Introduction for Summer Newsletter, No. 10.
Just now, thanks to our newly appointed development officer, we have presented the last six months report (cf www.albaniahope.com). This is filled with data and information of the incredible work of MWL staff who work tirelessly in every aspect of the mission in Albania against human trafficking, a pandemic in our world today, enslaving millions of people. What have been the struggles throughout this short period? What are the blocks to progress in MWL’s work of prevention, awareness raising, direct action, advocacy, and campaigning against human trafficking?….
Introduction for Easter Newsletter
It seems appropriate that this introduction is being written on March 8th, the day when we remember human rights for women all over the world. This morning nearly all of the MWL staff were engaged in women’s rights events, even the men! The march was led by many women but also men took a leadership role, working for human rights for all. Together we can make such a difference…. Please click here to read the MWL Newsletter No.9 in English.
At the end of this year Mary Ward Loreto will be moving into the 5th Anniversary of the Foundation. We are preparing to celebrate this time of achievement with significant events, in which we hope you will participate, in every way possible. We are grateful as we look back at the many new beginnings over these years, lessons learnt and fruitful action achieved in many rural and isolated regions of Albania. It is a time for rejoicing, of wonder and expectation. It is in the midst of great poverty experienced that the mission is unfolding. It is truly incredible how people, with very little, can find hope and new life. The ability to break through their boundaries and find personal achievement, new skills and growth into a fuller experience of life and freedom, is truly remarkable for so many of the beneficiaries. For this and many other gifts we are very grateful.
As we move forward into this anniversary year in celebration and hope, we will continue to break through our boundaries, with new projects in ‘’Service Learning in Education’’ and ‘’Learning, Practicing and Influencing Integrity Fellowship’’ in partnership with one of the municipalities in Lezhe. All the MWL projects are exploring new ways for ensuring human and economic empowerment for the many. Strategies for systemic change in the confrontation of patriarchy and the many areas of abuse committed against so many, is a priority. This newsletter has a different format which we hope you will find more interesting to read and share with others. We hope the home page gives you a more comprehensive outline of our news over these past few months.
This year of celebration reminds us again that new life is achieved by the many and that however small this may be, together we can make a difference. Happy Christmas to you all and Peace and joy for the New Year. Imelda Poole IBVM (President MWL)
There is an Albanian saying: ‘Welcome is the best dish on the table’. Over the last month I have been the recipient of wonderful hospitality in many places and for this and always, for any person travelling, we are forever grateful. Throughout this time conversations have been flowing around innumerable tables, seeing beauty in the natural world in which we live, local story-telling, reminiscing and frequently joining the rest of the world in trying to find a solution to painful world issues. This week I am back to another reality here in Albania and have travelled to Saranda; here there is a stunning sea coast that is open to thousands of tourists every year. As in many other tourist parts of Albania, Mary Ward Loreto Women are extremely busy making crafts to be sold in the tourist markets as a way of welcoming the stranger to these shores and for economic empowerment. The question is: why are some of the most famous markets at heritage centres closed for these and many other industrious sellers who want to make Albania more welcoming by the beauty created at the hands of the people? In Butrint the British Foundation wrote in their contract that the local people were to be engaged in this centre. They desired this involvement as a matter of justice and to share local culture with the tourists. We have an election in two weeks. Is the nose in the ground by decision makers? Every year there is some problem created until eventually the markets are open – too late- but trade goes on. We continue to talk, to puzzle about such injustice.
Wishing you a very happy Summer time!
Imelda Poole IBVM (President MWL)
Albania is surrounded by mountains which cover 60% of its surface and which wondrously embrace the landscape no matter where you travel. Whilst writing the next 5 year strategic plan, MWL staff went to Mount Dajti which remained our home for the week. It was an awesome experience driving higher and higher to this place, sensing the power of these naturally immense and mighty structures enveloping the landscape. How many reflective people choose this place to be silent, to stop and gaze and wonder and stare? Our plans emerged during the time we spent in the midst of such beauty and such majesty. We climbed and walked around, stood and gazed with wonder; we experienced ice storms, snow and rain, cold, heat and sun, all in one week. Did it make us stop and stare? We like to think that the creativity and dreams realized were the fruit of such wonder!
The following stories, events, trainings and activities say a little of what went before this event and we hope you have the time to stop and listen and wonder a little at the courage of many.
Wishing you all a very Happy Easter!
Imelda Poole (President MWL)