Jasmina Çoçja reports on how our Community Training Centre is helping poor people in Albania to improve their lives.
I am the Coordinator for Islamic Relief’s Community Training Center ‘Daut Borici’. I joined the team two years ago, and I love my job because we are enabling poor people to build brighter futures. The feeling that you are helping someone to improve their lives is a great sensation.
As coordinator for the Centre, I make sure that the training on offer at the centre is of the best possible quality and that we are continuously improving standards for people who participate in our training.
Giving people the skills needed to escape poverty
Islamic Relief set up the centre – which is based in Shkodra – more than 20 years ago. One of the first of its kind in the area, the centre now offers a range of courses designed to give poor people the skills they need to lift themselves out of poverty.
Vocational courses include plumbing, tailoring and cookery, with training also available in information and technology subjects as well as technical software. People can choose to learn a number of foreign languages or even basic skills such as mathematics.
Thousands have benefitted so far
With a kindergarten to enable parents to study while their children are cared for, nearly 9,900 people have so far accessed the learning available at the Community Training Centre.
People who may have struggled to access formal education facilities have gained government-recognised certificates, gained a vocation and learned skills to help them to get jobs so they can provide for their families.
For example, a recent course delivered in collaboration with the Labor Office in Shkodra, saw a dozen mothers of orphaned children gain valuable cooking skills. Not only does this mean they can cook more nutritious meals for their children, they are also better placed to secure jobs so they can earn a decent living.
I am proud to be part of the team for the training centre, which is ranked amongst the best community training centres in Shkodra Municipality – particularly for our work in improving youth education. Disabled people, orphaned children and other vulnerable people often qualify for free courses, whilst students that can pay are helping support a service that is empowering the local community in the fight against poverty.
Islamic Relief began working in Albania in 1991. As well as community training, we are delivering vital development projects in the country and supporting vulnerable children through our orphan sponsorship programme.