BIRN Kosovo Holds Workshops on Reintegration of Returnees from Conflict Zones, Fact-Checking and Reporting Protests

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BIRN Kosovo held a regional workshop on March 28 on reinforcing the role of Centers for Social Welfare and strengthening the process of reintegration and resocialization for returnees from Middle eastern conflict zones, in order to prevent violent extremism and terrorism in Kosovo.

The workshop consisted of three sessions. The first, delivered by Kreshnik Gashi, editor-in-chief at, focused on the state vision of preventing the radicalism and the violent extremism that leads to terrorism, and reflecting this vision to the wider public.

The second, delivered by Vehbi Mujku, director of the Center for Social Welfare in Pristina, focused on the role of the Centers in the early identification process of radical behaviours, and in the treatment of people affected by violent extremism.

The third session, delivered by Luljeta Berisha, psychologist at the Kosovo Rehabilitation Center for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, focused on the early identification of radical behaviours in children and treatment of trauma in them.

In total, 18 representatives from the Centers for Social Welfare and members from other municipal institutions participated in the workshop, organized as part of the “Resilient Community Program”, which is funded by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, GCERF.

BIRN Kosovo aims to support the democratic transition in Kosovo and the implementation of human rights and media freedom by holding regular training sessions and workshops.

During this part of 2022 alone, BIRN Kosovo, as part of the project “Resilient Community Program”, held three community gatherings in the municipalities of Prishtina, Gjilan and Obiliq.

The gatherings consisted of a lecture by Kreshnik Gashi, editor in chief at, and brought together psychologists and directors of schools.

The guests shared their experiences with people, more specifically students, whose families have returned from the conflict zones in Syria and Iraq, and the process of reintegration and re-socialization to which they have been subjected. In total, 16 participants have been part of the gatherings held thus far.

Training on fact-finding

As part of the project “Promoting fact-checking to combat false news and misinformation in Kosovo”, which is supported by the US embassy in Kosovo, BIRN Kosovo also held three trainings on fact-checking methodologies with a total of 50 journalists, in the municipalities of Prishtina, Prizren and Gjilan.

The trainings were made up of three parts. The first covered standards, the basics of fact-checking, and the differences between misinformation, fake news, deep fakes, and other fake news production formats.

The second was dedicated to identifying fake news and harmful narratives in the media and building debunking mechanisms within newsrooms. The third part gave participants the opportunity to practice together with the trainers to identify fake news.

Workshop trainers included Kreshnik Gashi and Visar Prebreza, managing editor of Research and Krypometer articles at

As part of the project “Data 4 Fighting Harmful Narratives in the Judiciary”, which is funded by the Millennium Foundation Kosovo, MFK, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, MCC, BIRN Kosovo held training sessions on using judicial data with a total of 77 Faculty of Law students from the University of Pristina and the University of Prizren.

On March 10 and 11, as part of the project “Confidence Building Project”, which is supported by UNMIK, BIRN Kosovo held a training session with a journalists in the municipality of Gjilan on the bases of investigation and fact-checking principles.

On the first day,’s Kreshnik Gashi, spoke about the bases of reporting, the public profile that journalists should keep, how to develop contacts with sources of information, protection of sources and how to build trust.

Visar Prebreza meanwhile spoke on how to initiate research and secure information from open data platforms. He also talked about investigations into public procurement and techniques for detecting stories in this field. Finally, on day one,

Valdet Salihu, a producer at the TV programme KALLXO Pernime, gave insight into different production techniques, photographs and video footage.

The second day of the training involved activities in which the participants practiced use of techniques for fact-checking and detecting fake news, with scenarios sourced from statements and footage of public officials.

A total of 16 journalists participated in the course, including three from the Serb and Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian minority communities.

Additionally, as part of the project ““Providing a safe environment for journalists during protests”, a project funded by the European Union Office in Kosovo”, BIRN Kosovo held a training for 18 journalists and students of journalism, which aims to equip them with appropriate knowledge and practices on reporting from protests, with a special focus on violent ones.