July – December 2019
Dear friends and colleagues,
I am pleased to present the second issue of Social Contract Institute (SCI) newsletter. Through this newsletter we want to share with you a series of important initiatives that SCI undertook during these months that contribute to strengthen the rule of law, expand civic participation in decision making and also pay special attention to sustainable development in Albania and the region. Here we will also provide information on opportunities, mechanisms and resources of interest to citizens and civil society organizations in Albania.
We hope that this newsletter will serve as a way for SCI to interact with citizens, with other civil society organizations, as well as with public institutions and other political, economic and social actors. We welcome your suggestions for this newsletter as well as SCI’s work activity (you can write to us at the addresses listed at the bottom of this newsletter).
Rule of Law
ALTERNATIVE SENTENCES – ALTERNATIVE FOR A BETTER LIFE
On September 2019, SCI started the implementation of the project Alternative Sentences- Alternative for a Better Life, financially supported by the Netherlands Embassy as part of the MATRA – Rule of Law program. SCI initiated this project as a follow up of the project Improved Awarding and Implementation of Alternative Sentences, supported by and EU-funded program. Alternative Sentences- Alternative for a Better Life aims to improve the award and implementation of alternative sentences in Albania by drafting a practical manual on implementations of PBS law, training judges & prosecutors – in collaboration with the School of Magistrates; lawyers in collaboration with the School of Advocacy, training Pbs in close collaboration with the National Probation Service Directorate; and also to give to the relevant stakeholders a reference book (Manual) for a proper implementation of the law, and equip them with knowledge and skills for a more effective practical implementation of the Albanian legal framework.
TALKING ABOUT MEN AND WOMEN
Gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender and is especially defined in terms of workplace inequality. In Albania, there are segments of the society where men and women, boys and girls, engage in equal partnerships in professional and private lives, but unfortunately their realities and their work are not widely recognized. When we talk about gender equality, we are usually focused in highlighting the examples of women victims of violence, by putting them in a defensive role and talking about how to empower them.
Even the media reporting is mainly focused in violation of women’s rights and gender-based discrimination primarily. On the other hand, the best international practices have shown that we shouldn’t frame gender issues only as women’s issues, but we have to emphasize the role that both men and women play in the family, at work, or at society at large. In June 2019, SCI started the implementation of “Talking about men and women” project whose aim is to highlight the cases where men and women cooperate together by showing good examples to be followed by men and women in Albania and especially by boys and girls in order to have a fair and equal society in the future. SCI will produce 10 podcasts that will be distributed through the National Public Radio “Radio Tirana” and online platforms, in a series entitled “Talking About Men and Women” focusing on relationships between men and women in Albania, based on real life stories. This initiative will promote change by providing good examples and role models on gender balanced partnerships who advance progressive causes. This project is funded by East West Management Institute (EWMI).
On October 2nd 2019, SCI in collaboration with ISO Center in Gjirokaster launched a new initiative titled Young Guides that aims to enrich tourist resources of Gjirokastra region through youth engagement. SCI will select 25 boys and girls who will serve as tourist guides for the municipalities and/or villages where they live. The Young Guides will have trainings in cultural heritage, communication skills and on different practices how to promote tourism. They will also create an inventory of tourist resources in Gjirokastra and based on those materials will prepare two new itineraries/trails for the tourists. This experience will be beneficial for them to increase their chances to get employed. SCI will promote the young guides in all the hotels, restaurants and other tourist spots in Gjirokaster. This project is financially funded by the Agency for the Support of Civil Society (AMSHC) and it’s a 9-month project.
Vulnerable groups (Roma, minorities, youth with disabilities, young women, and migration returnees) discrimination is still widespread through Albania and most efforts focus on human rights and media reporting on problematics related to this target group, by enlarging the gap between them and the society. At the same time, these individuals engage in important activities and establish a really good professional life but unfortunately their success is not widely recognized and the media rarely covers these examples. In September 2019, SCI started the implementation of US, a project that aims to create a more conducive environment for youth initiatives in Albania through the power of positive role models. SCI will select 50 young people from Tirana, Korca, Gjirokaster, Fier and Durres (unemployed young people, vulnerable groups of Roma minorities, youth with disabilities, young women, migration returnees) who will be trained in capacity building, personal development skills and how to get access to the labor market. The purpose of this project is to equip youngsters with practical skills in order to empower them to live an independent life. To raise awareness, SCI will produce 10 video messages by representatives of vulnerable communities as a way to motivate by showing positive success stories of the people coming from the same target group. This project is financially funded by GIZ Albania.
Worldwide, agriculture today is facing a big problem, it’s not appealing, especially for young people or migrant returnees. Most of the young people think that working in agriculture means a lot of effort and a very small payback. For them, this sector offers few opportunities for further career development. In October 2019, SCI took a new initiative that aims to increase the involvement of youth in agriculture sector by training them on raising their capacities to access the labor market in agriculture. It will be implemented in Tirana, Shijak, Lushnje, where fifty young people who will be selected will benefit a set of skills and knowledge related to access to employment, self-employment and also get trained on how to create a new business in agriculture. “New Green” will contribute in an increased involvement of youth in agriculture sector with upgraded capacities and skills during the course of its implementation. Twenty youngsters will be part of a one-month internship near agricultural businesses, offering them a chance to have a hands-on practice and mentoring them to be involved in the agriculture business as employees or starting their own business. This project is financially funded by GIZ Albania.
Other Activities & Collaborations
- During September 18-22 2019, SCI brought the Balkan Girl Power exhibition to Seanema Film Festival in Ulcinj, Montenegro.
- In October 2019, SCI was certified from USAID/Albania for the participation in the capacity development assistance program of the Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project in Albania (ACDC), funded by USAID/Albania and implemented by ANTTARC. Also, ACDC experts assisted SCI to draft its first Strategic Plan.
- The Project Coordinator of SCI, Dea Miloti attended the Academy of NGOs Program organized from Partners Albania. This is a program to enhance the skills and professional development of Albanian NGOs leaders to build effective organizations serving the public and stakeholders.
- SCI supported for five months the psycho-social Center “Vatra” in organizing their 20th anniversary event. The event took place on November 20, 2019 with the participation of high-level representatives from central and local government institutions, foreign embassies representatives, local, national and international NGOs, etc.
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