The Rubbish-Picker's Wife; an unlikely friendship in Kosovo

Elizabeth Gowing

Notice Period:
Regular (more than one month's notice)
Paid: £65 plus travel expenses
23rd January 2017
Charity | Travel | Rotary | Inspiration

What happens when you find your community but it's a long way from home. The story of what I've learned with, from and about the Roma and Ashkali community over four years of working and living with them in Kosovo.

The book of the same title was published in 2015.

The talk is illustrated with some great pictures - my photographs have been exhibited at the National Gallery in Kosovo as well as in London, and published e.g. by National Geographic, The Independent.

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About Elizabeth Gowing

After working in primary education in inner London, Elizabeth Gowing moved to Kosovo in 2006. There she milked her first cow, smoked her first cigar and drank her first cup of proper coffee.

She is the co-founder of The Ideas Partnership charity working with the power of volunteers to tackle challenges in education, cultural heritage and the environment, and with a particular focus on the excluded Roma and Ashkali communities. She is the author of Travels in Blood and Honey; becoming a beekeeper in Kosovo (Signal Books, 2011), Edith and I; on the trail of an Edwardian traveller in Kosovo (Elbow Publishing, 2013), The Rubbish-Picker's Wife; an unlikely friendship in Kosovo (Elbow Publishing, 2015) and The Silver Thread; a journey through Balkan craftsmanship (Elbow Publishing, 2017).

She speaks fluent Albanian and is the translator of the biography of Yugoslavia's longest-held political prisoner, Adem Demaci, and of Hasan Prishtina's memoirs of the 1912 uprising. She is also a regular contributor to Radio 4's 'From Our Own Correspondent' programme.

In 2016 the President of Kosovo awarded her the Mother Teresa Medal for Humanitarian Work and in 2017 Prime Minister Theresa May gave her the 'Point of Light' award for volunteers around the world.

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