ALBANIA Video Postcards:

Grantees carry on Struggle Against Human Trafficking

December 16, 2009

poster_albania  USAID’s Coordinated Action Against Human Trafficking program, implemented by Creative Associates, released a series of video postcards featuring selected community organizations and their contributions to fighting trafficking. For five years, the project helped non-governmental organizations throughout Albania provide shelter, vocational classes and awareness-raising to victims and those at-risk of being trafficked.

Though obscured by the camera to protect her identity, a young woman, who was helped under the program, recalls how at 19 she met her first true love. They married and he took her across the Adriatic to Italy where he trafficked her for four years. Escaping, she returned to Albania in 2005 and eventually found her way to “In Protection of Urban and Rural Women’s Rights of Berati,” an organization supported under the USAID project’s umbrella.

But, her escape and return to Albania was only the beginning of a long process of reintegration into society. Like many victims, family and friends were reluctant to accept her. “It was very difficult for my family to accept me after they learned what had happened to me.”

After a time, she married a kind young man and had two children. The scars incurred by trafficking victims heal slowly. Some who learn a victim’s story can be unforgiving. Fate turned on the young woman again when her mother-in-law learned about her past and forced her husband to seek a divorce. Today, with continued support from an organization that benefitted from the program, the young woman hopes to continue her education so that she can support her children.

This compelling video postcard provides a glimpse of the challenges the project’s grantees work to overcome in helping victims of trafficking. The videos provide them with a striking example of their work to present to other donors.

In another postcard about the Vatra Psycho-social Center in Vlora, filmmaker Lazarina Todorova interweaves voices of students, teachers and local outreach organizations who discuss prevention strategies for at-risk young women.

Since 1999, the Vatra Center, with Support from USAID, has helped more than 1,600 young women to heal and rebuild their lives. The Coordinated Action Against Human Trafficking program supported over 30 Albanian private organizations and government institutions in the fight against trafficking of women and children.

To view the series of video postcards, visit Creative’s YouTube channel:
www.youtube.com/user/CreativeAssociates08

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