Background

 
 

Mary Ward Loreto considers direct engagement with the Albanian community of men as a necessary step.  These communities need to be strengthened to promote gender equality. Men have a crucial role to play in preventing abuse and violence against women and the trafficking in human persons. This project is designed to improve men’s contribution to gender equality and changing social attitudes toward women in Albania. This will be achieved through raising the awareness of men on issues of gender equality and human and professional development. In order to strengthen the identity and progressive role of men you need to sustain a man in the family, a man within the community and to find the instruments which will enable the men to deepen their integrity and find fair work.

Project Goal:

Strengthen the role of men in gender equality, the elimination of abuse and violence, and in promoting progress toward economic independence and the welfare of men as a whole. This in itself will contribute to the development of a better society in Albania.

Project Objectives:

  1. Raise awareness in preventing human trafficking and promote safe migration.
  2. Raise awareness and promote the benefits for men re gender equality;
  3. Promote the need for changed behavior of men in relation to family and society;
  4. Raise awareness of men in the respective communities for representation and greater collaboration with local government representatives;
  5. Increase the intellectual and professional potential of men through vocational training programs and courses;
  6. Involve men in jobs that have a positive and transformative impact on their lives and promote enterprise
  7. Support sound economic initiatives that are helpful to men and women in need, and which have a positive impact on the communities concerned;
  8. Support, through specialized techniques, specific groups of men who live in Prison;

Activities:

  • Human development training programs;
  • Vocational trainings;
  • Forums;
  • Community research;
  • Capacity building;
  • Economic empowerment;
  • Social and emotional support in prisons.

Where we are:

Since the beginning of the project we are in:

  • Lushnja;
  • Shkodra;
  • Lezha;
  • Puka;
  • Tirana;
  • Prisons.

With your support and collaboration we are planning to enlarge our activities even in other cities and villages.

Please click here to download MWL Men`s Project A4 sheet.

 

 

Events and Action

 

Divjaka, a place to be known!

The happiest people do not have the best of everything, they make the best of everything they have. This is the quote that expresses the feelings which we enjoyed during the event in Divjaka. Here 120 people attended the launching of the research led by MWL Men’s project in close collaboration with local intellectuals. In only 82 pages we have explained the history, shown the beauty, and have told the story of the challenges and the future of this community, which they are building together. Divjaka is a small part of Albania blessed by God with very fertile land and a beautiful landscape. Despite all of these assets, even Divaka has been abandoned and suffers the wounds of migration and trafficking, especially amongst the youth. In this community you can find many job opportunities, especially in agriculture, but nowadays people are looking for a lot more security, which is to be found in a standard of living which provides good education, health, and justice. “Now that we have this research, it will be easier for us to discover our identity and to add value to this and future generations. This will increase the will for others to live in this community and face together all the challenges from day to day. In this way we will stop emigration and we will be protected from trafficking” said Fredi Kokoneshi, the local Mayor and a resident of the city.  Inspired by this research and in the light of his recommendation, only two weeks after the event, all local key persons in the community set up a round table to address the recommendations of the research beginning with the setting up of a museum in the town.

*Special thanks for supporting this initiative, in different manners and for their help in achieving the success of this project, goes to: Anna Hawkes CJ, Imelda Poole, Shahin Petritaj, Flamur Pjeternikaj and Patty Stein.

Divjaka: The Research Report in Albanian Language.

Divjaka: Research Report in English Language.

 


Open forum: Promoting Tourism in Puke.

 

In the heart of the mountains in the north of Albania is a beautiful small town called Puka. Although it is less than 80 miles from Tirana, it takes nearly 3 hours to travel there. The city and those who live in it have relied heavily on the forest and mineral industries. Now that the forest and the minerals have been exploited without regulation, the population is at a high risk of exploitation. Without jobs, a health care system, effective education, and possibilities, the people are worn down in hopelessness. 60% of the population has left the area looking for other places to live, with more opportunities. During this difficult process, many families have lost their children, boys and girl. Crossing borders by foot during the winter to go to Greece, crossing the sea with a rubber boat to go to Italy, and nowadays hiding in trucks with a fake identification. Many girls have lost communication and connection with their families after forced marriages or promises for job opportunities abroad. These people are risking everything because as they say “we don’t have anything to lose”. MWL has been working in Puka for many years, for prevention and awareness against human trafficking, and finding ways and possibilities to develop the community. The last activity organized by MWL, in collaboration with local municipality and four NGO-s who are our partners, was a forum to develop agro-tourism in this area. Tourism is considered the best opportunity for this area to achieve sustainable development. Participants have been very enthusiastic and encouraged by the analysis done by specialists of different disciplines, like Shkelzen Marku of Yunus Foundation, who addressed the topic of businesses hospitality and accommodation, or Jaho Braha who is a specialist of history and ethnography. The president of MWL, Sr. Imelda Poole expressed the support that the foundation is giving to the community and invited the participants to make a more collective effort as key actors in the community, to fight poverty as a source of trafficking and use the opportunities for sustainable development.

Special thanks for the help and support in organising this activity goes to; Alban Doci, Ilirjan Leshi, Edmond Kocli and Manushaqe Çypi.


Stopping the phenomenon of Illegal Emigration has been a challenge in Albania for the last 20 years.

Stopping the phenomenon of Illegal Emigration has been a challenge in Albania for the last 20 years.  MWL is planting hope by creating opportunities. In Puke-Fushe Arres, we have begun a course in wood crafting. In a few months, participants will be empowered to generate more income for their families by selling their handcrafted artistic products and souvenirs to tourists. The individuals are examples to those looking to succeed despite the challenges of living in remote areas of Albania. Best of luck to those participating in the course! Stay tuned to see some of their beautiful work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Prevention of Radicalization and Extremist violence.

On the 15th of February MWL Men’s project organized a training with the men’s group in Lushnja covering the topic: Prevention of Radicalization and Extreme violence with the facilitation of the trainer Zana Guri.

In this training around 25 men’s of the age 25 -65 years old participated from the Lushnja region.  The group was interested to know how this phenomenon could affect their families and communities and how dangerous it is. This session was an awareness raising meeting and each participant had the chance to experience reflection and insightful moments during the presentation of different realities. The discussion was intense and very coherent. This meeting was a challenge in general because of the hidden nature of a man’s development in Albania.

 


For conducting professional courses for persons with no financial means.

Ermiri is a boy from the beautiful city of Shengjin. He is married and lives with his family. Like most young Albanians he is unemployed. He wanted to have a professional qualification but his economic situation did not allow him to do this. MWL activities in Lezha town and the opportunities offered to “Men” in strengthening the financial and social capacities, helped this man enormously. Ermir was offered a sponsorship with costs, for transport and equipment with a set of hydraulic tools, to work in plumbing. Ermir has successfully passed a professional course as a Plumber. Today he works in a construction company of Professional Hydraulics he is qualified and receives a monthly salary. As a result his economic well-being has been improved. Ermir is very grateful to MWL for the opportunities it offers to people, who for many reasons, have remained without realizing their dreams and passions. Today we present Ermiri’s case but there are other people in the city of Lezha whose lives have been changed for good by Mary World Loreto Foundation because of the opportunities it offers to people in economic-social need.


 

Thank you MWL, thank you dad!

I am not a journalist, but when you are in such a situation and in front of a child, who stirs your heart, you desire to share this story with others.

As the local coordinator of the MWL Men’s Project in Lushnje. I often go for work visits to project members. One day I was going to Saimir Shehu, whom the MWL Foundation supported for conducting a professional welder course. While I was talking to Saimiri about the new job that he had started in a private business near his house (making iron gates, railing and some little works for the village community), a young girl of nine or ten years old, entered the workplace.  I smiled and asked: “Who is this beautiful girl?” “My daughter”, said Saimiri and he continued, “Erisa welcome this uncle, he is the one who offered me the course”. Erisa saw me with welcoming, kind eyes and shook my hand, then went on: “You are at the foundation that helped my Dad, thank you.” “Why do you thank me?” “Because you make it possible for my Dad to have this job and now he is not going anymore to Greece for work.” “Why are you so happy that your Dad is not going to Greece?” I asked curiously. “Because I will not see my mom crying anymore. At last, Mom, my brother and I, we will celebrate Christmas and New Year together with Daddy at the table. “

Little Erisa said this and ran to her Mom. Saimiri smiled and waved his head, while I felt a relief in the chest, an inner joy and a heartfelt thanks to our donors, for the foundation, that at least one child delights the soul in this Albania, where the problems are endless.


 

A story…

Mary Word Loreto and the MWL Men’s project in the area of Shkodra have implemented, in this first phase, a total of 9 courses from the suburbs of Shkodra, after signing a cooperation agreement with the Director of Professional Courses in Shkodra in the branches of: Installation of Solar Panels, Joiner, Electro house hold Repair and Installation.

One of the interested people in these trainings was Mr. Lulash Shpataj, who was enrolled in the course of Joiner.

Lulashi, is father of a little one-month-old girl with his wife unemployed. He is a former soldier in the Armed Forces Department of the Lac Vau dejes. He is a returned emigrant, and left out of work after many layoffs! Lulashi attended the “Joiner” course re-starting after a previous experience in Greece, where he worked as a carpenter and desired to have work as an independent joiner.

After the course, he immediately began to engage as a carpenter in the social network where he was asked to make repairs. These included furniture for houses or work places. With the effort and sacrifice, he managed to make a mini workshop with the help of Mary Word Loreto.

This employment enterprise has now grown to provide work for himself as a carpenter in one of the Manufacturer Furniture Shops in Shkodra city and at his workshop too.

Lulashi feels very grateful to the MWL.


 

Strengthening the role of men in gender equality issues, abuse and violence, and in the promotion of development towards economic and human empowerment of men.

This in itself contributes to the development of a better society in Albania. “A Good start is half of the work”,(a proverb in Albania). MWLM in the first year of implementation of this project has made big strides to accomplish the goal of the project. Human Development programmes, launched in January 2017, have broken many barriers which have been controlling the mentality created so far in the Albanian society. Hundreds of men, in different areas of Albania, have become actively engaged in the training, topics have been covered such as: Gender equality and gender based violence, addiction to alcohol and gambling, use of property and efficient use of agricultural land. presently and into the future other topics are being covered such as: Good parenting and training against human trafficking. Besides this essential human development process for the men’s project, the development of economic empowerment of men has continued, in communities with less development opportunities, and in parallel to the human development training. In this context, dozens of men are enrolled in vocational training courses with the support of MWL. In the north of Albania training is being organised to facilitate collection treatment of medicinal plants, that are found in abundance in these areas and can be a very good self-employment opportunity for local residents. The MWLM project has also started work to organize local forums, forums where men and women will be able to discuss and address the specific problems of their community and join forces and voices to implement concrete and systemic changes in their lives…. This is just the start…

 


Conference on Challenges and Perspectives of Men in the Albanian Society.

Cover-Men-Research

Mary Ward Loreto Foundation was pleased to launch the research on the Issues and Needs of Albanian Men. This research has been led by the Mary Ward Loreto project called Mary Ward Loreto Men. A Survey of Issues and needs has been conducted in different areas of Albania. The data analysis was made by Stephen Coryelle, PhD, who gave a short presentation of the research findings during the conference. Alfred Matoshi, MWL Men Project Manager, presented his research experience in the field during eight months.

The conference was attended by more than 150 guests from all districts of Albania. Z. Arben Sinojmeri, Ministry of Social issue and Youth was present and gave a short input. The conference was also covered by the media. Participants were free to discuss in round tables the proceedings of the day. Their questions were responded to with great interest by the panel.

Please click here to download the research in English

Ju lutem klikoni këtu për të shkarkuar studimin në gjuhën shqipe

 

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Launching of the Mary Ward Loreto Men Project: January 2016.

 

IMG_9492For hundreds and maybe thousands of years our mothers have given birth to boys and girls. They have given them not only the milk but also the cultural place designated to them, by the family, at the table, for work, in sadness and happiness, in mind and also in heart. For all these centuries our mothers have been bringing  up their children with the inherited issue of the difference between the education of the boys and girls. Time after time this has come as a phenomenon and has been accepted by every involved actor. Normally the question comes out: Why? An aphorism says that: “Men think that the World is ncreated only for them”, maybe this is not only men’s thought, in a way this has been accepted also by women. In Albanian society, the man, through the centuries, was considered as the head of the house, of the land, of the wife. His decisions were rarely discussed right up until the time of communism, when in the Albanian society, a kind of gender equality was injected. This has broken natures borders for Albania, we had women who worked as bricklayers, tractor-drivers, oilmen, soldiers and many other professions which were considered very difficult even for men. At the same time these same women had to be mothers. In the ’90’s, the new ‘democratic’ system was being given birth and the Albanian family had not been prepared for this change. Thousands of boys and men emigrated and stayed for many years separated from their families and this reality which they had left behind. In western areas they were confronted with an unknown phenomena: drugs, prostitution, trafficking, deception and so much more. All of these challenges compensated, very quickly for the challenge of the extreme, inherited, economic needs.

Unfortunately boys and men, also helped by the media, brought these new ideas back to Albania as an example for other young men just leaving school. They see it as a way for facing their future. They also run away from the idea of fair work being the means of earning an income. Mary Ward Loreto in 2016, dared to take a step forward, challenging all prejudices and mentality on these issues. They have implemented a project which will help men to become more sensitive to matters of gender equality, more responsible for their role in family and society and enabled to create a vision for their future based on Freedom, Justice and Sincerity. The project was launched and has aroused much curiosity and interest all over Albania. We are now at the stage of involving 100 men in filling in questionnaires for the final research project which will also include focus groups to give a qualitative and quantitative result. All of these results are the first signs that we are on the right path.

Reports

Divjaka, a place to be known! Find here the research report.

The happiest people do not have the best of everything, they make the best of everything they have. This is the quote that expresses the feelings which we enjoyed during the event in Divjaka. Here 120 people attended the launching of the research led by MWL Men’s project in close collaboration with local intellectuals. In only 82 pages we have explained the history, shown the beauty, and have told the story of the challenges and the future of this community, which they are building together.

Divjaka is a small part of Albania blessed by God with very fertile land and a beautiful landscape. Despite all of these assets, even Divaka has been abandoned and suffers the wounds of migration and trafficking, especially amongst the youth. In this community you can find many job opportunities, especially in agriculture, but nowadays people are looking for a lot more security, which is to be found in a standard of living which provides good education, health, and justice. “Now that we have this research, it will be easier for us to discover our identity and to add value to this and future generations. This will increase the will for others to live in this community and face together all the challenges from day to day. In this way we will stop emigration and we will be protected from trafficking” said Fredi Kokoneshi, the local Mayor and a resident of the city.  Inspired by this research and in the light of his recommendation, only two weeks after the event, all local key persons in the community set up a round table to address the recommendations of the research beginning with the setting up of a museum in the town.

*Special thanks for supporting this initiative, in different manners and for their help in achieving the success of this project, goes to: Anna Hawkes CJ, Imelda Poole, Shahin Petritaj, Flamur Pjeternikaj and Patty Stein.

Divjaka: The Research Report in Albanian Language.

Divjaka: Research Report in English Language.

 


Please Click Here to Read the MWL Men`s Project Annual Report October 2016- September 2017.


Conference on Challenges and Perspectives of Men in the Albanian Society.

Cover-Men-Research

Mary Ward Loreto Foundation was pleased to launch the research on the Issues and Needs of Albanian Men. This research has been led by the Mary Ward Loreto project called Mary Ward Loreto Men. A Survey of Issues and needs has been conducted in different areas of Albania. The data analysis was made by Stephen Coryelle, PhD, who gave a short presentation of the research findings during the conference. Alfred Matoshi, MWL Men Project Manager, presented his research experience in the field during eight months.

The conference was attended by more than 150 guests from all districts of Albania. Z. Arben Sinojmeri, Ministry of Social issue and Youth was present and gave a short input. The conference was also covered by the media. Participants were free to discuss in round tables the proceedings of the day. Their questions were responded to with great interest by the panel.

Please click here to download the research in English

Ju lutem klikoni këtu për të shkarkuar studimin në gjuhën shqipe


 

Please Click Here to Read Men’s Project Three Monthly Progress Report.

Reporting Period: January -March 2016


 

Mary Ward Loreto  Women`s Research Report prior to the launching of the Men`s Project.

Before the MWL Men`s project began, MWL  decided to ask groups of women form MWL Women`s project what they thought were the problems for men in Albania. MWL thought this will help in the development of the concept for the Men`s Project. The following are  the findings of these women: Men’s Project Research Report

Please Click Here to Read the Concept Note of the Men`s Project 2015.


Challenges and Perspectives of Men in the Albanian Society 

 

Cover-Men-Research

 

Mary Ward Loreto Foundation was pleased to launch the research on the Issues and Needs of Albanian Men. This research has been led by the Mary Ward Loreto project called Mary Ward Loreto Men. A Survey of Issues and needs has been conducted in different areas of Albania. The data analysis was made by Stephen Coryelle, PhD, who gave a short presentation of the research findings during the conference. Alfred Matoshi, MWL Men Project Manager, presented his research experience in the field during eight months.

The conference was attended by more than 150 guests from all districts of Albania. Z. Arben Sinojmeri, Ministry of Social issue and Youth was present and gave a short input. The conference was also covered by the media. Participants were free to discuss in round tables the proceedings of the day. Their questions were responded to with great interest by the panel.

Please click here to download the research in English

Ju lutem klikoni këtu për të shkarkuar studimin në gjuhën shqipe

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14352108_1149682175090709_17841246188146882_o 14310366_1149681845090742_2641359674562277926_o

 

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