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.

Beginning of a new journey!

In October, Mary Ward Loreto Youth project started the new groups of youth in Lushnja, Puka and Rreshen. It is so exiting that 60 young people, from these three areas, have come on board to walk together on their journey towards employment. In the three areas we met the youth and explained the activities and the aims of the project. We have also started the individual meetings through the personal interview, which is a really good tool to get to know the groups on a personal level.

The youth are also becoming aware that we consider them partners on preventing and fighting trafficking, by empowering them to overcome their vulnerabilities. Their empowerment means great collaborators for MWL on fulfilling the mission. Each one of them has already chosen the vocational training course as part of their professional education and most of them have already started the course.

This year, MWL Youth will extend its work and approach into Shkodra. We hope to be able to include another 20 young people, from this area, into our programme. This means that we are going to reach 80 young people in 2019 in the Focus Group Programme. How can we not be excited considering this power of change with all its potential as part of our daily work?  But also, we are aware of the huge responsibility in assisting these young people,to enable them to discover themselves anew and their full potential.

 

Training session of Social Media and Online trafficking.

On 20th of November MWL youth project visited the school Ramiz Aranitasi in Çorovod, Skrapar for the first time. The journey was long and difficult to the 35 youngster full of joy and highly educated. The ethic that they showed during the training session of Social Media and Online trafficking was impressive. The welcome of the school staff was so warm and they left the invitation open for us for further collaboration in the future. We look forward to strengthening this relationship.

 

LEADERSHIP PROGRAM: LUSHNJA YOUTH COUNCIL

After the finalization of the leadership program in Durres, we expanded this program to Lushnje. In cooperation with the Peace Corps volunteer we will assist young people of the Youth Council Lushnje with trainings and workshops on leadership. On November 2nd, we were asked to conduct the first training with the young people “What is Leadership”? These young people are committed to being in the Youth Council of their city, to bring about change in the community, activating volunteer projects under the facilitation of the Peace Corps. You can feel their energy and motivation and the training went beyond our expectations.

 

AWARENESS TRAINING ON TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS AND MODERN SLAVERY. BABA DUDE KARBUNARA, BERAT.

On the 5th of November, for the first time we brought our Youth Project to the city of Berat to raise awareness of Trafficking in Human beings and Modern Slavery. We held the training at Babe Dude Karbunara high school. 32 students participated in this training. They were very involved throughout the session. They shared with us the history of their city, and what they think is the best thing to do for the prevention of this phenomena.

 

Training on MWL Youth Project

We are happy to say that our training program is traveling all over Albania and reaching many people. Our Human Development Module is expanding more and more and our responsibility to work at a high level of excellence is growing. These past few months, our trainer Zana Guri has been delivering the module of Social Media and Online Trafficking for the MWL Youth Project and the Gender Based Violence module for MWL Men’s Project. For the first time, we have reached Berat and Skrapar this year. This new collaboration was established between Public Health, DAR, and local high schools. Working in a network has become a necessity lately, in order to reach as many people as we can to fight Human Trafficking. This training in Kristaq Camo high school in Berat was amazing. Youngsters were proactive and open to speak up and ask for more information. They were engaged from the beginning till the end and showed interested for using materials of training for their own initiatives. Youngsters in Skrapar were extremely welcoming and curious to know more about how social media can affect their lives. This training is very dynamic and it is very interesting how the discussion and insights they bring reflect their needs, their experiences, and their multidimensional world. Gender Based Violence is one of the modules that helps participants experience different human behavior from region to region. Participants reflect different experiences of violence with a gender base, through discussions and other techniques. One of these trainings was held in Grabjan. Grabjan is a village in Lushnje. The first impression you gather from this village is that it is a very hardworking place trying to keep up the rhythm of life. We had around twenty men in the training session sitting in an open circle. It was their first time being invited to talk about this topic. It was interesting for them to understand that even men can be a victim of violence with a gender base and that they may need help. Simply asking for help proved to be a new way of thinking for them. Talking about issues on an emotional level and talking about emotions within their families was truly innovative thinking for these men because of their traditional mindset that “a man should not suffer from emotions or talk about them.”

They discussed the factors that push a man to use violence as a solution to his problems and as a justification for his behavior. It was very interesting to follow the discussion between two generations of young and older men. We left the training with a good feeling knowing that things are moving toward change in that community.

 

 

Volunteer Activity with Young People – Rrëshen.

On September 28, the youth group from Rreshen, after a year of engagement in the MWL Youth Project, completed the project with the development of a volunteer activity in the town of Rrëshen. The activity was developed in cooperation with the Vincentan sisters near their home in the region of the poor. The young people cooked and prepared the environment for a festive lunch for nearly 40 people of the city, young and old. As is evident in the photos, it was an enjoyable and fun event for all. We would like to thank the young people for engaging in this event and to the sisters for their co-operation.

 

Training with Future Social Workers.

In collaboration with “La Casa Nel Cuore” social center, we conducted a different kind of training on trafficking in human beings and modern slavery. Participants in this training were students of Social Work at the Masters level. The training was different because the students were already informed about trafficking and modern slavery. We focused mostly on the Albanian human trafficking situation, including the referral mechanisms in Albania, and what they can do as future social workers to identify and prevent this phenomenon in our society.

Meetings of the Steering Committee of the ANYN network. September- October 2018.

This month the ANYN network has hosted two introductory meetings with the Dutch Embassy and the German Embassy. The purpose of these meetings was to gain recognition with international diplomatic representatives of the ANYN network.  It also had as its aim to examine the network’s goals, why it exists, its activities, the results achieved, and how the embassies can assist in the ANYN in improving the lives of Albanian youth.

After listening to the presentation by each member of the ANYN steering committee, each of the embassies offered possible cooperation space and how it could help ANYN. The Dutch Embassy explained that its purpose is to monitor and facilitate Albania’s process of introducing European Unity. They also fund projects with different NGOs in Albania depending on their priorities.

Concretely for young people, they have been running a project in collaboration with Terres des Hommes for juvenile prisoners.

Some of the Dutch Embassy’s priorities are:

  • tackling corruption and organised crime;
  • reforming the judiciary and civil service;
  • ensuring fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of the press;
  • strengthening the democratic party system;

 

Human Development Training: Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Awareness Raising Session.

October is the month of awareness raising against human trafficking and modern slavery. The Youth Project of Mary Ward Loreto had an awareness session for the youth of Sejfulla Maleshova school in Kelcyre, about 4 hours away from Tirana.

Collaboration with school leaders has been ongoing for 3 years, and we enjoy our work each time we return to the school. 31 high school students from last year took part in the training. Some of them participated in this training when they were in their first year and remembered information about this phenomenon, making the training more active and dynamic for students participating for the first time. The interaction, during the 1 hour training with the information and exercises, allowed them to share their community experiences, with real-life examples, of the exploitation of victims.