Melania Trump honored Feride Rushiti in name of State Department as Courageous woman

Melania Trump and Feride Rushimit
Melania Trump and Feride Rushimit

 Yesterday, at the US Department of State, was held the ceremony of the award of the International Award for Courageous Women, among which is the director of the Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture in Kosovo, Feride Rushiti. 

Among the 10 women from around the world, whom the US Department of State honors each year with the International Award for Courageous Women, this year is also  a woman from Kosovo. She is Feride Rushiti, Director of the Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims. This year the award was shared by Deputy Secretary of State John O'Sullivan and the First Lady Melania Trump. This prestigious award that began in 2007 honors women who have shown special courage and leadership in protecting human rights, women's rights and social progress, often endangering themselves. Feride Rushiti, with a medical profession, began her humanitarian work initially with refugees: men, women and children traumatized by war: many lost they loved ones, others are forced by the war to abandon their family home; she offered psychological help to anxiety-stricken people.

"My experience with the displaced people was in Kukes, Tirana and Durres. I was a medical student at that time where I was doing specialization and I met women who had lost their children, parents who lost their loved ones, but most of all, I met women who had experienced physical and psychological violence  during the war." she said in an interview to Voice of America in Albanian.

The Kosovo war left 10,000 killed and over 5,000 missing, many of which were found in mass graves in Serbia. Even the fate of over 1, 600 people is unknown. Families are still hoping to find the bones of their loved ones so they can have a grave. With the end of the war, body wounds were cured, but not those of the soul ... Many people needed immediate medical and psychological assistance, among them a large number of girls and women, victims of rape. Their physical maltreatment were followed by psychological trauma. Precisely to these women and girls who were often prejudiced by their family members and became victims of the society's stigma, Feride Rushiti tried to treat the wounds of their soul. This became her mission in life ...

"Of course, when sharing experiences with them made me understand that I had to think beyond my profession as doctor. I had to be their voice and from that moment and on, I continued to be the voice of these women. The experience of these women, the power they find to live after all the suffering they have suffered, has made me strong, close to them and offering them day-to-day help, whether in Pristina or in places where they are in need."

In free Kosovo, Ferid was among the doctors who recognized the need for treating psychological trauma and became the founder of creating an organization that would provide medical, psychological and legal assistance to victims of torture, women and men. With much effort, often opposing the prejudice of society in Kosovo, the feeling of mistrust of the victims themselves and bureaucracy of officials, Feride Rushiti became founder and executive director of the Center for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims. Today, this center provides assistance to over 400 torture victims.

"For years we have been close to the community, we tried to offer to the victims psychological, social, legal, economic empowerment programs; Of course, we have also tried to make changes in state policies; for 20 years we have been able to finally recognize the status of victims of sexual violence, a matter which for years has been taboo and kept silent by Kosovo society. For 15 years, this issue has not been addressed at all by the institutions of the country, but thanks to the close cooperation of other non-governmental organizations, with the readiness of politicians, President Jahjaga and woman deputies, we have achieved these women's status in Kosovo society, to be legally recognized and start receiving the first material compensation, ie to have a pension."

Pension means hte recognition of their suffering, recognition of the past of these women to make them more powerful to face the challenges of life; recognition from society and the state of their painful stories.

Ferid says that the award she was honored is in fact dedicated to torture and sexual violence victims.

"Beyond that is the award that recognizes the 20-year work, it is dedicated to women who have so far been silent in the society, so I dedicate this award to them. For many years, they remained silent, remained humble, blamed for a crime they were not responsible for, and they will already be powerful, thanks to the cooperation we have with other organizations and we will try to further give them their voices to be heard in every cel of life," she said.
Melania Trump honored Feride Rushiti in name of State Department as Courageous woman Melania Trump honored Feride Rushiti in name of State Department as Courageous woman Sunday, March 25, 2018 Rating: 5
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