Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Anniversary of the Community Centre of Fushë-Kruja

On 28th of October 2014, ADRA Albania had successfully celebrated the anniversary of the Community Centre of Fushë-Kruja. The ceremony was opened with a small show performed by the Roma children who also expressed their appreciation to the guests who could came on this day.

The ceremony continued with the speeches of Mrs. Beatrice C. Kastrati, ADRA Albania Country Director, who welcomed distinguished officials including Mrs. Enkeleda Lopari, Consulate of Vice Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Mr. Met Delia, representative of Fushë-Kruja Municipality, Mrs. Majlinda Xhafa, Director of the Public school “Migjeni”, Mr. Skënder Veliu Leader of AMARODROM – Union of Roma in Albania (NGO) and Mr. Florenc Qosja from ADA-Austrian Development Cooperation.

During her speech Mrs. Kastrati mentioned the cooperation that ADRA had with other important stakeholders during these two years of projects’ implementation. Such stakeholders are UNDP, YWCA, ACA, UNCEF, Municipality, Education Department, and Institute of Public Health. During her speech she emphasized that this is the day of the Roma people thus the community will present itself with the products that have been prepared by the Roma women and children.

In her address Mrs. Enkeleda Lopari (Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth) expressed words of appreciation for the project that ADRA Albania is implementing by saying “I am happy that the Roma have the opportunity to access in these programs that will help them in the process of integration.” Mr. Delia from Fushë-Kruja Municipality estimated the collaboration with ADRA Albania as a story of success. Mrs. Majlinda Xhafa, Director of the Public school thanked ADRA Albania for the hard work made with the Roma parents in order to raise their awareness about the importance of education. In her speech she said that only with ADRA collaboration the Public school had achieved to register and integrate the Roma children in the formal education. Whereas, Mr. Florenc Qosja form ADA pointed out that REFLECT project sets a good example for the process of integration of the Roma in the mainstream society.
Before the closure of the ceremony Mrs. Kastrati assessed with certificates of gratitude all the project beneficiaries and invited the guests inside the community centre where were exposed some of the bests handicrafts and pictures made by the Roma women and children.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Anniversary of the community center of Fushë-Kruja

ADRA Albania (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) with the kind support of ADA (Austrian Development Agency), ADRA Austria and ADRA Germany, has the great pleasure to invite you to the anniversary of the Community Centre of Fushë-Kruja.

 On Tuesday, 28 October 2014,
Time: 09.00-14.00,
Street “Kastrioti”

Through “REFLECT – Literacy and Social Skills Training for Roma Women, Men and Children” project ADRA Albania has provided a space for the Roma community where participants learn about issues related to early marriages, health, nutrition, and education, social and economical problems. So far the project achieved:

1.    The integration of Roma children from the segregated school to the public one;
2.    Development of literacy, social and professional skills among the Roma parents;
3.    Decreased the number of early marriages;
4.    Roma boys and girls enrolled and registered in professional courses;

On 28 October 2014 you will have the opportunity to celebrate with us at the community centre. Different partners of the project and representatives of local and central institutions are also invited to take part in this event.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information and to confirm your participation at either by e-mail through or by mobile phone 066 20 92 841.


Beatrice C. Kastrati, Country Director

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Roma Community Excelling at Proactive Learning

Continually, we are bombarded with negatively connotated facts, data’s or stories about how life functions in the Roma Community. The interesting fact is that all these information is presented on such terms not by the Roma Community itself but mostly by the rest of us. We evaluate their culture and mindset upon our own expectations and beliefs. This way, subconsciously we encourage a wrong approach on how we work with Roma Community. What would happen if another approach is taken.
Albert Einstein stated that: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”. As such, at ADRA, we choose to take Einstein’s quote under serious consideration and that is why we began teaching them not upon our mindset and understanding but upon what they seem to be gifted at. In other words, if someone liked proactive learning we provided them with such a proactive course. If someone had a certain ability we provided all the tools to encourage and improve that ability to the point where it could become a tool to empower them and integrate them within the Albanian society. In other words, ADRA Albania began a pilot project where in order to achieve the core objective of developing and empowering the Roma Community we decided to do it upon their terms and not what we saw as logical.
An amazing outcome of such a approach is Izaura Gatali. She is one of the ladies in the Roma Community in Fushe-Kruja and well-known for being very good at knitting. As such, we thought that a professional course on tailoring adapted to her specific needs would help her develop her abilities further. The beginning of the course was a bit difficult for Izaura and the other ladies of the community but soon things began to change. The concern of everyone dropping the courses half way through was substituted by the pleasure of providing everything needed to keep encouraging these girls to absorb the skills and make use of them. The girls became so involved with what they were being taught, to the point where the need of a facilitator was no more necessary. As a matter of fact, regardless of the pregnancy Izaura was going through she never missed any classes and even asked permission to further practice and sew clothes even on Sundays.

Furthermore, Marsela Gatali is another example of how individuals of the Roma Community have not only accepted to learn but actually excelled at what they were being taught as long as this was done in consideration of their personalities and abilities. Within about 3 months of hairdressing course she was asked by the members of the community to prepare the bride of an upcoming wedding and many other members of the community. Marsela states that now I can do more with what I know and I always felt like I was meant for this profession but just had no means to do what I felt like.
I would like to conclude everything by stating that up to this point, individuals attending the courses shaped upon their specific abilities have not only surprised us but fortunately proved all our fears and concerns wrong. They have shown us that with the right approach, they excel and upon this have made us understand that we no more need to change their perspective according to our understanding but simply open new trails to enable them to develop in the direction they choose to.