The main aim of this project is to help the Albanian population who are currently affected by the recent natural disasters of earthquake and the codvid-19 pandemic and will mainly focus on women, girls and the youth. This is in line with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs´ policy in Albania, which is aimed to reinforce human security and guarantee the resilience of the most vulnerable populations to disasters and at the same time with the approach of the Ministry of Education, for guaranteeing access in school for all children.
In December 2019, after the occurrence of the earthquake, the Government of Albania declared a state of emergency for two Districts – Tirana and Durrës. The Government, through the Ministry of Defense, conducted rescue operations and installed shelter facilities for the about 5,200 internally displaced persons, who were without shelter in the aftermath of the disaster. However, this intervention was not enough to reduce the humanitarian crisis that was created. Assessment done by ADRA Albania revealed that there are still needs for shelters, food, WASH supplies and facilities, psychosocial support (PSS) for children and adults and back-to-school programs. This is especially true – but not exclusively – for the Roma and Egyptian Communities living in Fushë-Kruja, Tirana-Astir, Kujë, Shengjin, Thumanë and Bubq which are considered as priority geographical areas by the Government.
In addition to the already worse situation, Albania witnessed her first case of covid-19 positive case on March 9, 2020. This resulted in the government enforcement of restrictions such as the closure of schools and some companies. The restriction measures imposed by the Albanian government had a bad impact on the economic, educational, psychological and social lives of many of the population especially those in the poor Roman\Egyptian communities. For example, the closure of all schools resulted in many educational institutions resorting to the use of online platforms such as Moodle, Google Classroom and Zoom Meeting. Nevertheless, in less industrialized rural areas of Albania (especially the Roma and Egyptian communities), both the pupils/students and the teachers lack the capacities and technical preconditions to implement comprehensive e-learning systems.
This project is providing the initial interventions for development at the local level, in schools and communities. Also, it is providing guidance and support to individuals and families so that they can overcome the difficulties created by the pandemic COVID-19. ADRA Albania is providing reasonable measures to protect the physical and mental health of the population in high-risk areas in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on the rapid needs assessment conducted by the ADRA staff in the targeted areas the project is helping in the areas of:
- Psychosocial and mental health support: providing psychosocial support to adults and children through individual counseling sessions, group therapy sessions and procreative activities for children and adults who need assistance and show signs of trauma after the earthquake and covid19;
- Education: providing supplementary classes and extracurricular activities (alternative school program) in the premises of TLC which will help children of the targeted areas to catch up with the formal school program. Another part of the education program will be providing capacity-building sessions in Disaster response and Environment Protection to psychologists of public schools and of child protection and social workers from Bubq, Borizane and Thumana administrative units. Another training session is being dedicated to E-Learning for school teachers.
- Reconstructions, Education awareness and environment protection: organizing awareness-raising campaigns by ADRA staff, volunteers, CPU workers, social workers and parents on reconstruction of schools, Education and Environment protection. This awareness raising is being organized in cooperation with the local administrative units.
- Assistance Relief Goods, digital Program Supplies and Activities: providing the necessary program supplies for the creation of the Temporary Learning Centers (TLC) in Bubq, Thumana and Borizana villages which will serve as daily development centers to children who do not have access to the internet due to poverty or social exclusion.
The project has achieved most of its intended purpose and is in the process of winding up. We expect to have all targets met by the close of the month of May (which is the end of the project timeline). Exist strategies such as training of teachers and social workers are being used to sustain intervention.