The Second and Final Day of BE DRIN Final Event concluded the project today in Shkoder, Albania.

22nd september 2017 - The second and final day of Be Drin Final Event closed today in Shkoder, Albania. To recap the activities of the three operational work packages, representatives of implementing organizations, beneficiary organizations and stakeholders participated in panel interviews for each work packages, focusing not only on what went well but also on the aspects that could be refined and made more efficient in future projects and initiatives.

Field exercises were recognized as the most engaging activities of the project, but trainings were also widely appreciated and the beneficiaries organizations that declared their intention to be certified as EUAV hosting organizations strongly reaffirmed their commitment in this regard. After two years of work together, it seemed strange not to have further activities to look forward to, but everyone recognized that the close cooperation had served also to set up the basis for future development and for a widening of partnerships.

Be Drin Final Meeting

21st september 2017 - During the greetings from authorities Shemci Prenci, Director of DGCE, pointed out the benefits and acknowledged the mutual cooperation that marked every step of the work. Shkoder Prefect, Paulin Radovani, and the Mayor of Shkoder, Arben Gjuraj, remarked on the importance of the activities that took place in their areas, while Mustaf Gashi, EMA’s Director, spoke of future goals and expectations that opened up as a result of the project’s work.

The event continued with a microtraining directed at civil protection volunteers from all the organizations attending and aimed at ensuring a basic understanding of the role of communication in civil protection activities. In particular, volunteers were asked to work at an exercise that took them along the banks of the Drin river, at spots featuring significant hydrogeological risk. Their task: to work together to construct a picture map of the sites that would provide decision makers with visual information about local conditions. The training also highlighted the correct use of communication tools in civil protection and how to avoid common mistakes that might compromise the credibility of the organizations and institutions involved in civil protection work.

In a weather that seemed “made-to-order” for the task, volunteers split up in groups and worked out a “storymapping” they would later present and discuss. Also featured on this first day of the final event was a group discussion on the interaction between volunteering and civil protection.

The last round of certification meetings with EMA (Emergency Management Agency) was successfully completed today in Pristina, Kosovo*.

Italian experts from Italian Red Cross and ANPAS provided final clarifications and explanations on certification forms and procedures, while the three representatives From EMA confirmed with conviction their commitment to becoming a certified EUAV hosting organization and made sure they had a clear in-depth understanding of all requirements, pointing out also wide convergence of principles with Kosovo* laws and regulations.


EMA intends to proceed with application in the near future and looks forward to implementing effective participation to the EUAV initiative as hosting organization.

*This designation is without prejudice to position on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

Be Drin certification meeting in Kosovo

A series of exercises related to the Be Drin project will take place in Albania and Kosovo during the first fifteen days of July.

The exercises will be related to both the flood risk in the selected areas (Shkoder in Albania and Malisheva in Kosovo*) and the interaction between international personnel and local organisations.
A team of 18 experts coming from Italy, Hungary and Romania will coordinate the exercises and supervise the scenarios; on the player side, the exercises will involve the  volunteers of the Volunteer Center for Civil Emergencies (QVEC), the Albanian Red Cross, the Kosovo* Emergency Management Agency, the Kosovo Red Cross Organisations, Firefighters, Police and the Municipality of Malisheva.
On Sunday, July 2nd  2017, a first exercise will take place in Shkoder, involving the QVEC and the Albanian Red Cross, related to the set up of an emergency shelter area, a non-food items distribution point, the raising of water barriers and the simulated emergency evacuation of tourists trapped in a bus crash, in addition to a search and rescue action of a missing person.
The day after, the scenario will change: 3 international assessment teams will work in Shkoder in order to define procedures for long term deployments, supported by the QVEC, identifying potential risks (both in town and along the river) and defining a plan of action for future disaster risk reduction activities.

Exercise in Albania, July 2017

In Kosovo the operational phase will start on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017, for two days, after a last coordination meeting on July the 7th.
A local planning group composed by:
- the Municipality of Malisheva (vice-president and director of municipal directorates)
- media officer
- private sector
- police station
- fire-brigade and rescue unit
- Red Cross branch
are the players for both the phases.
The exercise in Kosovo is split in two phases.
A tabletop exercise for decision-makers and policy group, with the objective to enhance local incident commander capability and provide a strong policy group support in case of disaster.
And a field exercise aimed to test response capabilities in surface search and rescue, relief, evacuation and sheltering procedures, registration, psycho-social services and other campsite services.
The action in Kosovo will take place in the town of Malisheva.
The work package is coordinated by the Italian Civil Protection Department, activities are managed by the Italian and Romanian Red Cross with scenario manager, observer and support personnel come from ANPAS, CIMA Foundation, CISOM and Hungarian MALTAI.

*This designation is without prejudice to position on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

First round of meetings for the final certification workshop: ended on April 28th the appointment in Pristina, Kosovo

The second meeting with Balkan partners devised to strengthen the understanding of EUAV certification process and requirements in view of application submission was held on April 27th-28th in Pristina, Kosovo*.

The meeting was dedicated to EMA (Emergency Management Agency), the Kosovar partner committed to become a EUAV hosting organization. The Italian experts shared materials and practical suggestions from their direct experiences in volunteer management and project management and EMA worked to strengthen their understanding of the requirements of EUAV certification and the processes that govern EU Aid volunteers deployment.

Be Drin in Pristina

During the meeting we had also the chance to identify possible dates to hold field exercises for testing the response capacities of EMA in emergency and rescue situations.

You can find more information by following the Facebook page of the Be Drin project or Twitter account @BeDrinProject or by monitoring the hashtag #euaidvolunteers #TrainingBeDrin. On Flickr you will find photos taken during the training days.

*This designation is without prejudice to position on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

BE DRIN “Mirusha Exercise” in Kosovo* July 2017

Be Drin "Mirusha" Exercise in Kosovo* ended on July 12th and was cause for considerable satisfaction for all participants.

Be Drin in Kosovo

The Emergency Management Agency (EMA), the agency responsible in Kosovo for civil protection activities, demonstrated its capability in strengthening preparedness at the municipal level by putting together a very effective team that was able to organize an interesting two-day exercize in an area (Mirusha, in Malisheva Municipality) where no activities of this kind had ever taken place before. Drawing also from trainings and activities from the Be Drin project, EMA showed its strong commitment to analyzing objectives and to emergency planning, through the integration of diverse actors: rescue bodies, volunteering organizations, the private sector and institutional actors.

Be Drin in Kosovo

The exercise saw high participation of local organized volunteering (Kosovo Red Cross Organisations) and the effective integration within the activity of young people from Malisheva Municipal Youth Center.

The experienced European volunteers that took part in the activity were selected from a large pool of volunteers that represent one of the strengths of the BE DRIN consortium. As they demonstrated many times before, the volunteers brought to bear a very solid, experienced approach and a willingness to support and instruct that was valued by the beneficiaries.

Given the enthusiastic feedback received by volunteers who took part in previous activities, the Be Drin consortium has decided to strengthen internal and external communication efforts and much attention has been devoted to producing dissemination materials to be used, not only by the consortium but also by beneficiaries, in furthering promotion of the activities that have been made possible by the EUAV Initiative. The aim is to ensure that sustainable processes of exploitation of positive results can be put into play and to reinforce and extend as much as possible the project benefits.

*This designation is without prejudice to position on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

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9/20th February Live from Tirana - Needs Assessment Team in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia