Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Through our grassroots work we witness first-hand how poverty is directly linked to human trafficking. And we witness how economic stress can act as a trigger for violence against family members. Our economic empowerment programme includes a wide range of initiatives to help beneficiaries to achieve economic stability.
The Albanian job market is dominated by unskilled jobs in the construction sector, shoe and clothing industry, and seasonal employment in tourism. MWL therefore invests heavily in vocational training for young women and men to achieve permanent employment and a steady income.
Our youth programme, run in 4 areas in the north of Albania, equips young people with skills for in-demand areas of work such as Hairdressing, Plumbing and Tailoring. Each beneficiary is also offered internships/work placements to develop their skills. They are also given tool kits to support their transition to self-employment.
Young people who benefit from the training program are also encouraged to identify needs in their local area and carry out projects that meet these needs. Additional training is offered in entrepreneurship, on writing business plans and a CV, and seeking start-up funding. We are proud of our success rate, with nearly all our graduates securing employment as a direct result of their new skills.
Women’s economic livelihoods
Women’s economic livelihoods are supported by two social business initiatives launched by MWL. The transfer of the day-to-day running of the Tropoja tourist workshop to one of the female employees marks an important moment in the economic empowerment of our beneficiaries. Using business skills acquired through MWL training, the manager now independently coordinates the workshop activity. She supports the livelihood of 20 women through the production and sales of their handicrafts.