- European Development Days (EDD), established in the 2016 by the European Commission, represent the main European forum for international cooperation and development.
EDDs bring together the main development actors, to share ideas and experiences that can inspire collaborations and innovative solutions to bring sustainable development and a dignified life for all.
The title of this year's event is "Facing inequality: building a world that leaves no one behind."
The WOMEN project, started in January 2016 and completed last March, was promoted by the Italian NGO RTM - Volunteers in the world in collaboration with "Qendra and Gruas Hapa të Lehtë" (Women's Light Steps Center), Partnership For Development Foundation (PfD) e Albania News (media partner), with financial support from the European Union (main donor) and the contribution of the Cassa di Risparmio di Modena Foundation, the Municipality of Modena and the Valdese Church.
The intervention supported, in rural and remote areas of northern Albania, national policies aimed at protecting women's rights, promoting gender equality and local development by strengthening the role of women's grassroots groups originating in the mountains of the Shkodra region, among the most underdeveloped areas of the entire country.
"Thanks to the WOMEN project we understood that we can achieve what we dream" (Sadije, Village of Kryezi)
WOMEN spoke about three of the main problems that women in these rural areas have: profound isolation, limited entrepreneurial skills and lack of economic independence.
Thanks to the project the 250 women who are part of the supported 24 groups received training, financial support and technical assistance to start income generating activities. Thus it was possible to create local supply chains, with female protagonists: in Koman, for example, they invested in breeding and cheese making, then allowing the products to arrive directly at the tables of a restaurant and a local bed and breakfast; in Qelëz greenhouse cultivation was favored, thus increasing the chances of income for the women involved and lengthening the growing season; Iballë has focused on the enhancement of local traditions that have become marginal like weaving: thanks to a growing tourism, quality craftsmanship is recovering its space, also commercial.
For three years the WOMEN project has supported women's groups in mountain areas in northern Albania. He made their business ideas possible, made a future of hope possible.
The good results obtained have meant that the European Union has selected the project, to be present with a stand in the Global Village. "The project has been evaluated several times and has always obtained positive judgments in particular as regards its actual impact on the groups involved and also for the potential that it also has for future sustainability, a rare feature in projects that focus on human rights", EU officials wrote as reasons for the selection.
OBC Transeuropa at the end of the project, he created an extensive videoreportage in which the women themselves benefited from the project and told what WOMEN meant to them.
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