On February 15th MWL Men’s project organized a training, facilitated by the MWL trainer, Zana Guri, in Lushnja. The topic covered was: ‘’The Prevention of Radicalization and Extreme violence in Albania’’. 25 men aged 25 -65 years, from the Lushnje region, participated in the session.
The group was interested to know how this phenomenon could affect their families and communities and how strong this phenomena is in Albania. This session was an awareness raising meeting and each participant had the chance to reflect on their different realities and find time for insightful moments. The discussion was intense and very coherent. This meeting was a challenge in general because of patriarchy and the hidden nature of a man’s development in Albania.
The Goal of the Project: Strengthening the role of men in gender equality issues, abuse and violence, and in the promotion of development towards economic and human empowerment of men. This in itself contributes to the development of a better society in Albania. “A Good start is half of the work”,(a proverb in Albania). MWLM in the first year of implementation of this project has made big strides to accomplish the goal of the project. Human Development programmes, launched in January 2017, have broken many barriers which have been controlling the mentality created so far in the Albanian society. Hundreds of men, in different areas of Albania, have become actively engaged in the training, topics have been covered such as: Gender equality and gender based violence, addiction to alcohol and gambling, use of property and efficient use of agricultural land. presently and into the future other topics are being covered such as: Good parenting and training against human trafficking.
Besides this essential human development process for the men’s project, the development of economic empowerment of men has continued, in communities with less development opportunities, and in parallel to the human development training. In this context, dozens of men are enrolled in vocational training courses with the support of MWL. In the north of Albania training is being organised to facilitate collection treatment of medicinal plants, that are found in abundance in these areas and can be a very good self-employment opportunity for local residents. The MWLM project has also started work to organize local forums, forums where men and women will be able to discuss and address the specific problems of their community and join forces and voices to implement concrete and systemic changes in their lives…. This is just the start….
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.
Mary Ward Loreto Foundation was pleased to launch the research on the Issues and Needs of Albanian Men. This research has been led by the Mary Ward Loreto project called Mary Ward Loreto Men. A Survey of Issues and needs has been conducted in different areas of Albania. The data analysis was made by Stephen Coryelle, PhD, who gave a short presentation of the research findings during the conference. Alfred Matoshi, MWL Men Project Manager, presented his research experience in the field during eight months.
The conference was attended by more than 150 guests from all districts of Albania. Z. Arben Sinojmeri, Ministry of Social issue and Youth was present and gave a short input. The conference was also covered by the media. Participants were free to discuss in round tables the proceedings of the day. Their questions were responded to with great interest by the panel.
Mary Ward Loreto Foundation, will hold a conference on September 16th, 2016
The title is: “Challenges and Perspectives of Men in the Albanian Society”
The conference will present the findings of an eight months research which has been conducted in many regions of Albania. This research has identified the issues and the specific needs of men, the challenges which they face in being a positive example of regional development and the need for new approaches to combat the phenomena of domestic violence and gender equality.
We are pleased to invite you to participate in this event. We would like to share the findings of this study with you, and to create a platform whereby you can also exchange your thoughts and ideas with us in the development of the next steps for concrete change.
Venue: The Tirana International Hotel, Balsha Room
Date: September 16th, 2016
Time: 10:00 to 12:00 (cocktail included)