Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. One in three young people are unemployed, and for those who do have jobs, income levels have fallen to just 26% of the EU average. As a result, meeting basic needs is a daily challenge for many people and an incredible 56% of all Albanians want to emigrate, a Gallup poll found in 2017.
Albania is also a major source country for people trafficking and forced labour; and money laundering and drug trafficking are rife. Also, women have poor social and economic status in what is a patriarchal culture, and one woman dies every month as a result of domestic violence.
Our work in Albania focuses on the port city of Durres, where many people move from poverty in rural areas to find work, but we also work in Tirana, in Berat and in neighbouring villages.
We work with families and children, addressing issues such as addiction and domestic violence when necessary. By providing a route to self-sufficiency and alleviating poverty, we hope to make families less vulnerable to trafficking and to labour migration. We also run a Soup Kitchen for the elderly, many of whom are alone after their children moved abroad to find work. We provide educational support to children, making sure they have what they need to get a good education and a brighter future.