4 October 2022/
WBF Executive Director, Dr Murra, held a keynote speech on the occasion of the reception of the 5th Anniversary of the Western Balkans Fund.
The speech that concluded the festivities was delivered in front of distinguished guests, high officials, ambassadors, representatives of diplomatic missions, partners, friends and beneficiaries of WBF interventions in the Region.
Dear Madam Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, Ms Fino,
Dear Members of the Parliament
Dear Excellencies, Ambassadors and representatives of the Diplomatic Missions in Tirana
Dear Members of the WBF’s Committee of Senior Officials
Thank you for being here, at a special moment of Western Balkans Fund life.
Five years might not be a long time, but it has been enough to make many good activities, enhancing Reconciliation and Cooperation in the Region.
Indeed, in five years, WBF counts more than 100 successfully projects, more than 4.500 stakeholders and 20 thousand direct beneficiaries.
Within this year, WBF will announce the support for 36 more projects, part of the 5th Call for Proposals, co-funded by the European Union.
We are also especially proud of WBF’s growing advocacy role and its outreach, but I am sure, that the best is yet to come!
What makes us strong is the idea that backs us. The concept of Reconciliation and Regional Cooperation at large scale.
What makes us firm and determined to persevere is the trust of our Contracting Parties and many precious partners.
What inspires us are the hundreds if not thousands of people that we meet each year to congratulate and help make their dreams a reality.
This is why, when I see the future of the Western Balkans Fund, I dare to see an organisation that outgrows its initial purpose.
I see an organisation that will become, even more, and evermore, the Hub of all the grassroots organisations and many other newcomers and stakeholders who seek assistance in their quest to impact Regional Cohesion and Cooperation for good.
I see an organisation able to launch multiple Calls for Proposals each year, just like we managed to do this last year.
I see an organisation with an extensive portfolio of tailor-made interventions able to support researchers, students, academic exchanges, women, mothers, media, minorities, and many other noble causes.
Ladies and Gentleman
Today, we celebrate the success of our many partners and friends, starting with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Region, our founding fathers.
We celebrate European Union wisdom and a trust thanks to the wonderful projects that help build the European Western Balkans day after day.
Sincere gratitude to the Swiss and Japanese Governments, supporting our growth and transition to an organisation able to support the needs of Civil Society all year round.
And special thanks to our precious partners, V 4 Group and International Visegrad Fund, Peace Nexus and many other.
You are an integral part of our success story!
If I have to mention the 2 strongest pillars of WBF, in my view they are:
- The positive and partnership spirit of our Governing Bodies!
- The WBF staff!
A brilliant group of young professionals for whom, the success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what we do.
That’s why I would like to conclude by to sincerely thank WBF staff, for being much more than distinguished professionals in their field and for putting all their hearts and minds in the mission of WBF.
Please give them an applause, while I Call each by name in stage for a family picture.