Each 5th of September marks the celebration of Saint Teresa’s Sanctification Day in Albania. Mother Teresa officially became “Saint Teresa of Kolkata” on the 5th of September 2016, which was 19 years to the day after her passing in 1997.
Saint Teresa Sanctification Day is considered a public holiday, which is a highly significant event for the people of Albania.
Born in Skopje, Macedonia in 1910, Mother Teresa’s given name was Anjeza Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. Mother Teresa held Indian citizenship and founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta in 1950. For almost 50 years she ministered to the dying, orphaned, sick, and poor in India and also in other countries.
Albanians do not work on this day. While Albania does not have an official religion and considers all religions equal, the people are proud of the legacy that Saint Teresa left as a Catholic nun. On this day, many Albanians attend mass to celebrate Saint Teresa’s memory. They also pray novenas asking for help from the Saint for their problems or causes.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta is a link of Albania with the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation. She became a Loreto nun in 1928 and served in the Loreto mission in India for twenty years before founding her own congregation “The Missionaries of Charity”. Now Mary Ward’s Congregation serves in every continent in the world, mainly through the mission of education and justice, enabling people to reach the potential which they were created to achieve.
Mother Teresa spent 20 years as a Loreto Sister. All through her life the ties and friendship between herself and the Institute remained firm, and she was personally known to many of our sisters, especially in India. Much has been written about Mother Teresa over the years, and many books, films and documentaries have been produced.
For more info please read the booklet of Saint Teresa of Calcutta:
The award ceremony took place on March 15 in Bristol. The short film competition was announced by the organisation Unchosen who use the power of film in fight against-modern slavery.
“Ivan died at the age of 48, at the consequences of the disease less than two years after his rescue. It was on February 7, 2016 – the eve of Saint Bakhita´s Day, the patron of trafficked victims….”
See the winning film:
She is a mother of two teenage sons and a married daughter. Thanks to her many strong qualities: her courage, her fearlessness to cope with the judgments of the community where she lives and her family’s judgments , economic problems, different governmental and non governmental institutional challenges in accessing the necessary services ,she denounced her abusive husband and decided to divorce. She said ‘No’ to domestic violence and abuse .Her husband was inprisoned because of the domestic violence but within a few days he will be released from prison.
MWL has referred her case to the Social Services in Fier’s Municipality and in collaboration with other governmental and non governmental institutions, the life of this courageous woman and her son took a different path. She chose to live far away from living every minute, every day with the fear of losing her life instead she has now chosen to live in a shelter. She feels safe and released from anxiety and panic.
MWL also followed up her case with counselling, giving relevant information and engaging her in a free tailoring course.
As we know this is the fifth year of the MWL Foundation in Albania. During these years we have encountered big challenges and especially the fact that Albania has a population experiencing years of transition. This is not easy. The mission of the MWL Foundation is wide-ranging and includes tackling problems which are blocking change in Albania in the movement towards growth and new life.
The MWL focus is to stop the phenomenon of trafficking by helping people to realise their potential and the values and talents which they have through economic and social empowerment. Being the first Foundation to deal with the broader work in rural and vulnerable areas of the country, it has taken much hard work and, of course, more funding. Our geographic extent has also had a great impact, especially in the vulnerable and isolated areas of the country. This is a potential that has made us closer to these people through inclusive projects that have influenced the integration and strengthening of our focus groups. Collaboration and partnerships have been welded with many and this has helped MWL in the work to eliminate human trafficking in Albania. This needs to be further consolidated to reach an even better result in this focused work of the MWL mission.
Challenges faced that have been part of this journey have been: the registration process, coping with failures of the state, the challenge of funding and domestic donors, the work to achieve cooperation with the local authorities, finding the right partnerships, the country’s culture, geography, lack of education and the isolation in the rural areas. Despite all of these challenges and because of the excellence achieved by this foundation and the strength of the team, MWL has taken the risk to develop the work even further. It is hoped that in the following years Albania will alleviate poverty where they work and Human Trafficking will be a phenomenon of history.
On February 21st MWL foundation organized a training on Emotional Intelligence for the staff members of the MWL Foundation. This training was held at MWL office in Tirana and lead by the MWL staff trainer, Zana Guri. Working on Emotional Intelligence is part of an investment process for the MWL foundation in order to enable its employees to reach their full potential, increase their capacity and improve their leadership abilities.
An introduction related to the role of emotions in our daily life was one of the dimensions that initially opened up the dynamic of the group. This training was characterized by strong self-reflection and self-awareness moments. Feedback from the MWL staff, during the training session, was very energetic and they showed a curiosity to know more about this subject. They showed a desire to improve their emotional intelligence on a personal level and also as a leader to help in their professional development.