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.
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?
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.
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.
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!