Selling the women’s products in Butrint park market in Saranda, 18 July 2018.
We have very good news from Saranda, where the past month has seen the progress of a very important initiative. The summer season is open and “opened” are the opportunities for the MWLW group from Shendelli, to sell their hand-crafted products in Butrint Park in Saranda. Seventeen women of this community have worked very hard to be ready to present their beautiful crafts: jewelry, bags, clothing, and souvenirs in the market. They are happy for this opportunity because it allows them to bring more money home for their families.
Thank you so much to the Director of the Park In Butrint for the support of the project. We are open for business so please come and see our beautiful crafts!
Drugs and Trafficking in Shendelli
The dynamics of life in the isolated village of Shendelli keep surprising you. There are so many unpredictable events which this little community want to keep from exposure. Now they are not able to do this anymore. They are already targeted by police officers and other institutions which are working for justice and equal opportunity for every citizen. During the last three months, police officers went nearly every day to the poor houses of the Shendelli Women and as a result they captured two of the most important drug dealers who have been running the business in the village and outside the village. These men were holding the people at ransom and using the girls for crime in Shendelli. At the same time this was a huge problem for the family members of the convicted persons. Facing Police officers almost every day produced chronic stress which interrupted the normal routine of village life. The womenwere too fragile to keep a balance and did not continue their normal activities. The women are growing in freedom and are part of the decision making in the family. They listen to their children and try to find the best solutions in the light of the needs of all the members of the family. They are encouraging their young daughters to think before they act; to be free and to be humble. They want them to explore the possibilities before making choices too quickly. They want them to be educated and then to create a family. This is a huge milestone being taken with those who are most vulnerable to being used in the Human Trafficking phenomena.
The Market in Butrint
With the initiative of Butrinti Foundation in 2007, a small market has taken place between the dense vegetation of the park. This opportunity has motivated a group of women from the Miredita Region, who have migrated from the north to a small village near to Butrint and not so many years ago. They are using their cultural craft making to distribute at the market. These powerful women that fight for life, have abandoned their homes in Miredita region in ’90, and have started their new lives in Shendelli village, on the outskirt of Butrinti Park. With the help of Marchelino Sisters, over the years, they now have electricity, a kindergarten and a church for prayer. These strong women are producing many crafts for the market in Butrint, they have followed a cookery and tailoring course and are beginning to take charge of their lives.
She was just 4 years old when her family brought her to Shendelli village. All that she remembers about her childhood is poverty and misery. She grew up in a large family, in which the father knew everything and ran the family without considering anybody else’s opinion. This young lady, with a love of knowledge, was only allowed to go to primary school, when she was 9 years old she left her books forever. She grew up without doubting any of the family rules, such as the priority”that a good girl stays at home in the village the bad ones go out “. She fell in love with the last but one child of a family of eight boys, two of whom were killed by blood feud, one of them is convicted for life because of this deed. All the rest hide themselves in Shendelli village. The youngest of this family is one of the drug dealers most wanted by the police. She was too young to understand all the problems that in a minute would become hers, leaving herself in the arms of this love. The family knew everything, yet she find herself engaged at just 17 years old. How can a lovely girl such as her deal with problems she is about to face and educate her husband to a better way of life. She describes her husband not as a problem like his brothers, at least he respects his family and her health needs, her needs regarding intimacy, on decision-making. However he has no understanding of her right to freedom which he takes from her, not allowing her to become empowered, to continue her learning. It is a mutually closed relationship, which preserves family harmony in their lack of freedoms. Continue Reading…