MWL is constantly receiving visitors to the Foundation, developing networks and strengthening the work through good collaboration. An important collaboration has been with the Medaille Trust not only for the donation which has been received for two years now, for the development of the work with the women of Shendilli, but also for effective cross border collaboration. The partnership has led the Medaille trust staff to come to Albania to see the work being done and to enter into good dialogue about this. The same has happened on several occasions when MWL staff have gone to the UK to visit the shelters and to develop good practice by working with Albanian victims of trafficking who are staying at the UK shelters. A joined up approach took place in Slovenia where staff from D&E, MWL and the Medaille trust met with members of the police to develop ways of collaborating more effectively across border. Visitors also include representatives from the police, Professors from the university of Tirana,, the Peace Corps, stakeholders from Albanian NGOs, Priests and religious and Bishop George Frendo OP who has always supported our work.
We have been encouraged, especially over the last year, to work for systemic change in Albania. This is seen to be one of the most important challenges being faced in the fight against the modern day slavery of human trafficking. Vulnerable people are the main target of the traffickers. It is our work to free people from the chains of poverty which leads to misery. The work for systemic change has led MWL to set up an academic group who first made a pilot research highlighting the corruption and poor ethic in the education system. The issues regarding poverty and high unemployment of youth in Albania has led to an effective research, informing us of the way forward with the Youth project (YEP) and has also been the process for the Mary Ward’s Women project. All of these initiatives have moved the MWL Foundation closer into the departments of the government who gave us their support and were present at the events which presented the research topics and exposed the truth. Nora Malaj from the Ministry of Education, Elona Gjebrea, from the Home office, with the port folio of anti trafficking and Anuela ? representing the ministry for youth within the labour ministry, were all present at these various events and openly supported the initiatives. MWL is represented on the government coalition against trafficking and is represented on the EU Civil Society platform against trafficking. Elona Gjebrea has spoken at three of our events which have included also the Board Meeting of RENATE held in Albania this year and logistically managed by MWL. www.renate-europe.net