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Albania

Check our projects in Albania

Albania has seen considerable positive changes in child protection in the last years. However, too many children are still exposed to the risks of migration, trafficking and abuse. Our aim is to ensure that they are effectively protected and their rights are respected. To achieve this, we work in close partnership with government institutions and communities.

Our key results in 2017

  • 8500 children took part in our after-school and psychosocial activities;
  • 4800 parents participated in economic empowerment and health promotion projects;
  • 1100 professionals were trained to provide better child protection services.​

 

What we do

CHILD PROTECTION

To support child victims of abuse and identify those at risk, we contribute to improving the child protection system in Albania. We offer training and networking opportunities to professionals and empower local organisations through grants and mobilisation activities to develop initiatives for child protection. Children receive access to services, take part in psychosocial activities and get counselling. They can attend afterschool classes and learn about their rights, while parents take part in positive parenting courses. We also advocate for integration of child protection policies and strategies into the legal framework.

CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN MIGRATION

Families and children who migrate sometimes run great risks, whether along the way, at their destination or upon returning to Albania. They are willing to take these risks only because of severe economic hardship or violations of their rights at home. We help parents set up an income-generating activity, encourage children to attend school or to undertake vocational training and offer them after-school activities. In addition, our experts contribute to the improvement of both the regulatory framework and the services for children on the move and strengthen cross-border cooperation in the Balkans to prevent trafficking.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE FOR CHILDREN

Violent extremism among children and youth in Albania is mainly caused by difficult socio-economic conditions, lack of education opportunities, and isolation. To counter this phenomenon we are building youth resilience through an innovative approach at community level. We work with youth activists, local organisations and authorities. We train them on conflict resolution and leadership, offer grants to support grass-root initiatives to empower youth, and support youth in becoming agents of change by undertaking on-line counter-narrative campaigns.

MOTHER AND CHILD HEALTH

To ensure that the entire population, particularly marginalised and vulnerable groups, can access quality medical care, our teams are supporting ongoing reforms in Albania’s health system. As part of a consortium of three organisations (STPiH and Save the Children), we carry out health promotion campaigns for children and parents, establish training courses and a Master degree for primary healthcare professionals, rehabilitate the existing health care infrastructure and equip health centres and their staff with adequate instruments to work.

Terre des hommes in Albania

Beneficiaries in 2017: 14,813 people

Expatriate / local employees: 1 / 34

2018 Budget: CHF 4,021,000

Supported by: EuropeAid, Austrian Development Cooperation, US Department - Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), UNICEF, Government of the Netherlands

Our Story

1993 Terre des hommes starts its activity in Albania, focusing on combating child trafficking, abuse, neglect and exploitation and on developing the child protection system.

1999 During the Kosovo war, Tdh provides emergency assistance to refugees in Korça, including food aid, hygiene kits as well as psychological and social support.

2000 Launch of a large scale project to combat child trafficking between Albania and Greece, which earned Tdh the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic in 2002.

2010 The Law on the Protection of Child Rights is adopted, which includes the Child Protection Unit model led by Tdh.

2016 Tdh begins the work on the reintegration of migrant families returning to Albania and on prevention of unsafe migration.

2017 The new Law on the Rights and Protection of the Children is adopted with the contribution of Tdh experts.

2017 Tdh starts an innovative project to address violent extremism among youth. This also marks the beginning of the juvenile justice programme in Albania.

The story of Klara (8), Klea (8) and Erjon (12)

The twin girls Klara and Klea and their brother Erjon live with their parents in a small village in Northern Albania. Tdh facilitated their reintegration after their asylum appeal was turned down in Germany.

Poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and unavailability of services in Albania have been identified as the main causes of emigration. Forced returns have increased over the past years, for many disqualify for asylum in Western Europe. The returnees face major challenges, particularly to reintegrate back into the education system. Their social and economic conditions are often tougher than prior to their departure.

The story of the family of Klara, Klea and Erjon is no exception. Due to poverty, the family migrated to Germany in 2016 to seek asylum in view of finding better opportunities. “I dreamt of going to Germany for two years, to work hard and earn some money to build our own house in Albania, because we don’t have one here,” says their mother. Consequently, they invested all their savings to make their “dream” come true. But the reality was different: in Germany, they lived in a refugee camp for four months as they waited for a response to their asylum appeal. “The conditions in the camp were very bad; my kids were always getting sick. And while you wait for the response, children can’t go to school,” she says.

The family disqualified for asylum and had to return to Albania penniless and without preparation for their reintegration. A child protection worker, who was trained and is regularly assisted by Tdh, took over the case and worked to improve their condition. Tdh focuses on proper reintegration of the returned children, or protects those at risk of unsafe migration. This is done in collaboration with  communities, civil society, organisations and state structures to give children access to the education system and social services. Tdh increases these actor’s capacities with training so that they can adequately help returned children and their families reintegrate.

An income-generating project and school support

The family of Klara, Klea and Erjon received a small house for shelter from their relatives, but it was in poor shape. Tdh helped them renovate the dwelling and gave them funds to buy a cooker and a washing machine. In addition, the family was granted capital to start an income-generating activity. Now, they run a small shop at the entrance of their courtyard, which financially meets their daily basic needs.

Their children attended extra tuition classes at our after-school services in order to recover for the months they missed school. “We like going to school, we have friends there,” says one of the twin sisters. They also participate in the psychosocial activities at the Tdh community centre, where they interact with their peers and develop their cognitive and creative abilities.

Our child protection workers continue to monitor the situation closely. If necessary, further support will be offered. For Tdh, reintegration is a continuous process that requires long term measures and guidance, in view of enabling the returned families to attain social and financial autonomy.