Throughout early 2020, the world was forced to adapt to the international spread of COVID-19, which continues to rapidly infect individuals across the United States. Thankfully, in my life this has only resulted in three major adaptations: my classes at William & Mary Law School moved to an online format, I relocated to Wisconsin where I have been living with my family, and finally I have been interning at the Center for Legal Aid and Regional Development (CLARD) remotely instead of in Kosovo as originally planned.
CLARD is an NGO located in Kosovo that serves vulnerable individuals and marginalized segments of Kosovo’s population by providing fair access to justice. It has been just over a month since I began working remotely at CLARD in May of 2020, and already, I have been tasked with several projects that have been both fulfilling and enlightening. First, I was given a chance to proofread and edit grant proposal documents that CLARD sent to the United States seeking help in funding an important project that will promote legal services for people in need throughout Kosovo, promote cooperation between justice institutions in Kosovo, and uphold human rights in Kosovo.
Following this work, I submitted a project proposal and related documents to the United States for approval. Due to a recent update on the grants.gov website, this process was different and more difficult to work out than it had been the last time that CLARD or other NGOs in Kosovo had applied for United States funding, so CLARD asked that I create an easy to follow tutorial on the process, which CLARD would then share with other organizations who had not yet been able to submit proposals prior to an impending deadline. I created a document detailing the process, with graphics pointing to forms that needed to be filled out and specific buttons that needed to be clicked on the website, and hope that this tutorial will continue assist organizations throughout Kosovo as they seek funding for projects that will help the lives of those who need it.
Since I began interning for CLARD, I have been impressed by CLARD’s commitment to its mission, its cooperation with other organizations in Kosovo, and its adaptive and supportive work culture. While working remotely has presented many challenges and experiences to learn from, like working around a seven hour time zone difference, each challenge is easier to overcome when keeping in mind CLARD’s overall mission and the meaningfulness of each task I complete. My supervisor at CLARD tells me that, were I there in Kosovo with him, he would have introduced me to the best macchiato in the world to celebrate the work we have achieved together so far. I look forward to the work ahead of me at CLARD, and to a future day when I can come to Kosovo myself and try a cup of that celebratory macchiato.