Well, now they are grown up by one year! There were 15 leaders at the beginning of their Leadership Program with Mary Ward Loreto Youth Project, but 3 of them have successfully been accepted at universities around Albania and we are very proud of them! The other 12 leaders have committed themselves to continue the programme for the second year. During this time they will be part of the Leadership empowerment process. Already you can easily feel their confidence growing. They have a big desire to take initiatives and experience all the magic of becoming a Leader. What a great year we have ahead!
At the beginning of October I was given a new assignment, that of the MWL youth trainer. Working with young people is always energizing because they have the potential to always accept challenges and adapt. During the “Trafficking in Human Beings” trainings I’m impressed by the dynamics of those interacting with each other, their analytical skills and the information they have. Traveling from north to south of Albania allows you to meet youngsters from different communities. They are as similar and unique to each other. Someone is introvert and shy to express thoughts, someone may have clear ideas, clear thoughts and leadership skills. All with the potential to develop and all with the potential to face the internal struggle between good and bad. Trainings with young people are a way to invite them to reflect on their daily choices and decisions which reflect on their future. This is a struggle to identify what is good and what is bad.
On 29th of September at Don Bosko Centre in Tirana, 40 youngsters from Puka and Lushnja celebrated their first success on the journey to becoming leaders. They were provided with certificates which testify their commitment to the project activities including:
Six Human Development trainings: Job search, Human Anti-trafficking, Communication Skills, Mental and Emotional Health, Different and Equal and Learning Entrepreneurship;
Vocational Training Course;
Social and Recreational Group Activity;
On this day MWL Foundation organized an event to say a huge thank you to them for the trust that they have shown in themselves and through their commitment to the MWL Youth Program. This event was characterized by joy and enthusiasm which was the most important achievement for these youngsters when 12 months before they had no idea what to do with their lives. Now they are writing their stories of hope, joy and freedom. On this happy moment day MWL President, Imelda Poole, MWL Youth Project manager Gazmir Memaj, Head of Mobile Unit of Regional Directorate of Public Vocational Training, Arben Sinoimeri and 2 key workers in Lushnje and Puka, Shahin Petritaj and Ilirjan Lleshi were present and delivered the certificates. These youngsters are now ready to fly, 50% are employed already and they are changing their communities.
During the month of November, the youth project launched a human development training with young people. The theme was: ‘’Self-perception and the impact of social media’’. The first trainings were held in Burrel, Librazhd and Kucove. All the young participants were happy to receive this training and the information provided. They live in a time when technology and especially social networks take up most of their day and it is a key factor determining the development of personality and character for them. In this training, young people were offered an alternative, seeing social media from a wider point of view, emphasizing its impact on how they see themselves in society and how they perceive themselves through social networks. It involved self-awareness training and choice making.
Learning, Practicing and Influencing Integrity Fellowship.
MARY WARD LORETO 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”. This is a 10-months project in Lezha Municipality working in close partnership with the institution of the Municipality and the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation. MWL Youth Project is now in Lezha and is implementing this project. The target of the project is:
a) the need for youth to actively participate in the decision-making and monitoring processes of local public policies and
b) the need to combat unlawful practices and unprofessional corrupt behaviour by public institutions.
It will achieve this by developing a project in which the Municipality will ultimately agree to grant access to rights, privileges, information and action for youth to find their empowerment and citizenship within the main public institution in town.
By this it is meant that the main aspect of the project’s implementation is a twinning program between the project and the Municipality in the shape of a youth ad-hoc internship which will allow youth to acquire a temporary post in the junior section of employment within the Municipality as interns.
One of its first initiatives has been the training of Youth. The first training has been successfully delivered by PhD. Albert Nikolla on Institutional Ethics. This topics was the beginning of the youth journey that will be followed by their internship in the Municipality of their town, Lezha.
21 young people and staff from the Municipality were present in the training. The youth group continues to meet regularly each week as a preparation for this internship programme.