Executive Director of Community-Building Mitrovica
Valdete Idrizi is the executive director of Community-Building Mitrovica (CBM), a non-governmental organization working for peace and community building in the Mitrovica region in northern Kosovo. The staff includes both Serbs and Albanians who are working together to restore the trust destroyed between their two communities by war and politics.1 An ethnic Albanian, Valdete was driven from her home when the Serbs took over the area in 1999.2 Although she was born in North Mitrovica, she realized that she could no longer safely live there and was tasked with the difficult job of moving her family. Understanding that there were many people going through the same experience, she began to lay the foundation for CBM in hopes that people however divided could find a way to improve their living conditions together. Fortunately, she was not alone in her vision. People from various ethnic groups joined her to create a set of values to guide this new organization. Today, CBM continues to promote facilitation and mediation, interethnic dialogue, advocacy with and for those promoting peace and social integration.3 For her efforts on behalf of reconciliation, Valdete received the 2009 Soroptimist International Peace Award.4 In addition, she was one of seven women presented with the International Women of Courage Award in 2008 by the US State Department. 5  Community Building Mitrovica.  America.gov: Archives.  Soroptimist Europe: Valdete Idrizi Peace Prize Winner Speech.  Community Building Mitrovica.  ibid.  Soroptimist Europe: Valdete Idrizi Peace Prize Winner Speech.