CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO
History was made on Saturday, 14 December 2013, when 52 young Kosovars aged between 18-21 years were seated in the amphitheater of the Technical University of Pristina to take the first ever amateur radio exam under the new laws of the Republic of Kosovo.
To everyone’s great delight, fifty (50) of them walked away as new amateur radio operators qualifying for a U.S. General level license. The administrators were not yet prepared to receive higher class exams as procedures are now in place only to take the equivalent of U.S. General or CEPT Novice exams. The procedural framework is set to follow the U.S. structure, and several ARRL manuals were given to the national association for Amateur Radio in Kosovo (SHRAK) as well as to the Telecom administrators – thanks to the ARRL for their kind support.
IARU Region 1 President Hans, PB2T and Martti, OH2BH of Project Goodwill Kosovo were working earlier on Saturday with the Exam Commission to help with adjustments made to new question pools. They also attended the opening ceremony and were present overseeing the actual exam. The administrators wished the students good luck and emphasized to the future hams their role as representatives of their newborn country.
It was an historical and emotional event in many ways, more than doubling the amateur radio population of the country. Another encouraging sign was that the young Kosovars were genuinely excited about this great passion, and many had already made numerous friends and QSOs using a virtual ham radio simulator — www.hamsphere.com/ — the potential of which should be fully explored as another tool providing fair start-up motivation.
Assessing the overall weekend, PB2T and OH2BH felt strongly that the whole amateur radio community ought to have the pleasure of welcoming these young people during this Christmas. As the exam/license cost is 50 EUR (70 USD) per person, a major expense for today’s youth in Kosovo, radio amateurs worldwide are invited to help the new hams with this entry level cost, and in return obtain personal details and a picture of their “grandchild” in amateur radio.
PayPal is set up at www.qrz.com/db/Z60A for transfering potential funds. Fifteen (15) license donations are already pledged by organizations including Daily DX, Yasme Foundation, DX University, European DX Foundation, DX World.net and ClubLog.
You have the option of giving a personal gift to catch the Christmas spirit and to become a godfather in Amateur Radio.
Please kindly inform Hans, PB2T at president[at]eudxf.eu or Martti, OH2BH at oh2bh[at]sral.fi of your desire to help.
Let your Happy Christmas be extended to these young Kosovars. Season’s Greetings and Thank You!