In rural communities in Albania, it can be a struggle for girls and women to gain training to find employment and become self-sufficient. Later in life, if a family loses the father – who is typically the breadwinner- it can be difficult for the mother to find work.
Islamic Relief offered classes to provide vulnerable women with a trade, and the skills to earn a decent living. Subjects included English, IT, secretarial, marketing and management, handicrafts and rearing livestock. The women also received training in hygiene and supporting children with trauma or with difficult behaviour.
Working together to gain new skills
The courses also offered the mothers a chance to socialise with other women in their situation and work collaboratively. The group decided to organise a picnic and at the end of the course, Islamic Relief ran two competitions in each region to compete for a prize for the person with the best English or computer skills.
The courses finished in 2013, and some students have already used the skills they learned to secure jobs. Regersa Myzegari is now employed as a receptionist at the American Hospital of Lushnja after completing courses in English and secretarial skills. Trendelina Jakupillari was trained in handicraft and sewing skills and is now working at an Italian clothes factory.
“Taking part in this course was so important to me; it will help me find a good job, while also enabling me to help my children with their English homework.”
Vera Bilali attended English classes in Shkodra.