The sunsets over Lake Scutari fill the air with an orange color, halfway between fire and clay. A wagon pulled by an old horse walks on the shore, in the background some tourists immerse their feet sitting on the pier.
The sunsets on Skadar Lake are hard to forget. Not far from those shores is Vraka, a group of small villages crossed by a recent history that binds them together with the Italian shore of the Adriatic.
Francesca, Federico, Federica, Linda and Andrea first set foot in Boric, the central village of Vraka, in the summer 2011. Lost and curious, they left from Rome to the north of Albania to a volunteer camp organized by theAGESCI, the largest Italian Scout association.
Today at a distance of 6 years 60 Miglia, the Association born from that life experience, has more than 20 members and organizes activities in Albania and Italy involving more than 300 people a year.
Italy-Albania: 60 Miles, a bridge for development
“Once we got on the ferry to return to Italy, we already knew we were leaving a piece of ourselves in Boriç - He tells us Francesca Remiddi, president of60 Association Miles - since that summer we have never stopped coming back. Together with our Albanian friends and collaborators we have decided to provide concrete support to the people of Boriç, creating a bridge of development and internationalism between our two countries. "
Since then 60 Miles has never stopped. Building a network of local realities, from the local parish to the Scutari and Rome associations, he initiated and implemented development projects in the Vraka area.
"Together with our Albanian partners we immediately identified and analyzed the needs of the population. - continues Francesca Remiddi - Vraka is a rural area, and although Albania is changing visibly, non-urban areas still experience serious hardships mainly due to the lack of services and infrastructure. "
Today Entela and Albana can attend one of the best high schools in Scutari thanks to the scholarships promoted by the Association; the population of Boriç has access to free medical examinations and nursing support without having to reach Scutari and for 6 years, every year, more than 100 children have played in summer camps organized by Italian and Albanian volunteers.
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The activities continue, let's get in touch
However, the association's activities do not stop at the Land of the Eagles, as the president explains: "In Italy the perception of Albania is still that of a distant country, Albania is a word that makes the mind travel to the 90 migrations and nothing more. For this reason one of our goals is to promote knowledge of the culture and traditions of Northern Albania through cultural events, shows, social dinners and activities in schools in Rome. "
Francesca leaves us with an appeal to the Scutari civil society: "Boriç and the other villages of Vraka are just over 6 km from Scutari. But these 6 km are equivalent to 600 in terms of assistance, services, quality of life and protection of rights. To concretely support the population it is necessary to decrease this distance, and to do this it is necessary to create a network of associations and organizations. Our proposal is simple: let's get in touch to increase our impact. "