FINAL RAPORT: VTLEPI 2016-2017 in North Albania

Period: 01 November 2016 – 01 December 2017
“Support social-economic reintegration of UXO/ERW survivors of Albania through Vocational Training Initiative (VTLEPI)” in Albania ”

Title of the Project: “Support social-economic reintegration of UXO/ERW survivors of Albania through Vocational Training Initiative (VTLEPI)”

Project duration: 01 November 2016 – 01 December 2017
Implementing Agency: ALB-AID
Donor: US Dept. of State through ITF Enhancing Human Security (Slovenia)
Total budget allocated: 76.787 $ US
Total Funds used: 76.787 $ US
Date of Endorsement by AMMCO: 12/12/2017
Date of submission of the report: 22 December 2017
Report prepared by: Gentian Palushi, Executive Director of Alb-Aid

Acknowledgements

The staff of this Project expresses special thanks to the US Department of States and ITF staff, without whose support it would have been impossible to organize Vocational Training Courses for UXO/ERW survivors.

We also extend our thanks to AMMCO and to the Instructors of the Vocational Training Centers of Tirana and Prizren who gave their most appreciated contribution for the successful implementation of this project.

I. Executive summary.

This report describes implementation of VTLEPI project funded by US Dept of States through ITF for the period November 2016-November 2017.The project implementation started with staff hiring and project orientation meeting. Detailed action plan was carefully prepared in order to meet the deadlines. The draft list with 195 persons was prepared and the staff of the project selected the potential candidates which have answered yes to the questionnaire question; In order to be reintegrated in the normal life, what kind of support do you need? The potential candidates have been selected based to the set criteria attached in order to make proper and fair selection of beneficiaries.
Out of 195 survivors, 60 survivors expressed their commitment to participate in the project. From this list, those who got the highest points were contacted first. Based on the first list and feed back from beneficiaries, a second list was completed reduced to 29 beneficiaries with the highest points. Based on the field visits the list with final students/candidates to attend the vocational course was completed. 29 students were selected to attend the vocational courses.
All the potential candidates were re-visited by the project team in order to finalize the list of final beneficiaries who will attend the vocational courses. Based on the field visits the list with final students/candidates to attend the vocational course was completed in coordination with AMMCO.
The final selection was done in cooperation with Albanian Mine and Monition Coordination Office (AMMCO). An agreement has been signed with the Training Centers to make sure that the students will be accepted to attend vocational courses.
The students were sent to visit the training facilities. Conditions of the training were explained to them and contracts were signed with 25 of them who responded immediately and started the Vocational Training Courses in the desired vocations.
After the completion of preparatory work, the students started to be placed in the desired courses which continued between 2-4 months. During the project period 25 students completed the vocational courses. In addition one training for business/entrepreneurship was conducted with 18 students who completed the vocational courses in order to encourage them establish their home based businesses.
The Vocational Courses were closely monitored by Victim Assistance & Risk Education Coordinator from AMMCO.

I.1 Selection of the beneficiaries

The point system for the selection of new candidates was modified in order to reflect the new changes. Using the agreed point system, the preliminary list of potential beneficiaries was prepared. 60 survivors were contacted to decide about the professions that they wish to attend. The team processed the selection of final beneficiaries in coordination with AMMCO. If the students change their minds an option has been given to them when they are registered to change the preferred profession/course. They were also informed for the most viable professions and courses that could be suitable for their particular circumstances.
Meetings were made with the centre Director to plan and make arrangements for the students to be placed in the desired courses.
The potential candidates have been selected based in the below criteria:
1. Age (young ages will have the priority) 20 points
2. Social Economic conditions (family incomes- the poorest will be motivated first (size of family) 30 points
3. Opportunities for Employment /business following the course 30 points
4. Motivation 20 points
The former files and materials of vocational training projects were carefully studied and revised in order to avoid any duplication and to ensure continuity of the project.
The project team has conducted regular monitoring of students progress during their courses and has supported them with teaching materials and petty cash for daily expenses.

25 students completed vocational courses as follows:

  1. Electro-domestic Appliances      –  4;
  2. Bases of Computer & Repair      –   3;
  3. Hydro-sanitary installations        –  2;
  4. Waiter-Cook                             –   1;
  5. English                                    –  5
  6. Tailoring                                    –  1
  7. Auto-electrics                            –  3
  8. Business management                –   2
  9. Barber                                       –  2
  10. Tourism Guide                          –   1
  11. Italian                                       –  1

4 students have finished the second level of the course as follows:

  1. Auto-electrics                            –  2
  2. Hydro-sanitary installations         –  2;

Results:

  • 9 UXO/ERW trained survivors have been employed and self-employed
  • 25 UXO/ERW survivors got professional skills and enter the local job market or establish their own

[1] Annex 4 list of employed survivors

I.2 The main activities conducted under this project:

  • Staff orientated on administrative issues and financial standards;
  • Prepared detailed action plan for the project implementation,
  • Processed the former Survey Questionnaires of 195 persons who have expressed interest in Voc. Trainings
  • Processed the data for Potential Candidates and produced the list using point system for potential candidates
  • Contacted the students and collected results for their attendance
  • Established institutional cooperation with the director of the Vocational trainings Center
  • Contacted 60 potential candidates to finalize the list of candidates
  • 3 meetings with the presence of the VA officer organized at the Vocational Centre
  • Collected materials /lists, data and information about Vocational Centres
  • Supported students with materials/expenditures etc
  • Collected Certificates for students for the completion of the courses
  • 3 survivors supported to establish home based businesses/enter local labor market
  • Follow up and monitoring of students progress during Vocational Training Courses-Monitored students progress during Vocational Training Courses through direct field visits from Project staff
  • 25 candidates completed the Vocational Training
  • 25 students supported for transport procedures and with teaching materials each individually
  • 25 certificates collected for the students which completed vocational courses
  • Conducted 82 Field Visits during the project period
  • Organized 1 workshop with the survivors who attended vocational training courses
  • 1 training/workshop organized with 18 trainees

I. The main achievements

  • During the project period 25 students completed vocational courses, out of which: 17 UXO/ERW survivors and 8 adults/family members of UXO/ERW survivors as in the following specialties: electro-domestic appliances; bases of computer & repair; hydro-sanitary installation; waiter-cook; English: tailoring; auto-electrics; business management; barber; tourism guide; Italian.18 trained survivors attended also the business entrepreneurship training.Modules with relevant topics were as follows:
    • Ways to find a job
    • Procedures and documentation for opening a business
    • Prepare a CV
    • Self introduction techniques presentation / different types of letters of interest
    • Legislation for Persons with Disabilities
    • Drafting a Business Plan

    Out of 25 persons who have completed the courses, 9 of them (36 %) have already been employed and self employed, 13 are in the process to form a group to represent their interests and concerns and to be legally recognizes in order to raise funds for this category. While the rest (3) are still looking for proper options and support to establish their home based businesses. As part of the process to support the trainee to be employed, the staff of the project contacted with a specialist from the Ministry of Tourism to certify a survivor that completed the touristic guide course. In this framework the survivor has been instructed to prepare a list of documents for which we will assisted, in order to put his name at the Ministry touristic guide list. Another 4 students have finished the second level of the course as follows: auto-electrics 2; hydro-sanitary installations 2.  In total 55 % of the trainees within the project period are changing their social-economic status as a result of improved skills that are required in the labor market.

III. Background

III.1. General Background

The UXO/ERW/AXO problem: The extent of the UXO/ERW problem in Albania is multi-dimensional: (1) Mines and Unexploded Ordinance laid by the Former Yugoslav (FY) army during 1999 Kosovo conflict; (2) SALW and UXO/ERW spread allover the country during the period of anarchy following the riots of 1997 after the bankruptcy of pyramid schemes;

During the Kosovo conflict in 1999 the border with Albania in a distance of 120 km was heavily mined by the FY (Serbian) Army. In addition to antipersonnel and anti-tank mines, unexploded sub munitions and other unexploded ordnance (UXO) were dropped from FRY artillery up to 20 km inside northeast Albanian territory. 102 mined battle areas and more than 16 million m2 contaminated with mines were left behind. 210 accidents with mines and UXOs have been reported since 1999, living behind 34 killed and 238 injured[1]. Albania was declared free of landmines and cluster munitions in December 2009. Since 1999, continuous support was provided to UXO/ERW survivors and mine affected communities in northeast Albania by the International donors and Albanian Government for their social-economic re-integration. Furthermore, a Prosthetic & Orthotic workshop and physiotherapy unit is established at Kukes Regional Hospital to meet the rehabilitation needs of UXO/ERW survivors and other persons with disabilities. Regarding socio-economic inclusion, 104 survivors and family members attended vocational training courses, out of which 60 % are already employed or have started their own small business.

UXO/ERW spread throughout the country following the riots of 1997

During the civilian riots in 1997, more than 1,300 army stores were looted by civilians during the anarchy that was spread all over the country. As a result of the ammunition depots being looted, UXOs and ammunition (AXO) were spread all over the country. In addition to this, 38 ammunition depots exploded casting UXO/ERW around the areas and creating more than 26 hotspots in Albania. During this period 4,409 civilians with serious injuries were treated in the Albanian Hospitals, more than 3,000 were killed, while 114 other persons were injured in these hotspots resulting from the explosions of ammunition depots from March 1997 to December 1998.

In 2005 with the support of UNDP, the Albanian NGO National Demilitarization Centre under the supervision of Albanian Mine Action Executive (AMMCO) started the data collection about UXO/ERW accidents allover Albania. From 2005 to date Albanian Mine and Munitions Coordination Office (AMMCO) gathers information abut UXO incidents with the support of Albanian Red Cross and ALB-AID. Based on this information a national IMSMA has been established and is maintained by AMMCO at the Ministry of Defense. Thus according to AMMCO, during 1995-2016 there are 996 casualties from mines and unexploded ordnances throughout Albania, out of which 150 dead and 846 injured.

With the Support of US Department (Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement) and Austrian Government during 2013-1015 ALB-AID has conducted a thorough Survey at National Scale about the UXO/ERW victims in Albania to investigate the size of the problem, impact of UXO/ERW/AXO in Albania and to identify their situation and needs[4].

[1] IMSMA Albanian Mine Action,(AMAE) Land Mine  Report 2012

[2] Report of the Ministry of Defense  of Albania, 2002

[3] IMSMA Data Base -August 2016 (AMMCO)

[4] Victims of mines and munitions in Albania, a general overview of their situation and needs. Tirana 2016

III.2 Statement of Needs

The Survey conducted by ALB-AID during 2013-2015 covered all victims and survivors from UXO/ERW in Albania for the period 1995-2015. It helped the Albanian Government to identify, tailor and prioritize the medical and social-economic needs UXO/ERW, in compliance with the national and International conventions on VA. In this respect, the Survey is an important tool for the Albanian Government and International Donors to make VA better planning.

 During the completion of the survey 979 victims (survivors and family members) were visited, while questionnaires were completed with 726 survivors all over Albania. A detailed identification and assessment of their medical and social-economic needs of was done.

According to this survey, UXO/ERW victims in Albania have not received any subsequent attention and support from the government and state institutions. The majority of them are left out of the government social and economic support schemes. They have not benefited from Health and Social Programs. Neither have they benefited from any Government Professional Vocational Program. As such they are subject to discrimination in the labor market. Their families are forced to be the poorest of the poorest as compared to the others and can not afford to attend private vocational courses or start any home based businesses of their own. Being disabled the survivors can not engage themselves in a number of difficult agricultural jobs that need physical strength. So they engage their children instead in agricultural activities in order to survive, thus stopping them from completing school.

Their major Needs for social-Economic re-integration according to the survey are as follows:

  • 347 survivors wish to attend vocational professional courses, 57 survivors wish to attend high school (Secondary school) and 34 persons to attend university studies.
  • 583 survivors need further economic support, from which 49,4% or 288  persons ask for activities that could encourage employment and generate incomes,
  • 195 persons (33%) asked for support to attend vocational courses, while 17,2% or 100 of them ask to be supported with micro – loans for family home based businesses
  • 123 persons need support for the re-imbursement of expenditures of studies of their children;

The proposed project helps to improve vocational/entrepreneurship skills of the mine/ERW survivors and their family members, through providing them with the skills needed to compete as equal members of society with other village groups in the job market. This is indirectly achieved by being employed or self employed as a result of the vocational trainings. The action helps families of UXO/ERW survivors regain their dignity and to be re-integrated in their communities.

III. 3 Experience of ALB-AID in Victims Assistance

ALB-AID (former VMA) has gained a lot of experience working in north Albania with mine victims and mine affected communities since 2001, in Mine Risk Education and Victims Assistance.

During 2003-2016 ALB-AID has provided on-going support and assistance to UXO/ERW survivors and their family members for their social economic re-integration and physical rehabilitation through projects funded by US Department of States through ITF, UNDP Albania and other donors. They have been supported a) with interest free loans to buy cows, b) with logistic support to get medical and rehabilitation services from Kukes hospital, c) to get additional classes to get educationally re-integrated; d) to attend vocational training courses, e) to establish home based businesses.

With the support of UNDP Albania and US Department of States through ITF during 2004-2016 ALB-AID has provided support to 238 UXO/ERW survivors to get specialized medical and social services from different government service providers.

III. 4 Problems addressed by this project:

 This project addressed lack of employment skills among UXO/ERW survivors. Solution of this problem is achieved by:

  1. Improving access to vocational apprenticeship training of 25 UXO/ERW victims/ members of families survivors, will increase  their entrepreneurship and professional labour skills
  2. Advising and support trained beneficiaries how to get employed in the local labour market establish home-based businesses.

The project teaches basic entrepreneurial skills that are not only improving the UXO/ERW survivor’s position in the job market, but also encourage entrepreneurs to establish their own businesses.

The project addressed high unemployment and social exclusion of UXO/ERW survivors and their families in Albania. It provided them with a proper tool to enter labor market/ to establish their own businesses.

The project helped to import new skills for such professions as: career development, data processing, internet use management. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the project taught some basic entrepreneurial skills that not only improved the mine/ERW survivor’s position in the job market, but also encouraged to think about establishing their own businesses. 

The project enabled mine/ERW survivors, to gain dignity and independence through employment and the benefits derived from a stable income for themselves and their children. The action of socially acceptable labor assisted them to reintegrate into society and lead normal lives as valued members of the community and speed the process of de-marginalization within disadvantaged groups.

The activities conducted provided a tool for economic independence, enabling the beneficiaries to improve their financial, social and domestic status. Employment and increase of incomes, going a long way to restoring the dignity of UXO/ERW survivors giving them the opportunity to become accepted and useful members of society and the local community.

The project of the vocational training of UXO/ERW survivors was in line with both the National Strategy on People with Disabilities ‘to ensure significant improvement in the status and life quality of people with disabilities in the Republic of Albania in accordance with UN Standards and Equal Opportunity Acts’,[1] Furthermore the project fitted to the main priorities of Strategy of the Albanian Government and the Albanian framework for the integration of Albania into the European Union.

[1] National Strategy on People with Disabilities, 2005, p. 9

IV. The main outputs

IV.1 The main Results

  • 25 UXO/ERW survivors have completed vocational trainings
  • 18 UXO/ERW trained survivors have got the required entrepreneurship/ professional in the vocational trainings and are able to get employed / establish home based businesses
  • 20 UXO/ERW trained survivors have got professional skills and enter the local job market or establish their own businesses.
  • 36% of trained UXO/ERW survivors are employed/ or have already established home based economies
  • Increased incomes of families of AXO/UXO/ERW survivors whose members have completed vocational courses and are employed by 30 % as a result of employment or establishment of small home-based businesses/or employment.

 IV.2 Indicators

  • Vocational apprenticeship training courses conducted for 25 survivors/ students
  • 25 UXO/ERW survivors trained through vocational training courses
  • 18 UXO/ERW survivors demonstrate good vocational skills after they completed the course
  • 9 trained UXO/ERW survivors have been employed
  • 3 survivors that completed the courses supported to open home based businesses
  • 9 families of the survivors trained through vocational training courses have increased their incomes as a result of the project

 IV.3 Project Context

The project is implemented in the given context that:

  • UXO/ERW survivors in Albania are a disadvantaged vulnerable group that still don’t have full access to Public Services provided by Albanian Institutions,
  • The Government of Albania still can not provide full qualitative medical and social services to UXO?ERW survivors in according to the International Standards for people with disabilities, due to the lack of funds, personnel and  proper policies,
  • UXO/ERW survivors are scattered in very remote areas and are far from the main hospital where they can get the required medical survives. As such they are in need of logistic support to get the hospitals to get the required medical services.

The provision of vocational training of UXO/ERW survivors is inline with both the National Strategy on People with Disabilities ‘to ensure significant improvement in the status and life quality of people with disabilities in the Republic of Albania in accordance with UN Standards and Equal Opportunity Acts’

V.  DESCRIPTION of the Action

The objective of the project is to increase employment and business opportunities for 25 UXO/ERW survivors/ members of the families of UXO/ERW survivors of Albania by improving their professional and entrepreneurship skills.

This is achieved by improving labor and employment skills of 25 UXO/ERW survivors, 9 of which are already employed and 6 are in the process of being employed, the remaining are looking for the option of home-based businesses.

 V.1 Specific Project Objectives

 The objective of VTLEP project is twofold:

  1. The project improved access to vocational apprenticeship training of 25 UXO/ERW victims/ members of families survivors, and increased  their entrepreneurship and professional labour skills
  2. The project supported trained beneficiaries how to get employed in the local labour market establish home-based businesses.

V.2 The Beneficiaries

Description of the target group(s) and final beneficiaries:

The target group of this project are 726 UXO/ERW survivors all over Albania.  Within this target group direct beneficiaries will be 25 UXO/ERW victims out of 195 survivors who have asked for support to attend vocational courses out of 347 survivors who have expressed interest to attend Vocational Courses during Needs Assessment Interviews as follows:

 

Nr Description Planned Realised
Total Survivors Family

members

Total Survivors Family members
1 Vocational Training 25 20 5 25 17 8
2

 

Employed or self-employed 8 7 1 9 7 2

From the total reached: 68 % were UXO/ERW, 32 % have been family members of UXO/ERW survivors. The indirect beneficiaries have been: 726 UXO/ERW survivors and their families.

V.3 Selection Procedures

The procedures for selecting potential beneficiaries have been established by ALB-AID, in cooperation with AMMCO. The questionnaire[1] used for the detailed Survey by ALB-AID and completed with each survivor has been processed in order to ensure equality and transparency for each survivor.

 V.4 Methodology used

Methods of implementation and reasons for the proposed methodology

Direct cooperation with survivors and stakeholders was used from the very start of the project in order to ensure ownership, transparency and successful implementation of the project.

List of beneficiaries’ competed from the former project for the Identification of the need of survivors funded by US Department has been used as a basis for the selection of beneficiaries. The beneficiaries who have acquired the highest points have been contacted. The potential candidates have been contacted and informed about the project procedures and are asked about the Vocational Professions they wish to attend. The Final List of Candidates was prepared and Vocational Centre in Tirana was contacted to identify Courses that they provide fees and accommodation. After identification of Vocational Training places, Agreements with each beneficiary was signed to determine responsibilities and right of each party with regards to the Vocational Courses.

The final selection of the students/beneficiaries was done based on strict criteria (previously mentioned) established so far by ALB-AID and approved by AMMCO, the same criteria which was applied to every UXO/ERW survivor.  The types of courses to be organized were finalized at the end of the third month of the project implementation. Candidates have been supported to be registered in the courses.

 

  • Reasons for the used Methodology
  • To ensure equal opportunities to each UXO/ERW survivor/family
  • To ensure that the survivors get the best option for the vocational training course
  • To ensure follow up and technical support of survivors to benefit from the training
  • Lack of financial capacities of UXO/ERW survivors to attend vocational trainings

 

V.5. Detailed Description of Activities conducted:

V.5.1 Conduct staff hiring, mobilization and training on project orientation.

Immediately after the approval of the proposal and signature of the Contract with the Contracting authority, the staff for the project has been hired. The NGO then trained the recruited staff on the project objectives, management and procedures and prepared detailed action plan for the implementation of the project.   

V.5.2 Identification and Selection of Candidates for the vocational Training Courses (2-3 months)

5 steps have been followed to select the proper candidate for the Vocational trainings.  It started with (1) Processing of the Survey Needs Assessment  questionnaire, (2) Preparation of the List with potential beneficiaries; (3) Contact pre-reselected candidates to identify the Courses that they are willing to attend  (4) final selection of beneficiaries, (5) final selection in coordination with AMMCO.

 

All 60 survivors interested in the project were contacted, each individually to inform them about the criteria used and to finalize the types of professional trainings that they were most interested in. They were also informed with the recommendations of the NGO Consultant for the most viable professions and courses that could be suitable for their particular villages. The final selection was done in cooperation with AMMCO and local independent consultant after the consultation with each survivor/beneficiary.

The final list with 29 candidates which were suitable for Vocational Courses was prepared using a raw system-nr 1 in the list has the first choice, followed by the II-cnd, III-rd etc… if he/she changes his mind / the second one in the list is given the chance  until the last one in the list. This allows flexibility and is transparent for every one, and is consistent in terms of respecting equality.

After this, the 29 potential candidates were contacted again, each individually to inform them about the criteria used and to finalize the types of professional trainings that they are most interested in.

V.5.3 Placement of candidates in the Vocational Training Centres of Tirana and Prizren

The selected candidates were sent to visit the vocational Courses in order to be accommodated with the place and with the environment before they started the courses. The students were after placed in the Vocational Courses according to their professions and dates fixed with the Vocational Centers, prior to a contract that was made from ALB-AID with each student to determine conditions and responsibilities of each.

Apprenticeship vocational trainings were organized in the Vocational Training Centers of Tirana, and Prizren. The apprentice vocational training lasted according to the type of vocational course being provided, but no less than 2 months. (2-4months – about 60 training days)

 

Objective of the Vocational training Course was: To improve potential professional skills of UXO/ERW survivors, to increase employment/business skills

Curricula: The courses lasted 2-4 months depending on the type of profession. Each student attended the training course 5 days a week from Monday to Friday, 2-5 training hours every day depending in the type of the course. The Vocational Training Centre used approved curricula which are recognized nationally. The trainers are certified and the practical courses are attended in proven businesses in Tirana and Prizren.  At the end of the course Certificates were awarded to each student for the profession in which they were trained. Certificates were issued in coordination with the Ministry of Finance and are recognized by Ministry of Health and Social Protection.

During full project time 25 students completed vocational trainings in Tirana and Prizren, out of which:  17 UXO/ERW survivors and 8 family members of UXO/ERW as follows: 

 

Electro-domestic Appliances   –  4;   Bases of Computer & Repair             –   3;

Hydro-sanitary installations  –  2;    Waiter-Cook                           –   1;
English                                    –  5      Tailoring                                  –  1

Auto-electrics                         –  3      Business management            –   2

Barber                                       –  2      Tourism Guide                          –   1

Italian                                       –  1

 

4 students have finished the second level of the course as follows:

Auto-electrics                            –  2      Hydro-sanitary installations –  2;

 

V.5.4 Placement of candidates in the Vocational Training Centres

While the selection of candidates went on, Vocational Professional Centre in Tirana has been contacted to make arrangements and planning for their placement students in the desired Vocational Training Courses.

Once selected, the candidates have been supported to register at the Vocational Training Course, each one individually in the desired course. The Vocational Training Center in Tirana has been very supportive ensuring the direct registration of the survivors in the desired course.

V.5.5 Follow up and Monitoring of student’s progress during Vocational Training Courses in the Vocational Training Centres

The courses have been monitored on a regular basis by the Project Management team. Each student has been monitored at least twice a month. Monthly monitoring reports have been prepared on the attendance and progress made by the candidates.

During the project period, 82 monitoring visits in total by ALB-AID team have been recorded in Tirana and Prizren.  During these visits students were provided with petty cash to cover their daily expenses for meals and teaching materials.

Attendance sheet for participants have been kept on regular basis. Weekly and monthly monitoring reports have been prepared on the attendance and progress made and submitted to AMMCO. Reporting has been done on the progress during OPS meetings organized each month by ALB-AID. AMMCO representative has monitored the courses on regular basis as well. The vocational Courses are visited at least once a month by AMMCO Representative. During the project course the Vocational Training centers have been visited by AMMCO staff 13 times

V.5.6 Collection of Certificates from Vocational Centres for the completion of the courses from students

At the end of the Courses, certificates have been collected from Vocational Centres. After the completion of the Courses Certificates have been collected from the project staff for 25 students who have completed the courses. All the trainees have undergone a general exam in order to get the certificate. Those who don’t pass this exam were obligated to repeat it.

V.5.7 Support UXO/ERW survivors to establish home based businesses/enter local labor market

  1. a) The survivors have been advised and supported by ALB-AID team to be placed in jobs. Those who wished to establish their home based businesses have been supported with technical advice on how to open, maintain and manage their home based businesses. 3 of them have been supported financially to buy the necessary tools to open a family business. The technical support will be given to them for another 6 months time after the completion of the project in order to make sure that the newly established businesses will run successfully.

 

  1. b) Organization of a Workshop with survivors, who have completed courses,

A workshop/training with UXO/ERW survivors and government authorities has been organized. The aim of the workshop has been: 1) to encourage UXO/ERW survivors to get employed, 2) to advise and support survivors how to get the desired job/ start a home based business

During the workshop/training particular attention was paid to work in groups. The survivors were involved to prepare a business plan. The best idea was to establish a legally recognized group and to make the whole group work as one rather than seek a specific budget for each individual. They together formed a group where each one had a certain position, according to the professional courses and university attended and offered their ideas to the business that support these initiatives. .

Continuation of the plan:

This plan with everybody’s organized work can be putted into life very fast. In conclusion, during this training, initially, there was an insecurity and fear of almost all participants to get involved in the labor market, an insecurity that was reinforced even more when talking about creating a small business. At the end of the training as a result of cooperation, conversation, complete and clear information, a reduction in this uncertainty was noted. Even in group work everyone was involved with the great desire for making these ideas work.

 

The business training also included a short introduction to administration and book-keeping skills. The course summarized employment and teaching business development skills, career development, to those coming through the vocational program that are willing to set up their own businesses.  It is important that ambition is not encouraged without providing an outlet for it.

V.5.8 Support trained beneficiaries/students to be placed on jobs

After the completion of trainings, the students are supported to be placed in jobs. Local government institutions and businesses were contacted to advocate placing the trained candidates in proper jobs.

Based on the study the Consultant has been asked to provide consultancy to the students who completed the courses in order to advice them on the type of business that they could open, or job that they should look for. Based on this until now, 9 persons (36 %) have already been employed and self employed, 13 (52 %) are in the process to form a group to represent their interests and concerns and to be legally recognizes in order to raise funds for this category. While other 3 (12 %) are still looking for proper options support to establish their home based businesses.

V.5.9 Follow up and Support new entrepreneurs with technical advice how to manage newly established home based businesses

ALB-AID staff will continue to support the unemployed trainees with legal advices and participation in different fair jobs in Tirana. Also ALB-AID staff will closely monitor the web for any vacancies that is in compliance with the vocational completed by the trainees. The ones that are still unemployed will be registered as unemployed at the National Labour Service to look for a job from different offers.

New entrepreneurs will be supported with advice how to establish and manage them properly by the NGO for another 6 months after the completion of the project.

[1] Detailed Questionnaire completed with each Individual UXO/ERW survivor during Needs Assessment Project attached as Annex 2.

VI. The Results achieved:

VI.1 The main outputs:  

The following results have been achieved through this project:

  • 25 beneficiaries (18 survivors and 7 family members-adults) completed vocational courses
  • Out of 25 persons who have completed the vocational courses 9 of them (36 %) have already been employed and self employed, 13 (52 %) are in the process to form a group to represent their interests and concerns and to be legally recognizes in order to raise funds for this category.
  • While the rest 3 (12 %) are still looking for proper options support to establish their home based businesses.
Nr Type of Course Tipi i Kursit  Nr of persons
1 Electro-domestic Appliances Elektro-shtepiake 4
2 Bases of Computer and Repair Bazat e Kompjuterit dhe Riparime 3
3 Barber Berber 2
4 Auto-electrics Autoelektrik 4
5 Italian Italisht 1
6 Hydro-sanitary installations Hidro-sanitare 2
8 English Anglisht 4
11 Touristic guide Guide turistike 1
12 Waiter-Cook Kamarier-Guzhinier 1
 13 Business management Menaxhim Biznesi 2
14 Tailoring Rrobaqepesi 1
Total   25

 

VI.2 the main outcomes:

The trained land UXO/ERW survivors after the training course have:

  • 25 trained UXO/ERW survivors have the entrepreneurship skills needed to develop their own business, or
  • 25 trained beneficiaries have got the required market professional skills to be employed by local companies.
  • 25 trained beneficiaries have got the opportunity to establish their own businesses, which in turn helps them in increasing their incomes/ and improving their  living conditions
  • 25 trained victims have got professional skills and enter the national job market or establish their own businesses
  • 25 trained victims have got the required entrepreneurship/ professional/ business skills in the vocational trainings and are able to get employed / establish home based businesses

 

The trainings provided directly helped to increase independency of mine/ERW survivors to earn their own living. These changes contributed to the reduction of unemployment, poverty, and immigration among them, increase of incomes for targeted families, and improvement of their livelihoods, as well as a greater sense of empowerment and social well-being amongst the mine/ERW survivor beneficiaries. This help to the realization of the National Strategy on Disability (2005) through provision of vocational trainings to people with disabilities and advocacy for employment of people with disabilities.

The Project helped to fill the following gaps:

  • Lack of vocational skills of UXO/ERW survivors
  • Lack of vocational skills among survivors to get employed

VII. Reporting, Coordination and Monitoring

 VII.1. Reporting

ALB-AID submitted to AMMCO and ITF: 1) Intermediate reports; 2) Final Project Report. These Reports were endorsed by AMMCO, who also monitored the progress of the action made and helped to solve the problems encountered.

Intermediate reports described the activities conducted, details of the progress on the quarterly bases

Final Project Report provides detailed information and data analysis on actual project achievements and accomplishments against planned projected outcomes as provided in the Time Table of Activities

VII.2. Coordination with Albanian Mine and Munitions Office (AMMCO) and other Partners

Project activities are coordinated with all partners, especially with Albanian Mine and Munitions Office (AMMCO), the Regional Department of Labor Services of Tirana and the training centers. The Vocational Courses have been visited three times by the representatives of ITF, US Embassy in Tirana, US Department of State.  A detailed calendar of planned activities and the report has been provided to AMMCO. The activities have been monitored by AMMCO Victim Assistance & Risk Education Coordinator on a regular basis at least twice a month. The Trainers have kept regular attendance sheets for the participation of students in the courses. The hired service providers have provided reports to ALB-AID in time for the work conducted.

VII.3. Monitoring Plan

Monitoring was done on a regular basis to ensure the smooth running of the program and the swift resolution of upcoming problems. A Special Format for weekly reports was completed by the Field Monitors at the end of each week and was delivered to Project Manager.  At the end of each month, meetings took place at which the Executive Director participated to evaluate the progress of the work and activities during the month.  The team used a standard format for monthly Reporting, which included the information gathered from questions below to compare and assess work done each month. Conclusions were made to identify the achievements and the weaknesses. Regular records were part of the monitoring plan. The indictors’ template was used to keep records and to compare the results of the previous month with those of the next month. This type of monitoring was done for each individual activity. Detailed Results were discussed on monthly basis with the whole team. The AMMCO (Albanian Mine and Munitions Coordination Office) conducted quality assurance and monitoring on the activities.  Records were kept for each activity accomplished.

The following questions were asked and considered at the end of each month:

  1. Are the planned activities being carried out? If not, why? Causes?
  2. Is the team carrying out the activities upholding good standards and practices? If not, why?
  3. Are attendance levels of the beneficiaries as predicted?
  4. What is their reaction towards the project? If they are different, why is that?
  5. What is the progress of the students (Track – Attendance sheet of students).
  6. Do activities discriminate? If yes why?
  7. What problems are being faced? If yes, are they being addressed? How?
  8. In addition, if the problems are not addressed, why?

 

VIII. Publications and other outputs

 

The following publications were made during project implementation

  1. 450 leaflets with information outlining the project purpose and how it functions in order to explain to the beneficiaries with the support of ALB-AID
  2. Appropriate visibility was provided to the US Department of States, the “US Guidelines for visibility” were taken into consideration. In addition, local media reporters were encouraged to publish articles in the Albanian media for the progress made
  3. Regular posts were posted at the face book page of the association