PRISTINA, Kosovo – Alumni and supporters of the Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF) celebrated the program’s 100th scholarship earlier this month, at a gala in Kosovo’s capital city.
The Night of the Rising Stars, organized by American Councils’ staff in Kosovo, welcomed more than 250 guests, including former President Atifete Jahjaga, a KAEF honorary committee member, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, Minister of Education Shyqiri Bytyqi, USAID Kosovo Director Lisa Magno, and many KAEF alumni, including Minister of Economic Development Valdrin Lluka.
Gjeni Shporta, Kosova Country Representative of American Councils for International Education, emphasized KAEF’s importance and impact on the country's economic development and the need to focus on the future of the program, without forgetting to celebrate the achievements to date.
“Since 2005, KAEF has played an integral role in developing the leadership talents of 100 promising Kosovars,” he said. “Our alumni are working in all sectors and fields and each one has had a positive impact on the future of our country. We look forward to watching the next 100 leaders succeed through this important program.”
Speaking at the gala, Mrs. Jahjaga, the former president, described KAEF as one of the most successful investment projects in building and developing the country. Mr. Haradinaj, the current prime minister, also expressed pleasure at being among the KAEF beneficiaries and restated the importance of educating the younger generation and encouraging them to be open-minded.
He spoke of the need for greater political and social commitment in supporting KAEF so that many other distinguished Kosovar students can study in the US and thus bring the country knowledge, good practices, and the spirit of the new to the benefit of the whole society.
"I will find a formula to engage more KAEF alumni on my team," he said during the event. "I also want to support this important program and wish that the people of Kosovo would do the same as there is not a more important or a smarter investment."
During the evening, KAEF staff honored several of the program's longtime supporters, including Dukagjini Group as the largest local donor, KOSTT as the longest-consecutive local donor and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as the largest international donor. The Gotaas family received the KAEF Honorary Award. In honor of his contribution to the establishment of the KAEF scholarship, Dale Pfeiffer was presented the KAEF Legacy award by Mr. Lluka, on behalf of KAEF alumni.
During a speech that received a standing ovation, Mr. Pfeiffer re-emphasized his confidence in Kosovars and the importance of joint work to pave the way for Kosovo to take its place among developed countries.
The celebratory evening also included raffle prizes and live performances from Emma Bogujevci and Marsela Çibukaj. All benefits from the tickets and raffle auction will contribute to the Kosovo American Education Fund. You can support that fund here.
Special thanks to: Gazmend Gjonbalaj, Agron Mulliq, Lorik Cana, Drenusha Shala, Limak Kosovo, Finca, KOSTT, 3 CIS, Adria Airways, AVC Group, BPB, Finese Events, Gagi Print, Gizzi Exclusive, Hotel Emerald, KFC Kosova, Meridian Corporation, Novus, Recura, Rrota, Roche, Sogody, Swiss Diamond Hotel, TEB, Vas Tour, and Zmobile Prishtina.
View the entire photo gallery of the evening, here.