Tustbuilders in Digital Innovation:The VocUp Platform's Journey

Category: Blog
Organizations: Voc Up

In this article, we explore the inspiring journey of another first-year winner of the Kosovo Trust Builder Award, the VocUp Platform in Digital Innovation. VocUp is not just a language learning tool; it's a pioneering digital innovation platform dedicated to promoting equality and unity among the people of Kosovo. Through our interview, we discover how VocUp integrates values such as language rights, gender equality, environmental awareness, and cultural tolerance into their language learning modules.

Can you tell us more about the value system that your team has created through your digital innovation platform?

When we came up with the idea to create the VocUp language learning platform, we were certain that it shouldn't just be an online language learning tool, but above all a place that brings together all those who believe in equality among people. The goal we set for ourselves was not only for someone (who was not enabled by the institutions) to acquire language skills, but to humanize people living alongside us who don't speak our language.

We live in the digital age. It's not an isolated part of each of our lives; it's an integral part of us. Information, emotions, fears, love, hate, joy, sadness... we consume and exchange all of these through the digital world. That's why VocUp was a challenge. The recipe is quite simple. We address all our values, from language rights, gender equality, raising environmental awareness, culture, and tolerance through the lens of language learning. For example, how to say "stop violence." Today, with full responsibility, I can say that VocUp has become a social phenomenon in Kosovo because it has been shown that people who want to learn the language of their neighbors, almost in immense numbers, are individuals with a high sensitivity to the violation of any progressive right.

What does receiving the Kosovo Trustbuilding Award mean to your team?

It's an understatement to say that we're proud, and we rarely miss an opportunity to boast about such a significant award. Its importance lies in several aspects.

First we received it from our colleagues, people who believe in the same values as us, which is a huge satisfaction for us.

Next, such an initiative is supported by the mission of the world's largest authority - the United Nations, which imposes a great responsibility on us for further work.

However, perhaps the greatest significance for us lies in the name of this award.

To receive recognition for building trust at a time when distrust is being created almost systematically is proof to us that we are on the side of humanity.

In your opinion, how does digital innovation contribute to promoting inter-ethnic dialogue and reconciliation in Kosovo?

Digital content contributes to the formation of relationships among people just as much as the digital world has entered each of us—fundamentally. By this, I mean both positive and negative content, or rather, well-intentioned and ill-intentioned. People communicate on the internet every day, and they make up that digital world. It's impossible to understand the relationship between communities without considering what happens online. In a post-conflict society like Kosovo, this is particularly pronounced. Therefore, the significance of digital innovations in promoting civilizational values, a culture of dialogue, and reconciliation in Kosovo is enormous.

What inspired you and your team to focus on creating a platform that encourages learning another language and promotes cultural exchange?

It doesn't take much wisdom to notice that language barriers are one of the greatest obstacles among people in Kosovo. Because of this, we don't know much about each other even though we constantly deal with it. This doesn't mean that a language learning platform has the power to erase differences, not even to change our attitude towards the past or the future. However, it does provide an opportunity for people to start talking. They, not their representatives. We don't know what our songs are about, what we fear, what makes us laugh... Whether it helps you shop at the market, expand your circle of friends, increase your chances in business, or allows you to consume another culture... language is an ally.