Challenges of rural women in Albania.
Women empowerment in the rural areas remains a challenge for Albania. The women mostly engage themselves in the agricultural sector, livestock, or focus on just being housewives. This is mainly due to old-fashioned mentalities or due to the lack of education or employment opportunities. The families own limited plots of land. Due to the high costs of pesticides, the low level of agricultural technology, and the lack of collaboration among the families to initiate coordinated initiatives in production, there are more challenges for the women and their families to generate income from their land. Mary Ward Loreto Women Project has made efforts to create some models where the women and families can focus on effective ways to generate income, such as planting aromatic plants or through vocational training opportunities such as dressmaking. One of the continuous challenges has been the management of the women’s groups since their sustainability is endangered by challenges such as seasonal work. Many Albanian women are now following seasonal employment opportunities abroad because their needs are enormous, and opportunities are limited. Mary Ward Loreto has created some successful models of rural women empowerment, and we are working to make the state structures more attentive to their needs and to create funding opportunities or facilities and sustain such initiatives.
European Day Against Trafficking in Human Beings.
Mary Ward Loreto Women’s Project in Tropoja had an awareness session for the youth in “Matosh Uka” school, in Dushaj on Thursday October 18th, The European Day Against Trafficking in Human Beings. 45 high school students attended the training and they were a very dynamic group, discussing trafficking in human beings and participating in interactive exercise on how to identify traffickers and potential victims of trafficking. They shared examples and enjoyed this opportunity for learning.
International Day of Rural Women. Enabling 15 women of the MWLW group to have a Mammography.
The World Women’s Day is marked with the aim of recognizing the contribution and the role that women from rural areas have in the community, improving their lives and well-being in general. Health is as important as the role that each member of the family has in life. Today, women living in rural areas have more information on their health and the risks and the necessary examinations needed, especially for breast cancer, one of the major causes of death. Identifying diseases in time saves lives!
A Story of a young girl…
“She is a sweet and smiling girl, but during the 18 years of her life, nothing has been easy. Suela lives in Tropoja, where MWL operates. Her family has 5 members: her parents, 2 sisters and herself. Unemployment and the difficult economic situation complicate her plans and dreams. The only family income comes from their farming and livestock. When she was 18 and had finished high school in the village, she could not apply to go to university like her fellow students, but with the help of a relative, she went abroad to work to provide income for the family. After 3 months, she returned to her village where she still lives. In her everyday life, between the 4 walls of the house, Suela’s dream of going to university seems further away, but she wants to be a hairdresser and to have a profession. She contacted the MWL Foundation, like many women and girls, looking for hope in their lives!
10 women and girls from the village of Shendelli had a free ophthalmic visit.
Last month, 10 women and girls from the village of Shendelli had a free ophthalmic visit. MWL was able to help in answering the women’s emergency need for eye glasses. In addition to the medical services, the women were able to spend time together in fellowship. We thank Optika Gallery for the care given. They work in a way that is at the heart of our mission; treating all with dignity!
Update on the MWL Women Project in Shkodra.
The women have managed to find the exact recipe for the MWL soap products. The lavender soap business is a new initiative for the women of Hot I Ri and we wish them every success. A company which distils lavender has offered to give them all the lavender water free. This will cut the costs and enable the soap to be even more beautiful. After two months of effort, they have a recipe that allows us to produce simple but healthy soap. The product goes through a series of chemical changes and it takes weeks to make. We have also learned how to best package the soaps for distribution and quality.
What we want in the future is to produce quality soaps containing ingredients for the herbal market. These are the demands for today.