Albania Mission Against
Human Trafficking

MARY WARD LORETO is planting hope with a human rights approach to combating modern day slavery. This challenging mission is implemented through works of justice, education, grass roots action and systemic change. The aim is to eradicate poverty, the prime cause for human trafficking.

Monthly Archives: March 2017

On Monday, the 6th of March 2017, our Mary Ward visitor, Mary Agnes, assisted in a “Communication Skills” training for the youth of Fier, hosted at “Janaq Kilica” Highschool. The training of youth on this topic is part of the Human Development Training Program developed by Mary Ward Loreto Youth in 15 areas of the country.

Fier is proclaimed to be one of the main sources of traffickers and victims of Human Trafficking, which makes it a priority destination of our field work. 50+ pupils of the High school received information on different types of communication, social media, its impacts, etc., emphasizing the continuous need to improve their inner-communication skills.

Through many group dynamics and games, they were also introduced to techniques which they can apply themselves, to enhance their communication and be aware of possible conflicts it might cause. Mary Agnes stayed with us throughout the day and learnt more about our grass-roots work and about our targeted youth. This meeting was followed by her visit to Lushnje, where she was introduced to the MWL Focus Group. This short visit enabled her direct contact with the terrain and with the youngsters, their problems and the opportunities given to them as part of MWL Youth project.

Bureaucracy, lack of information and facilities, these are the main reasons that farmers around Albania do not have their property documents. This means they cannot use the land to develop agriculture and this fact disempowers them and their families. Travelling in very remote villages during the research process, especially when we had the interview face to face with the men, we saw, besides the desperate poverty, a lot of “abandoned” land and resources left to one side.

According to the recommendation of the research “ challenges and Perspectives of Men in the Albanian Society” MWL, has started a process of training with these men regarding to the property registration process, and pushing them to see the potential progress that they can achieve, if they use their existing resources in the proper way.

During January and February, 200 men have participated in these training organized by MWL and led by specialist in their field in Lezha, Shkodra and Puka. We are very pleased to receive so quickly, a feedback from our collaborators in these areas. There has been an unusual increase of applications from the farmers to the office of properties (in one area, 80% increase compared to the last year).

Also we had invitations from villages and areas to help even them in this process, facilitating and explaining with a specialist all these complicated procedures.

Sr Imelda PooleIBVM. Photo: © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

Ambassador to the Holy See, H.E. Ms. Sally Axworthy reflects on the work of Sister Imelda Poole, IBVM, President of RENATE Europe, in celebration of International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2017. Sister Imelda Poole heads a network of European religious fighting trafficking and exploitation (RENATE). As such, she is a key ally for the UK’s Prime Minister’s goal of eradicating modern slavery. When she was 13, Imelda spent a week praying that she would never become a nun. But a few years later, she met the sisters from the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) and was impressed by their wholesome lives. She, as she puts it, fell in love with Christ, and joined the IBVM.

The IBVM is one of the two orders whose founder is Mary Ward (see Monday’s profile of Jane Livesey). Like the Congregation of Jesus, the IBVM follow the spirituality of Saint Ignatius Loyola, including his Spiritual Exercises which help the individual discern his or her calling in the world. Full feature is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/fighting-modern-slavery

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

MWL attends the conference on “Strengthening Community Police in Albania”, SCPA Programme Tirana, 24th February 2017

The SCPA programme, supported by the Swedish Government focuses on providing assistance to the police force and its role in the Albanian community. The programme launched its second phase on the 24th of February in Tirana. The main goal of the programme is to increase trust and partnership between police and communities in Albania.

This goal is expected to be achieved through three main components on the programme, which are: 1- Direct support to two Police Directorates 2- Support to strategic management 3- Support to fight domestic violence in Albania

Whilst the first two components are linked to support at institutional level, on the third component, various trainings will be delivered to the police force regarding domestic violence complexities and dealings, assistance to shelters, prevention and mediation activities. The activities of the third component will be supported by the Grants Scheme, which accompanies programme partners or implementers who will be selected in various stages of the programme. More than 150 police officers, diplomats and civil society activists participated in this important programme launching event, attended also by the Minister and Deputy Ministers of Interior Affairs in Albania, as well as the Ambassador of Sweden to Albania and other high officials in the country. The second phase of the programme has a total budget of 3.3 million Euros and it will last for three years.

Edlira Gjoni (Mary Ward Loreto Women Board)