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.
Collaborations help us grow and see new opportunities and perspectives.
This week, some MWLW women producing handicrafts had an important meeting with the executive director of the “Women in Public Service” center, Mrs. Mimoza Hajdarmataj, with the presence of the Deputy Mayor of Tropoja, Mrs. Fereide Rrahmanaj.
During this meeting, concerns were raised about insufficient support from the state. Without this support, women cannot have effective participation in local, national, and international markets.
There was an increased concern that women’s craft work largely depends on the tourism demand in their community and on business activities. Lack of access to wider markets hampers their ability to generate income to support their families.
MWL received a special assessment for support to women living in rural areas and increasing their capacity for development.
At the meeting, we shared many ideas for launching activities, promoting women, and developing local policies such as women in the development of mountain tourism, promotion of handicrafts, traditional cooking, fairs etc.
Mary Ward Loreto Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth organized the launching of the research, in the northern region: “Ethics in the Education System in Albania”.
On May 19th, 2018, Hotel Rozafa in Shkodra was the venue for the conference devoted to the findings of the research study: “Ethics in the Education System in Albania.” The study was led by the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports. The study was carried out by ACER—Albanian Center for Economic Research—led by Dr. Zef Preci.
The prevalence of unethical behavior in schools has never been measured before in Albania. Mary Ward Loreto Foundation, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, have initiated a nationwide research in all levels of education, from preschool to Master’s level, in order to measure the severity and frequency of unethical behavior. This research was conducted by the highly academic team of ACER led by Dr. Zef Preci, using a mixed methodology with a representative sampling for each level of education nationwide.
As an important actor in education in Albania the voices in the northern region added value and increased awareness of this situation. This voice brought to the table important issues in the education of young citizens in Albania.
The goal of the conference in Shkodra, was to spark new strategies and initiatives for the improvement of education for each child and for each young person in Albania.
170 participants attended this conference: Teachers, representatives of the Education Ministry, Parents, students, NGOs and representatives of municipalities from northern Albania.
The panelist and speakers of the conference were:
Ms. Rozalba Medani Head of Policy and Strategy Sector Education in Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth;
Sr. ImeldaPoole President of Mary Ward Loreto Foundation;
Dr. Skerdi Zahaj ACER—Albanian Center for Economic Research;
Dr. Shpresa Delija Moderator of the conference and the board member of the MWL Education Project;
S. Kadri Ymeri Regional Education Directorate of Shkodra;
Dr. Elona Mëhilli MWL Education Project, Board Member;
Dr. Elona Dhembo MWL Education Project, Board Member;
Dr. Gerda Sula Education Expert and coordinator of the research work.
Sr. Imelda Poole – MWL Foundation President, gave a deep talk on WHY THIS RESEARCH IS IMPORTANT:
“At a time when Albania is working towards its full membership in the EU, the Albanian government has committed to revising its conceptual framework for quality education, following the recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Education Programs, which point to democratic Education, life skills learning and character formation.
Mary Ward Loreto Foundation is committed to execute its core value on Freedom, Justice and Sincerity and eliminating human trafficking. None of those values can be achieved or the goals aimed for if the systems in Albania are not functioning at the all levels of excellence and especially in education.
Before any change, there has to be research to see what breaks excellence. This research is a first step. Research leads to recommendations and recommendations lead to change, if they are followed.
In the North mobility is an obstacle that is not being addressed, and the school system is not serving the community. We have come to Shkodra because your reality is different; you need to be heard and responses need to be made to suit your needs.
Following the first national conference in Tirana, MWL’s Education Project in collaboration with the Rogationist school in Lezhe, is implementing the Service-Learning methodology.
Service learning involves students in service projects which apply classroom learning in collaboration with local organizations that exist to effect positive change in the community. It is defined as ‘a philosophy, pedagogy, and model for community development that is used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.’
Service learning is learning through action. The students apply what they learn in class to community issues and at the same time learn from the experience as they achieve real objectives for the community. It leads to a democratization of the school system.
MWL Foundation in collaboration with ANTTARC, supported by EU and in the framework of PACT project, are implementing the project entitled: “Learning, Practicing and Influencing Integrity Fellowship”. MWL Youth Project, led by Gazmir Memaj, is now in Lezha and is implementing this project. The target of the project is the need for youth to actively participate in the decision-making and monitoring processes of local public policies and the need to combat unlawful practices and unprofessional corrupt behavior by public institutions.
The main goal is democratization of the working of the municipality and transformation for systemic change.
We will answer to this auditor and follow up all the action points which came up and especially we will evaluate the impact of the findings of this research. This study report is shared in all schools that have participated in the research. We are planning to share it even in other schools.”
Mary Ward Loreto attended the RENATE Europe annual training on “Trafficking and Trauma: Care for Victims and Preventive Care for Carers”. This training took place at the Palloti Haus Conference Centre in Freising, Germany, on April 30th – May 4th 2018. There were 34 participants from different countries of Europe, who work directly with victims of sexual exploitation.
It was a very fruitful training in terms of raising professional capacity to support a victim of trafficking, which is part of the mission and practice of MWL, as well as exchanging good practices.
We were given warm hospitality and care at Palloti Haus, welcomed by the Sr. Mabel Marioti who moderated this activity for the whole week; Sr. Imelda Poole, president of RENATE, and Ivone Van De Kar who introduced us with the programme and logistics for the week.
Important information and practice on Psychotraumatology and Focused Trauma Therapy were given by Mrs. Joana Terzieva and Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, who have much experience working with victims of sexual exploitation. “Care for the Carers” aiming to provide skills to improve the health and wellbeing of the carers at work, highlighting that we need to consider our own needs as well as the needs of those who we are working with, in order to be effective and helpful.
It was a very rich learning week that combined theoretical information on the topic, practical cases, the point of view and the law enforcement approach, the spiritual approach, prayer and reflection, visit at SOLWODY Augsburg, and socializing and sightseeing with the group.
The Mary Ward Loreto Women’s Project and students from Rogationist School, participating in the MWL Service Learning Project, joined “The Cooking Festival” on 6th May, in Lezhe. This event is organized by the Municipality of Lezha. Many businesses attended the event and presented their products and culinary items specific to the area.
Mary Ward Loreto was proud to present handcrafted items made at the women’s center in Kallmet.
The students of the Service Learning Project were invited to present two of their mini projects that they are implementing at their school.
They were very eager to take an active role in presenting these two projects that educate and facilitate discussion about bullying and the communist regime in Albania; “Bullizmi” and “Kujtese per te mos Harruar”.
(“Bullying” and “Remembrance Not to Forget”)
The Service Learning methodology involves learning, practicing, and civic engagement. This event allowed our women and students to practice these by taking action in the community.
Mary Ward Loreto, represented by our trainer Zana Guri, attended a training on Story Telling Through Social Media organized by ERSTE Foundation in collaboration with Redbull Amaphiko in Vienna from April 12th-13th.
This experience was a wonderful opportunity to share experience with our colleagues from the Balkans and to collaborate and learn.
Story telling through social media is a hot topic which needs specific attentions and technical knowledge in order to reach audiences and make an impact.
Daniel Cronin and Matias Haas were the main trainers that lead the training.
As they said,
“Each post that you do on social media tells a story.”