The U.S. State Department is giving the Iowa Council for International Understanding a 200-thousand dollar grant to run an exchange program with Kosovo. Council spokesperson Jennifer Smyser says three groups of five Kosovars will visit Iowa for two-week periods in March, June and September of 2006 in the program. She says, “It is designed to bring together groups that may not normally interact in their day-to-day life within Kosovo, in order to expose them to best practices and workshops and skill-based activities that will help them to become trainers themselves in concepts of conflict prevention and management, that would hopefully have a lasting impact within their country.”
Smyser says Iowans with experience in conflict management will take part, and have two roles in the exchange. She says they’d be involved with the training and hosting of the Kosovars. She says a small number of Iowans will also travel to Kosovo to help continue the training started here in Iowa. Smyser says Iowa and Kosovo have some similarities that make this a good exchange. She says and example is some of the conflicts groups may have with living with each other in a small space such as in small towns in Iowa.
Smyser says they need Iowans with a background in conflict resolution to take part. She says they’re looking for the best team to work with them throughout the 18-month project. She says you can contact the Iowa Council for International Understanding for more information. You can reach the council at: 515-282-8269.