Irena: MWL Women: Professional Development for staff, leadership and empowerment:
Mary Ward Loreto Women has a staff of 8 employees, consisted of Project Manager, Assistant Manager, 5 Social Workers and 1 Social Animator. The focus of the project is work against human trafficking and implementing programmes for empowerment of women in rural areas of Albania. The staff has been motivated to work according to the Mary Ward charism based on values such as “Justice, Freedom, Sincerity”. One very important aim is the empowerment of the staff, to help them with their professional and career development, in order to be productive and successful at their work, and at the same time to enjoy what they do. Formal and informal meetings take place for planning, mentoring, sharing, providing feedback and suggestions, removing obstacles, encouraging and motivation of the workers, discussions on ethics at work.
Formal and informal trainings have been provided for the staff in order to obtain necessary knowledge and skills related to the demands of the project implementation. Training on leadership is provided and the principle where the work is based is “Everyone is a leader at their job” and this is accepted and respected within the staff.
Resources for their development have been provided. The Assistant Manager, who is a psychologist, is being supported in her on-going professional development as she encounters challenging issues when counselling the women in Albania and also on-line with the victims of trafficking sheltered abroad. For the next four years she will be following attending a specialization in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The social worker in Tirana is attending MA classes in Social Sciences, and an English course has been offered to the Social Worker in Tropoja and the Social Animator in Hot I Ri.
Care is very important. Individual supervision is being arranged for all the workers to keep emotional balance and to feel happy at work.