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SOS Social Centres in Albania

In Albania there are currently three Social Centres for children and the local community, in Sauk, Don Bosco and Shkodra.  Many SOS Social Centres operate via Family Strengthening Programmes, which aim to support the wider community.  Below is some information about the Social Centres that SOS Children runs in Albania:

SOS Social Centres around Albania: In-Depth

SaukChildren supported by SOS Social Centre FSP at Sauk, Albania

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

The Social Centre in Sauk is a Family Strengthening Programme that has been running since 2003 as an ‘open up the village’ campaign.  In 2006 it was extended. With this programme, disadvantaged families whose children are at risk of being abandoned are supported.

Work and Achievements:

By December 2009, 93 families comprising of 232 children (115 boys and 117 girls) and 170 adults (74 males and 96 females) were supported by the project. 12 families left the project due to self-reliance and 11 families left the project prematurely, for varying reasons, including: changed location and lack of cooperation.

During 2009, special focus has been the enrichment of services. Psychology and pediatrician services were integrated in the package of services. Two external experts were contracted for 5 hours per week and offered specialized support in both the psychological and health fields. In education, a mini-library was established where children have enjoyed reading different books. Children are also supported with clothing, hygienic materials and psycho-social support in an ongoing part of the project. Continuous activities are organized in cooperation with the SOS School and Nursery. 29 children attend SOS Nursery and 9 children attend SOS School. 108 children attend the after school programme, which consist of different activities such as: courses and individual educational support etc.

Since the project is in its fourth year, an external evaluation was carried out in 2009. Data results and survey analysis show that the project has made a significant change in the life of its beneficiaries.

Don Bosco

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

The Family Strengthening Programme in Don Bosco has been operating since 2007.  It offers access to essential services for children’s development (eg. educational, nutritional and health support, social skills) and support families to protect and care for their children.

Work and Achievements:

Family Strengthening Project Don Bosco is in its third year of operation in Local Governmental Unit no.9 in Tirana. By the of December 2009, 86 families, comprising of 225 children (109 boys and 116 girls) and 151 adults (63 males and 88 females) were supported in the FS project. 24 families left the project successfully. Only 1 family dropped out earlier at their own wish.

One of the key lessons learnt during the implementation of the project relates to the importance of building a genuine, open, and trustful relationship with the families. When they feel comfortable in this relationship, they take a pro-active approach to find solutions for their own problems. On the other hand, increase of social and entertainment activities is appreciated from the project participants.

ShkodraFamily supported by SOS Social Centre FSP at Shkodra, Albania

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

The Social Centre operates through a Family Strengthening Programme, started in 2008.  The programme aims to help families at risk or with problems. It also aims at linking families with income generating activities and offers help to improve the parents’ parenting skills.

Work and Achievements:

The Family Strengthening project Shkodra is in its second year of operation in the Administrative unit’s no.4 and no.5 in the city of Shkodra. These units include families with low level of income, and lack of access to services such as: education, health care and hygienic facilities etc.

By the end of December 2009, 125 families, comprising of 317 children (159 boys and 158 girls) and 232 adults (95 males and 137 females) were supported in the project. Seven families left the project successfully where the objectives in the family development plan were achieved. All of the families had a member with a secure job contributing to the family income.  Four families left the project for other reasons.

One of our strong points during 2009 was the active involvement of FSP Shkodra in different networks, especially in activities related to the advocacy field. FSP Shkodra participated in a working group about preparation of the social services map, coordinated from the Municipality of Shkodra.  This led to the establishment of a database for the registration of childrens data, meetings about road safety for schools and nurseries, and raising awareness for children rights etc.

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Did you know? SOS Children has been working since 1949, providing charity care for children and families.