Albanian Orthodox Church Projects empower Women through Sustainable Economic Initiatives

Albanian Orthodox Church
October 2014

The construction of the Greenhouses are Completed for the Beneficiaries of the Project, “Empowering the Women through Sustainable Economic Initiatives” in the Municipality of Shushicë, Elbasan.

 Twenty  women, residents of the municipality of Shushica, have completed the construction of the greenhouses that were the final phase of the project funded by USAID and Assist Impact and implemented by Diakonia Agapes of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. They were selected from among 60 competitors for this project. The team responsible for the building of the greenhouses started work in the beginning of August and completed the construction of greenhouses for the women of the villages Mliza, Shelcan and Shushica.
The building of the greenhouses constitutes the finalizing of the efforts began in January of this year with awareness meetings on gender equality which brought together more than 240 women and men in meetings to discuss social issues that have a major impact on society, such as: human rights, domestic violence, gender equality and community mobilization. The meetings were followed later by training the women for the cultivation of vegetables in open fields and greenhouses, and their capabilities for the marketing and sale of products, the development of a personal business plan, and then their selection. The entire project was aimed at greater involvement of participants, not only women, but also men in each of the activities.
This selection was made by Diakonia Agapes based on its many years of experience with projects in Shushica and recognizing the needs and the potential of this area and its residents. It was observed that it was really a big commitment, motivation and financial contribution to this initiative, which will provide the opportunity for 20 women, 20 families, not only to build new greenhouses (adding 1800m² surface with greenhouses in Shushica), but also to enhance in this way the agricultural production and thus the financial income of families. Through this project they were also to learn about the safety of the products cultivated by farmers, so they were also trained on the rules for use of various pesticides and different poisons during the cultivation of the agricultural products. The support was great also from the local municipality of Shushica and by the agricultural specialists of this municipality.
This project was designed based on the needs of the residents of Shushica, the difficulties that are faced, particularly by the women there, when they try to increase their contribution to the family and overcome the social and economic barriers against them. These 20 new initiatives will serve as positive examples of the potential that the women have as obvious co-contributors to the growth and the welfare of the family and the community where they live.