May 4th. A big event has been organized by Adra Albania in the main square of Fushe-Kruje. Social workers, Tirana police representatives, the head of the local police, a school security officer (who is also a psychologist), and students of 6 schools and their teachers all gathered to discuss about violence at school, sexual abuse, cyberviolence and teenage destructive behaviours. After a round table from the representative where each guest explained their role, they pointed out the necessity to speak up in case of danger and discomfort, to know their rights and to collaborate with competent authorities in order to work together on structural issues and build up a better future.
The floor was then given to students from each school to be part of the discussion. Sava invited the spokespersons from each of the six schools to express their concerns, describe their reality at school, at home and the problems that they might face in their daily life. The main difficulty exposed by the students was that most of the schools don’t have any security officers. Thus they have no one to turn to in case of immediate need. In the Kruja region, the educational teams are usually very limited in means and dont have the capacity to fully accompany the children outside of the classroom.
I asked Sava why her awareness campaigns workshops only include small groups of 15 students each time, and not the whole school. She explained to me that participation in activities used to be very low 5 years ago. There is a real distrust of politicians and institutions here in Kruja. The population in areas far from major cities still doesn’t fully understand what civil society may imply and their disconnection with political parties. The key is that by focusing on few students and constituting activist groups, the reach of the messages intensifies as these students truly embody their subjects.