On 29th of September at Don Bosko Centre in Tirana, 40 youngsters from Puka and Lushnja celebrated their first success on the journey to becoming leaders. They were provided with certificates which testify their commitment to the project activities including:
- Six Human Development trainings: Job search, Human Anti-trafficking, Communication Skills, Mental and Emotional Health, Different and Equal and Learning Entrepreneurship;
- Vocational Training Course;
- Work Experience;
- Voluntary Activities;
- Social and Recreational Group Activity;
On this day MWL Foundation organized an event to say a huge thank you to them for the trust that they have shown in themselves and through their commitment to the MWL Youth Program. This event was characterized by joy and enthusiasm which was the most important achievement for these youngsters when 12 months before they had no idea what to do with their lives. Now they are writing their stories of hope, joy and freedom. On this happy moment day MWL President, Imelda Poole, MWL Youth Project manager Gazmir Memaj, Head of Mobile Unit of Regional Directorate of Public Vocational Training, Arben Sinoimeri and 2 key workers in Lushnje and Puka, Shahin Petritaj and Ilirjan Lleshi were present and delivered the certificates. These youngsters are now ready to fly, 50% are employed already and they are changing their communities.
MWL Foundation has now concluded the process of creating a Safeguarding Policy to cover working with all children, beneficiaries, staff, all visitors and collaborators who come to our centres throughout the year. MWL staff was involved in this process, sharing their ideas, experiences and issues, and their contribution has aided the development of this policy.
The first training included a one day introduction to the topic for all leaders of Foundations in Albania and their protection officers. This day was sponsored by our European donors and led by ECPAT. It was held on September 5th. The following day the same ECPAT team led an introductory day regarding safeguard and protection with all the MWL staff. On Wednesday, September 20th, a training on Safeguarding and Protection was led by the lawyer employed by MWL and the main consultant for the writing of the MWL Protection document. This was with all MWL staff and was held to introduce and explain the content of the draft document already produced and to update this document with the ideas and suggestions from each member. This training day was a continuation of the first training led by ECPAT.
At this last training day for the staff of MWL, the first session was led by Egla Muzaka, a lawyer, who explained Safeguarding Policies from a legal point of view, followed by discussion and an open forum. The participants asked questions related to their daily work and they raised many issues in relation to this document and the law and the management of concrete cases according to the Albanian legislation.
The next part was an introduction to the Safeguarding Policy – Content & Guidelines, and was led by Fatmir Gjoni, the consultant for MWL. He explained the secure framework for MWL employees, as well as for all other people with whom we work. This is a safeguard promoting the welfare of those families, children, young and vulnerable people who receive our services and support. There was also an awareness process for the staff in order to understand each of their roles and responsibilities, and to ensure appropriate actions are taken in respect of the Safeguarding Policy.
Edlira Gjoni, representing Mary Ward Loreto Foundation.
The 20th International Service-Learning Conference took place on 22th- 26th August 2017, in the San Agustín Conference Hall of Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina.
The conference was organized by CLAYSS, with the support of the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) and the Ministry of Education of Argentina. It gathered teachers, heads and students from schools of all levels and modalities, as well as higher education Institutions and social organizations working with the Service Learning Approach in their work in education.
The Conference takes place within the framework of the International Service-Learning Week and it also included a Service-Learning Research Symposium, where researchers and practitioners of Service Learning share findings and evidence based recommendations for future steps in Service Learning.
The ClayssConference has been established as the most important event for experts and institutions that drive the service-learning pedagogical approach. During the event, 16 parallel workshops were organized, with participants from various experience and background in the development of service-learning practices and programs and with the participation of leading specialists from Argentina, Latin America, and other regions around the world.
For the second year, there were representatives from Central Europe (Matej Bel University in Banksa Bistrica) and for the first time in this conference, Eastern Europe was also invited to participate.
Representing Mary Ward Loreto Foundation and the new initiative on Service Learning Project in Lezha, Ms. Edlira Gjoni participated actively in all sessions of this important event on Service Learning Approach.
Ms. Gjoni participated in all actives during this week of solidarity, accountability, responsibility and new learning approach, which emphasizes the student’s learning outcome based on the service they offer to the community, making them better citizens, leaders and active in their initiative and civic engagement.
The conference is a unique opportunity of sharing and updating among those who are committed to solidarity and service learning as pedagogy. Please click here to read the full report: Service Learning Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina 22-26 August 2017.
On 11th – 14th September 2017, the Mary Ward Loreto Women Social Worker of the Advice Centre in Tirana attended a conference in Bled, Slovenia with Medaille Trust, for “Fighting Slavery-Research, Investigation and Prosecution”.
Modern slavery harms people all over the world. Modern Slavery is a big problem that can’t be ignored, but it has many important actors working to prevent and deal with M/S and H/T. At the conference 23 participated as delegates including:
- 6 UK police forces
- Albanian Police Service
- Albanian Embassy
- Polish Police Service
- Mary Ward Loreto
- Different & Equal
- Medaille Trust Stuff
The aim of the conference was to introduce perspectives on how to tackle and prevent modern slavery and human trafficking. This was by means of presenting the situations and sharing experiences which were discussed and analyzed.
In the first session of the conference, the participants shared their experiences working with law enforcement structures in investigating trafficking from different perspectives: investigation of potential trafficking cases; discussing witness protection issues; encouraging witnesses to give evidence; working in strategic partnerships and embedding tackling modern day slavery into a neighbourhood, with a policing approach. Also the following approaches were considered: the police operations in rescuing victims and tackle organized crime; developing anti-slavery partnership and working as combined forces in tackling MS/HT; speaking on their joint efforts to combat human trafficking; prosecution of the perpetrators; interviewing the victims and witnesses to gather evidence and dealing with the process in the court. Human Trafficking cases are difficult to investigate because trafficked persons don’t reveal many details of their stories. According to reported statistics, cases of trafficking in human beings in UK have increased, compared to previous years.
In the second session of the conference, Medaille Trust Staff and 2 NGO-s from Albania shared their experiences of working with victims of MS/HT in the shelter and supporting victims, helping in combating Modern Day Slavery by prevention work at the grass roots, rehabilitation of the victims and services provided for the beneficiaries.
Mary Ward Loreto Women spoke of their efforts to help vulnerable women in Albania and preventative strategies for MS/HT at the NGO level, approaches to support, updates, new trends, current issues, and the problems faced. MWLW presented as well the MWL Women Advice Centre of Tirana (MWL Women ACT), aiming to provide advice to the women in need for the problems they face, to develop a referral system, and to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives in the region and city of Tirana.
This conference was a good experience and a good opportunity to develop anti-slavery partnerships and for working as combined forces on tackling MS/HT.
Facilitators of the event:
Mr Mike Emberson: Project Director of the Medaille Trust,
Mr Ben Shepherd: Partnership Manager at the Medaille Trust,
Ms Jess Gealer: Deputy Operations Manager at the Medaille Trust
Outcomes of the event:
The delegates committed themselves to strengthen the partnerships between police forces and NGO-s around the countries.
Certificates of attendance have been distributed for the participants
The contacts list of all the delegates have been shared.
Workshop on safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, September 6th, 2017, “Majestic Hotel”, Durrës.
On 6th of September, a workshop was organised with Mary Ward Loreto staff on the topic “Safeguarding of Children and vulnerable adults”. The first session was led by Mersila Ballo, CRCA, Albania. She shared with us the protection policies for children and adults in vulnerable situations. The second session was led by Astrid Winkler, ECPAT Austria. We had the pleasure to welcome to this day our main European donors.
The aim of this workshop was to help MWL Foundation to write and to know the processes for the Safeguarding implementation plan. Safeguarding is about protecting certain people/groups of children and vulnerable adults. These people may be at risk of abuse or neglect due to the actions or lack of actions of another person or also from institutions/ authorities. The Safeguarding policy is important for the protection of children/vulnerable people, organization staff, visitors and associates, the organization and its reputation.
During the workshop, the MWL staff worked in groups on MWL safeguarding needs, concrete suggestions were made and the safeguarding implementation plan for MWL was supported with a strong framework.