Shkodra is called “The Cradle of Albanian culture”, or the “Florence of the Balkans”, and it has always been considered the moral capital of Albania. It hosts around 108,000 inhabitants and, as for the rest of Albania, Shkodra is going through a very difficult transition from an economic, cultural and social point of view. There is indeed an increment of vulnerable groups. Many children are dropping out of school and are likely to become future illiterate, while others are working without any social protection or are victims of child trafficking. Women are more often victims of domestic violence and are forced into early marriages that prevent them to finish school. Elderly people and children are left on their own without any protection from the Government (the numbers of orphanages and homes for the elderly are inadequate and are present only in major cities). Roma children are also often socially excluded and sometimes victims of intolerance from the Albanian community.
In this difficult environment, AnlaDi, in collaboration with I care Shkoder, supports a local canteen that provides to thirty-five poor and marginalized children aged between 6 and 14, a daily hot meal.
The Project Manager of Icare Shkodra, Mr. Nocchi has requested to all children of the canteen to participate to this important initiative: however, out of thirty-five children, only ten agreed with enthusiasm to participate. Mr. Nocchi read them the Convention on the Rights of Child in the Albanian language and then asked them to tell a story of their lives on the right that most they liked. There were some dramatic stories related to the realities they experienced. Everyone, with paper and coloured pens, then express their feelings and emotions.