Center for Equality and Liberty (CEL)
What is CEL?
The Center for Equality and Freedom of the LGBT Community in Kosovo (CEL) was established in July 2013 to strengthen the LGBT community in Kosovo.
CEL prevents discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, raises awareness of the general population about LGBT rights and advocates for equal rights and non-discrimination of the LGBT community in Kosovo in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Kosovo. CEL came into existence as a response to the continued discrimination, stigmatization and prejudice of society towards LGBT persons and the protection of LGBT people in Kosovo
To date, CEL has sought to become a driving force behind the establishment of a progressive, diverse and tolerant society in Kosovo towards the LGBT community; a motivator for changing traditional social constructs and a support system for ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all. CEL has also sought to strengthen the legal framework for LGBT people in Kosovo, as well as to increase the participation of LGBT people in relevant international and regional mechanisms and projects beneficial to the community and society at large. Despite being a fairly new organization,
The highest governing body of the CEL is the board of directors which consists of five members. In addition to key staff directly involved in program implementation, CEL provides a number of external consultants and has a wide network of LGBTI activists and volunteers who are directly involved in CEL programs and initiatives.
LGBTIQ + communities and individuals are extremely diverse and face a number of commonalities and specific health issues and social inclusion. Therefore, CEL understands that members of the LGBTIQ + Communities may need support when faced with a potentially wide range of circumstances and emotions.
From issues that come out and discrimination, harassment, violence, anxiety, depression or other health concerns, abuse and other crises, CEL aims to provide the support LGBTIQ + people need.
From issues that come out and discrimination, harassment, violence, anxiety, depression or other health concerns, abuse and other crises, CEL aims to provide the support LGBTIQ + people need. Thus, through the Support Program, CEL works to ensure that LGBTI + persons have access to a safe and non-judgmental space, understand and access psychosocial assistance and legal aid services including: individual support, support groups individual counseling, and allies support groups, discussion groups, free legal aid, housing, and other community resources. In addition to its CEL activity within the support program, CEL provides support and connects LGBTIQ + people to build a support network for sharing experiences. As well,
Capacity Building Program
All the way through the CEL Capacity Building Program, she works with LGBTIQ + people to enhance their skills, knowledge and confidence. The capacity building program during a transformative learning experience empowers LGBTIQ + people. By offering programs, coaching and mentoring, and engagement opportunities where they can acquire essential skills, including leadership development and leadership skills, LGBTIQ + people can become active contributors to vibrant LGBTIQ + communities in Kosovo and elsewhere. Moreover, by empowering LGBTIQ + people, they are able to develop communities and influence policy processes. CEL also works in partnership with others to build strong, cohesive and impactful LGBTIQ + communities. In addition to working with LGBTIQ + people, CEL develops programs and works with young people and other non-LGBTIQ + actors to increase their understanding of LGBTI issues and rights. CEL trains social service providers, government agencies,
Program Advocacy And Activation
The Advocacy and Activism Program highlights efforts across the country to educate, train, listen and inspire citizens of all genders to grow as compassionate voices for change and support for LGBTIQ + communities. By guiding and developing a new generation of LGBTIQ + activists, they are strengthening the LGBTIQ + movement.
As they educate the public about LGBTIQ + issues, they mobilize communities, advance policy initiatives and laws, and work with political leaders and decision-makers throughout Kosovo to improve the legal framework, promote equality and justice for LGBTIQ + people. Through its advocacy work and policy-making processes, CEL specifically requires that LGBTIQ + people hear and play key roles in shaping and influencing policies and laws that affect them. In this context, CEL works with and collaborates with relevant institutions and stakeholders to ensure that all LGBTIQ + human rights are protected so that LGBTIQ + people can lead meaningful lives.See more