Strengthing Families and Communities

Encouraging social and academic progress in children while fostering better employment opportunities for all

Project Information

Project Status: Active
Start Date: March 2007
End Date: Ongoing
Countries: Albania

Quality Education Decent Work & Economic Growth Reduced Inequalities

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Building up Skills, Families, and Community

The World Hope office in Albania exists to help build up the people and families living in a poorer community on the edge of Durrës, Albania’s second-largest city. From providing academic assistance for at-risk students to partnering in programs to strengthen families to offering English clubs and summer enrichment activities, WH-Albania aims to build the kinds of skills, confidence and collaboration that will help people, families and the community move forward.

Since the fall of Communism three decades ago, over 50,000 people from all over Albania have moved into the previously uninhabited keneta community, relocating from smaller towns and villages in hopes of finding work in the city. In a struggling economy, these jobs have been hard to come by. With people arriving and mixing from many different towns, the sense of community and cohesiveness is not as strong as families would have experienced in their home towns. For these and other reasons, family and economic life in this community is filled with stress, and many of the residents have a marked sense of hopelessness. World Hope Albania is here to empower and instill hope.

Project Goals

To promote self-improvement and sustainability, strong families, and community collaboration through the support of educational and community social initiatives.

Expected Outcomes

1.  Spiritual, social and academic development of community children that contribute to stronger, healthier families.

2. Ongoing educational opportunities and academic assistance in the community provided by our team.

3. Unity and collaboration fostered among various community groups.

Children participated in programs at the Living Hope Development Center

Families participated in seminars aimed at producing stronger, healthier families

Women were employed full-time by the Stitching to Save program and thus able to help provide for their families

Children participated in summer English and art programs

Programs

The Living Hope Development Center provides a safe, nurturing environment for at-risk students to get additional academic help, develop positive behavior and social skills, engage in art, athletic and other recreational activities, and receive spiritual input. WHI-Albania partners with organizations from Albania and the UK in funding, encouraging and providing logistical support for this program attended by 25+ students from two community schools. These second-shift students spend 4 hours each morning at the program and enjoy a light lunch before heading off to school. World Hope volunteers also frequently tutor community children in English and mathematics.

The “Happiness Begins with Family” Program is a collaborative effort involving WHI, as well as other Christian NGO’s and community social services, and aimed at strengthening local families. A series of interactive seminars addresses topics such as healthy family relationships, nutrition, budgeting and effective discipline, with outside homework giving participants an opportunity to extend and apply at home the concepts that they have addressed with the larger group.

Stitching to Save employs several local women whose poorer families have been identified as at-risk for human trafficking, giving them an opportunity to work steadily and earn income to help provide for their families. The women produce knitted goods that are then marketed for sale by a partnering church in North America.

Summer clubs and programs provide positive, educational activities in the areas of art and English for Albanian children during their summer break from school. During the summer, children always seem to be looking for something to occupy their time, and these mini-courses conducted in a safe and nurturing environment give them something to both look forward to and learn from.

English Conversation Clubs, slated to begin in fall 2020, will provide an opportunity for Albanians that have learned English to practice their language skills with American English speakers. Many Albanians see English proficiency as an increasingly valuable asset and marketable skill as increasing numbers live and work abroad. At conversation clubs, Albanians will grow more skilled and confident in expressing their thoughts in English.

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