“Children of different age groups who are a due to the war had to interrupt school, disconnect from their daily life with the activities they undertake and their dreams, (for which worked day by day to realize them), to lock them in a drawer for an indefinite period of time until the war is over, and the country stabilizes but is this the right and fair solution for them and, in this case, who should be responsible?”
In a vibrant speech pronounced during the exhibition opening in Kruja Cultural Center, Sueda Dema, a student from the school “Shaqir Lleja” in Bushnes, invites us to appeal to our humanity and reach out to all victims of conflict, fight alongside them so that they can regain their fundamental rights.
“Hear me. See me. Walk with me!”
This opening ceremony of the exhibition was marking the closing of the art contest “Hear me. See me. Walk with me!” organized by Adra Europe. Adra Albania and the Director of the Cultural Center of Kruja exhibited the fifteen art pieces from the young artists of the region and presented the two Albanian winners of this International contest. Paloma Zenuni, from the “Selman Daci” school of Bubq won the competition with the highest number of votes with her painting called “War cannot be humanized. It can only be abolished”. Just behind her, Anxhela Tusha from “Adem Gjeli” school of Fushë Krujë reached the second position.
In a second ceremony with the students from “Jeronim de Rada” school of Elbasan, the young artists presented their inspiring drawings and received their diploma from ADRA Albania.
Through a European call to creativity, ADRA Europe, part of the international humanitarian aid agency ADRA, encourages young people to use their talent and inventiveness to learn, understand, and support people forced to flee their country. Youth and their families shared the message that everyone deserves to be treated with practical kindness, justice, compassion and love.
“On the surface, art is about people, historical events, monsters, nature, or even robots; at a foundational level, it’s about universal things: our struggles with mortality, loss, and defining who we are in the world.
And this is what our Art contest is all about. Telling stories about ourselves, foreigners, refugees, and our feelings and perspectives about displacement and what it is to live a life of uncertainty and persecution”
The winners have the choice to receive a special prize (school furniture, vouchers for attending a youth camp or congress, or a volunteer experience of ADRA projects in Europe) or to donate it by providing school supplies for the refugee children.
The young participants really engaged with the contest and delivered us moving works. They understood the difficult situations that refugees are facing and sensed the urgency in which they live. Through their creativity, they have been able to express their solidarity, to show empathy and great sensitivity. As Albanian, they are familiar with the phenomena of migration.
Schooling is absolutely necessary in the conflict resolution process. ADRA explains in its Global Education Report that quality education directly impacts on the achievement of other human rights and significantly improve long-term outcomes for vulnerable children. Research have established the link between school enrolment and the reduction of conflict in different countries. Thus, a country that has more than 87% of its children in school can decrease the risk of conflict by nearly 75%. Moreover, it has been proven that education leads more to the decreasing deaths from climate-related disasters than economic growth. Education help to reduce vulnerability to disasters and aiding adaptation to climate change.
Within the frame of the project “Every child. Everywhere. In school”, ADRA is listing thee recommendations for policy makers:
- Countries prone to disaster and affected by conflict should factor crisis into their long-term education planning.
- Refugee children be included in national education systems.
- Education is not the first casualty of crisis. Donor countries should provide flexible and accelerated funding in times of crisis, designated for education.
- As governments formulate their plans to reopen schools, safety for all and inclusion should be incontrovertible considerations.
Through a petition, ADRA invites everyone to use their voice and sign. With 1 million of signatures, we can pressure world leaders to commit to ensuring that all children, adolescents and youth have access to free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education.
The link to the petition here: https://inschool.adra.org/fr#sign-petition
 IOM, Migration and Albania. https://albania.iom.int/migration-and-albania
 UNHCR’s Refugee Population Statistics Database, https://www.unhcr.org/refugee-statistics/
 UNHCR updates Ukraine refugee data, reflecting recent movements, June 2022, https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2022/6/62a0c6d34/unhcr-updates-ukraine-refugee-data-reflecting-recent-movements.html
 ADRA, Global Education Report, 29 September 2020,
 Dixon, J. (2009) What Causes Civil Wars? Integrating Quantitative Research Findings. International Studies Review, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 703-735
Lutz, W. Muttarak, R. & Striessnig, E. (2014) Universal education is key to enhanced climate adaptation. Science, vol. 28, pp. 1061-1062