her academic achievements (honors high school graduate with a perfect CGPA) so far are absolutely great. She has fluent command of English and was a freshman at the American University in Kosovo before transferring to TLU. Drenushe is another bright student with great ambitions from Kosovo currently at TLU. There is no question that while she will benefit a lot from an American education, Drenushe will also be one of the most prominent woman leaders in Kosovo tomorrow. For sure she will excel in whatever she puts her mind to.
Getoar Mjeku: GDetoar or Getty returned to Kosovo after he graduated with honors from the Memorial High School in Houston, Texas, where he was an exchange student. Getty is a wonderful student, hard working, and has fluent knowledge of English. His biggest dream is to do his bachelor’s at an American university. He has a personality of high values and strong virtues. With his background, he will be another success story of a young Kosovar pursuing a quality education in the US. His ambitions are to return to Kosovo in the future, and work for the betterment of his people and his country. One day he will become a very successful Kosovar who can certainly serve his country.
Drilona Aliu: Drilona is an honors graduate of the Guilderland High School in New York, who had just returned to Kosovo after finishing high school in New York, and applied for the EFP Scholarship. She is an extremely capable young lady. Drilona is a wonderful student, hard working, and has fluent knowledge of English. Her biggest dream is to earn her bachelor’s at an American university in political science. She aspires to be a woman leader in Kosovo one day, and no doubt her dreams will come true. She has a friendly and helping personality. Her ambitions are to return to Kosovo in the future, and work for the betterment of her people and especially for improving the status of women in Kosovo.
Teuta Hyseni: Teuta is another brilliant, but quite shy, young Kosovar student, who just finished high school with a perfect CGPA. Her extracurricular activities are an integral part of her achievements. She has a true passion for computers and has worked in the computer industry for some of the most successful computer companies in Kosovo, albeit her young age. She has a good command of English. Even though an orphan, as her dad passed away when she was in elementary school, her dreams for a better quality education have never disappeared. Being the only one to have a job in her family made her the head of household and put a great deal of family obligations on her shoulders, despite her young age. She strives now more than ever to succeed in her educational endeavors and be of benefit to her family and society as well.
Valmir Bucaj: Valmir is a talent that was discovered through our EFP Scholarship Program. He was born and raised in a lost village in the mountains of central Kosovo, where electricity is still something the village needs. Yet, Valmir has been a great high school student with a perfect academic record and also very active outside school/ He is a recent high school graduate with extremely successful TOELF and SAT scores. Like many other Kosovars, Valmir has had a tough life, but never stopped dreaming about and working towards a brighter future. His father was killed during the Kosovo war by Serb forces. Given Valmir’s academic achievements and personality, as well as his high recommendations, Valmir will certainly excel at TLU and we all will be proud to have helped him raise from the sad story of his early life into a shining star at TLU through our EFP Scholarship Program.
Florentina Ferati: Florentina, is a young lady passionate for quality education. Even though she spent over six years of her childhood living with her family in Germany, upon return to Kosova she learned Albanian and English impressively fast and well. She graduated with honors from her high school in Ferizaj, Kosova. Besides a perfect high school academic record (CGPA of 5.0 out of 5.0), she has been quite active in extracurricular activities as well. She is a young leader always ready to take initiative – she has been a member of several youth non-governmental organizations in her hometown and a participant in many seminars and trainings for young people. She is also active in protecting the environment and helping others become aware of protecting the environment. With her background, as an excellent and very active student, she will be another success story of a young Kosovar pursuing a quality education in the US. Her ambitions are to return to Kosova in the future, and work for the betterment of her people.
Kade Leniqi: Kade, is a brilliant young Kosovar. Besides having a perfect CGPA of 5.0 out of 5.0 in high school, she has been very active outside school. She has been involved in volunteer and community service projects in her hometown of Gjakova, across Kosova and beyond. A passionate, hard-working young lady, she has landed a very important job as an investigative journalist with one of Kosova’s top three national broadcasters, Kohavision TV (KTV) in Prishtina. It is important to note that KTV hired her, once they realized how smart she was, even though the job description required a bachelor degree (which she did not have just coming out of high school). Her dedication to quality education is endless, and she is very easy-going and friendly. So, given her academic achievements and personality, as well as what her recommenders had to say about her, we believe Kade will excel at TLU and become another success story of our EFP Scholarship Program.
Petrit Shkodra: Petrit, is another smart, young Kosovar student, who just finished high school with a perfect CGPA of 5.0 out 5.0. He is another great EFP scholarship recipient to be earning his university degree in the US. His extracurricular activities are an integral part of his achievements. Quite self-confident, a self-starter, and always ready to help those in need, Petrit is also sociable and friendly. His continued attendance of educational activities (besides high school) attest to his passion for quality education. A trust-worthy student, he has been elected to several key leadership positions of his high school Student Council, where he has shown admirable leadership abilities and kindness. He was also given an Award of Achievement by his high school Teachers’ Council. He continuously strives to improve the life of his fellow young people in his hometown of Gjilan, which is why he keeps himself quite busy serving on the board of the Gjilan Youth Network. He is dedicated to returning to Kosova upon completion of his degree requirements at TLU to do his part in helping the newly independent Kosova move forward.
Donjeta Gjuka: Donjeta is a young student, passionate for quality education. She has just graduated from the Henry A. Burke High School in Omaha, Nebraska, where she attended her senior year as an exchange student. While in Kosova, she attended the Bedri Pejani High School in Peja and excelled in all her classes there. She graduated high school with a perfect GPA (CGPA of 5.00 / 5.00 in Kosova, and 4.00 / 4.00 at Burke High Schoo). Apart from her studies, she has been very active in math, language and science competitions in Kosova and in the States. A participant of many volunteer and community projects, she has always been an example for great professionalism. Donjeta has also played an important role in her Kosova high school Leadership Club. A fluent English speaker, she is always ready to answer questions and pay particular respect to others’ opinions. Having been awarded the US President’s Award for Educational Excellence, she is certainly going to be one of the most notable alumni of ours in the future.
Dielli Hoxha: Dielli is a talented, hardworking young student. Besides having a perfect cumulative GPA of 5.0 out of 5.0 in high school, where his area of study was natural sciences, he has been quite active and a regular student of the Musical School of Gjilan, as well. Dielli is well known among his peers for leadership and dedication to help those in need. He has been involved in many volunteer and community service projects in his hometown and across Kosova. A team worker and innovative, Dielli has participated in HIV/AIDS awareness raising campaigns as a volunteer across Kosova. He is a great guitar player and has a passion for music, while at the same time he has excelled in his academic endeavors in high school. I have known Dielli personally when he attended a TOEFL prep course I taught in the Spring of 2008 and I know what a hardworking and dedicated student he is. So, I have no doubts that Dielli will be a successful TLU student and perhaps one of our most notable alumni in the future. Besides performing successfully in his classes, he will certainly enjoy partaking in some of TLU’s musical activities as well.
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Canada Education for Peace
With funding from the Government of Canada
Avec un financement du gouvernement du Canada
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