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.

On the 2nd of October, 20 men from Golem village in Lushnje participated in a training on Positive Parenting. This group was very dynamic and diverse; men that are already parents, young adults that are planning to have families, and 2 mothers attended. The group was open to discuss their problems with parenting and, with the help of our training materials, they realized why they were struggling to feel joy in parenthood and how to better communicate with their children. This training introduced them to positive discipline technique which we believe will better their experience empower them to be even better parents.

 

Last week, 10 men from Iballe village in Puka attended a training on Gender Based Violence. This gathering was full of emotional testimony and meaningful and difficult discussion. For the first time in our years of delivering this training, the men had the courage to speak truthfully about the reality of the situation and gave arguments as to why harmful traditional behaviors are still justified and embraced by communities. The training helped draw the men’s attention to the long-term consequences of domestic violence and gender-based violence in the wellbeing of not only the individual but also the family as a unit. The methodology used was selected very carefully in order to show empathy for our beneficiaries and to make them aware of the complex nature of the phenomenon. We discussed cases where they themselves could be victims of gender based violence, helped build their knowledge about the cycle of violence, and taught them how to improve their relationships in their families and take the first step towards change.

 

 

October is the month of awareness raising against human trafficking and modern slavery. The Youth Project of Mary Ward Loreto had an awareness session for the youth of Sejfulla Maleshova school in Kelcyre, about 4 hours away from Tirana.

Collaboration with school leaders has been ongoing for 3 years, and we enjoy our work each time we return to the school.

31 high school students from last year took part in the training. Some of them participated in this training when they were in their first year and remembered information about this phenomenon, making the training more active and dynamic for students participating for the first time. The interaction during the 1 hour training, with the information and exercises, allowed them to share their community experiences with real-life experiences of exploitation victims.

High school: Sejfulla Maleshova, Kelcyrë.

 

This is our 4th year collaborating with the Sejfullla Maleshova high school. The youngsters there are eager to learn more. This training highlighted the effects of overused social media on the wellbeing of teenagers and the high risk of becoming a victim of the human trafficking phenomenon from the lack of smart-management of social media.

35 youngsters were present in this training and were provided with techniques of how to take care when using technology and social media.

The last exhibition held in Puka’s House of Culture was in 1991. This house was named during the communist regime and for the last 27 years nothing new or innovative has been found in the house, only a few old statues and pieces of furniture covered in a thick layer of dust.

70% of Puka’s population has left and when asked about their future, a majority of those still left are planning to move.

Picture 1, the new square of the city

Due to a large amount of money invested in the last two years by the government, the city has a new face. The plan for the investments is in its last stage of work. Everything looks new and bright, but when you see people walking down the new white walkway of the city, you won’t see many bright and happy expressions. Viktor, a citizen of Puka, told us his story of unemployment and living off of the social services of the municipality. He explained that he may only have 50 Euro per month to live on “…but now I can walk in Rome,” he said, showing us the new square.  The people of Puka are tired. They are not used to living in a city where the outside of the buildings are a dream while the inside holds hundreds of challenges; how do I feed my family? How do I educate my children? How do I move forward?

Picture 2, during the wood crafting course.

Last spring, Mary Ware Loreto Foundation launched a new project in Puka, with a course for crafting wood and learning the art of pyrography. In the launch of this project, two objectives were in mind; to offer economic empowerment for participants to sell their crafts and to offer Puka an opportunity to develop her beauty, art, and culture.

We are happy to announce that both of the objectives have been accomplished.

Four students are selling their products to tourists and visitors. Only 4 months ago, one of them was working as a shepherd; he is now working full-time in a provisory room, producing beautiful artistic crafts and souvenirs.

Picture 3, during the exhibition.

Now we can proudly say that the last artistic exhibition held in the House of Culture was not in 1991, but in September of 2018. With the support of MWL Foundation, 4 students and their instructor had the chance to show the city their art and passion. 120 pieces of artwork decorated the old House of Culture, bringing joy and hope to the city which has only seen exhibitions like this on television. More than 100 people attended the event, including the Mayor, representatives from the government, members of the Academy of Arts in Tirana, and other intellectuals who expressed highest acclaims to the Foundation and encouragement to the students who received their certificates signed by the President of Mary Ward Loreto Foundation, Ms. Imelda Poole.

Picture 4, students working

MWL is working hard to bring the brightness of the new squares of Albania into people’s lives. We fight for them to have more opportunity, dignity, and a new future.

Every kind of support helps us achieve this mission. Join us today!

1 2 3 45