lbanian Orthodox Church
Oltiana Ndroqi – March 2014
The 26th edition of the Eastern European Day, held on 25th of January 2014, by HEKS, a Swiss humanitarian organization, invited five non-governmental organizations from the Eastern Europe, to present different social services they provide for marginalized population.
The main topic of this event was the discussion about the cooperation between non-governmental organizations and the public institutions operating in the social sector. This year, marking the third time of participation, the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, was represented by the work of its office, Diakonia Agapes, concretely, with the project “Empowerment and inclusive institutional practices for the Egyptian community of Shushicë, Elbasan”.
This project that started in July 2013 and will continue until May 2014, is being financially supported by HEKS, with the aim to increase the Egyptian community and the public institutions awareness, about the rights of the Egyptian Minority. The project activities convey the message of higher inclusion and empowerment of the Egyptian community that could be achieved through better acquaintance and correct enforcement of the legal framework by the public institutions.
One of the main elements highlighted as important during the talks was the Diakonia Agapes approach in implementing the project, i.e. the priority given in this process for strengthening of a new local branch of the Egyptian Association named “Sfinksi”. This is a first step that will support the local Egyptian community in having an official representation when the identification of the problems and the finding of solutions is discussed vis a vis the public local and central institutions.
Diakonia Agapes has been implementing programs since the year 1998, guided by the mission to express God’s sacrificial love for all humanity, working especially with the most vulnerable and marginalized groups of the society. The Eastern European Day event provided an opportunity for all participants mainly from Switzerland, to get to know more about the social and development initiatives undertaken by the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania that since many years now, very actively contributes in the advancement of the Albanian society and the promotion of co-existence in a society with love.