Mary Ward Loreto has begun a new collaboration with the Sole NGO who run a project in the women’s jail IEVP, Nr. 325 Ali Demi, Tirane. The Sole project is for the reintegration into the community for imprisoned women. This is through developing employment skills and through human development programmes. MWL was invited to give their contribution and expertise with women inside the jail. The psychologist of MWL Women ACT is offering trainings and self-help group facilitation once a week. These have started with 10 women. The main aim of these sessions is the rehabilitation of the women so they have a successful reintegration into society after their release and to enable them to live their lives in a more meaningful and adjusted way.
Prisons in Albania emphasize punishment to make up for the crime and not education or amelioration. These women come from different areas of Albania with different cultures, different social issues and different approaches for facing life and problems. They have coped with different external and internal issues which have led to their criminal activity. They have poor coping mechanisms therefore face them with frustration while interacting with each other. In a two months period of time the sessions have been focused on providing an understanding of self-help groups, positive group dynamics and a sense of belonging to the group. These sessions offer the members a safe non-judgmental environment for self-disclosure where they can learn to explore themselves and share their stories, their feelings, and their issues. They are entering into e process of recovery and need to strengthen mutual support for each other.