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The “Murialdo Social Center for Vocational Training and Education of Young People” is an educational, humanitarian, non-government, and non-profit association, active under Albanian law in Fier since 1994, and registered with the Fier court on 23 March 1995, terms modified, updated and registered at the Tirana court on 25 June 2002.


“This association, in the field of the free undertaking of a service of general usefulness and public interest, promotes professional education and all activities – athletic, educational, cultural, scientific, artistic, etc. – that contribute to an authentic process of personal, civil and moral development, as a gateway to liberty and responsible participation in the social life of the Albanian national community.”





The Murialdo Social Center (MSC) intends to continue working to assist Albanian youth to become increasingly more responsible and active in their future.


·       The MSC maintains links and collaborates with academic associations and institutions both Albanian and Foreign.

·       MSC is a member of the Albanian NGO forum based in Tirana, and has been among the campaigners for the NGO forum in Fier.

·       Since 15 June 2000, MSC has been a member of the Assembly of the Alliance for Children in Albania.

·       4–5 February 2000 MSC participated in the organizing and implementing of the first convention of NGOs in Fier.

·       Cooperation with various Albanian NGOs, carrying out projects, initiatives and activities for the youngsters.

·       It’s part of  Anti-Traffic Network

·       MSC maintains close relationships with local authorities, the employment office, chamber of commerce, AGASS, the superintendent of courses and schools in the city and some villages in the Fier area.

·       The MSC cooperates continuously with ENGIM, an Italian non-government, non-profit association which has its main activity in the field of human development, particularly professional training. In Italy, ENIGIM has 16 professional training centers and a study center for work relations and professional orientation. It organizes seminars and conferences, and also directs international cooperation projects in Spain, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Latin America, Romania, and India.


Since 1994, MSC has hosted training experts and promoted exchanges of experience. This work has been compiled to produce a study on the world of work, which was carried out with the cooperation of experts sent by the SENIORES association.


·       Since 1996, MSC has forged links with the city of Alba (Cuneo province, Italy) with the goal of training teachers and sharing experiences. In September 2001, in Alba a meeting was held between representatives of MSC, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Fier Employment Office on the subject of “Albania – a country to discover.” A conference was organized by the Alba town council in association with Catholic Action. In January 2002, in Fier there was a visit by the Alba city delegation, which included Council officials, representatives of Catholic Action, training centres, and the industrial union.

·       Vocational courses in collaboration with teachers from the city of Alba. This activity began in 2000 and continues every year during the summer involving several cities in Albania, including Fier, Gjirokaster, Berat, Saranda, Vlora, Elbasan, and Durres.




The Murialdo Social Center aims to create an educational family lead young people and their teachers.


One of the main commitments of teachers and instructors is human and professional growth. To this end the MSC is dedicated to keeping its teaching staff updated. The Centre began preparing its teachers before the opening of the training facility. This preparation included 1 – 6 month courses in Italy, followed by weekly ongoing meetings and reviews.


The leaders of the youth centre organised training days in association with Italian organizations in the athletic, cultural and social sectors. Their training is also ongoing with weekly meetings.


For the social workers specific training is indispensable. The Center’s staff of Social Workers attended a 300-hour course held by an Italian organization, in addition to seminars, updates, specific preparation, and experience sharing with Italian counterparts.


MSC’s teachers assist in the training of new staff in cooperation with ILO (International Labour Organization, DAS (Italian department of social affair), IOM (International organization for migration), NGO ICS and the local authorities Italian Minister of Social Affairs, Police Department of Fier.


As far as awarding and validation are concerned, various agreements have been reached with public and private institutions both in Albania and in Italy.




Vocational Training Center


On 19 February 1996, MSC signed an agreement with the Albanian Ministry of Labour to develop and manage a professional training project. The agreement was also signed by ENGIM, and by the Italian Ambassador in Tirana. According to the agreement, both parties are committed to achieving a development programme in the Fier area, in particular a center for vocational training and associated activities in the social field for young people, especially those with limited economic possibilities.


On 13 January 1997 the first two-year professional training courses began for electricians, office assistants, and in 3 foreign languages (Italian, English, and German). The construction of the buildings, the necessary equipment, running costs, and modest lodgings for students from bordering areas, have until now been covered thanks to close cooperation with ENGIM and voluntary contributions.  


1997, launching of an experimental course in tailoring, which mainly attracts poor girls from nearby villages.


June 1998, at the end of the school year and exam stress, MSC had the satisfaction of awarding the first diplomas.


2000 saw the beginning of an experimental course in mechanics and aluminium fittings, for youth with social problems and forcibly repatriated young men.


The Kosovo refugee situation, which began March 1999, saw the arrival of many NGOs in Fier. Many turned to our training center in order to acquire qualified personnel.


The training received at our center ensures that most students find work quickly after completing their course.


Since the beginning, the Vocational Training Center has promoted former-student reunions. Reunions are a chance for former students to meet and catch up on employment progress, and even to update their professional skills.


In July 2001, in cooperation with Movimondo, a youth information office was created, for orientation and information on work possibilities, opportunities for training, university…


In September 2002, retraining courses for adults began in co-operation with ILO.


Cooperation with the Fier School Superintendent


In accordance with its statute, the MSC has cooperated with the local school superintendent, proposing and setting up various initiatives:


·       There are currently Teacher Exchange programmes between Italian teachers and Fier public school teachers. The project aims to compare the two educational methods in the field.

·       Since 1994 three collaborations have been established:

-   “Savastio” Middle School in Volturino (Foggia province, Italy), which, together with other Italian schools organises cultural, methodological exchanges with Albanian schools.

-   For High Schools, two working groups are already in operation: one in Viterbo, Italy – whose participants are teachers and other competent and experienced people in the educational field – and one in Fier – whose participants include the Director of the Office of the School Superintendent, two high school principals and some teachers.

-   July 2000 saw the beginning of a series of meetings between a middle school in Lucera (Foggia, Italy) and their ‘twin’ Llazi Dashi School in Fier.


At the STUDENT level achievements include:


·       Annually, since 1994, a Sports Week has been held involving every school in Fier.

·       Several Cultural Weeks have been held, involving middle and high schools.

·       Various activities for all high school students.

·       In summer 1996, “We Are Peace”, a peace education project, was launched in experimental form with lower-middle schools. This project was later linked with the 1997 project on democracy, “Young People, the Hope of Humanity.” In cooperation with the School Superintendent, and the Provincial Cultural Bureau, the project was led by high school youth for an ‘educational process towards democracy, peace, freedom, caring and reconciliation.’ The initiative came as a response to the critical situation which arose in 1997, with the intention of making young people protagonists in their public and democratic life.

·       26 April 2000, seminar on Albanian scholar-writer Gjergj Fishten and the printing of a special edition newspaper.

Social Activities


Fier is one of the centers of trafficking in young women to Italy and Greece, of children taken abroad as part of begging rackets, of the production and sale of hashish, and of constantly growing crime, including at juvenile level.


MSC has launched a series of initiatives to increase public awareness of these issues, to aid the prevention, and to search for solutions to these problems.      


·       The first line of assistance comes from the Professional Training Centre, run in co-operation with ENGIM, and their various youth involvement activities.

·       1996, in an attempt to better understand the situation, and to respond to the problems that youth face, MSC founded the ‘Albanian Promotion Group for Prevention Initiatives’ which, with the local authorities – particularly the Fier Social Assistance Service with ENGIM, and the Italian ‘On the Road’ Association, which works towards prevention and social care.

·       Launching of the tailoring and dressmaking course for young women.

·       12-17 May 2000, seminar and meetings with Italian experts collaborating with the Fier Police Department on the problems of delinquency, drugs, and juvenile crime.  Publication of a one-off bulletin.

·       21-23 October 2000, educational seminar for students of the Vocational Training Centre on the prevention of the trade in human beings.

·       25 May 2001, seminar organized with the School Superintendent, DAS, the Italian consulate in Valona and the Fier Police HQ on ‘dropping-out’ or quitting school and illegal emigration to Italy by unaccompanied minors. A video was also produced entitled “The bell has rung.”

·       Creation of school study and support classes.

·                 It’s your Dream!(2004-2005) An experiment for a new scholastic method to reintegrate minors who have not completed primary school. Financed by World Bank

·                 Scholastic development and Literacy of minors in risk (2005) Financed by Fier municipality e ENGIM

Collaboration with the European Community (EC)


The support and esteem of the EC towards the Murialdo Social Center are shown by the projects financed by the EC, and by the letter of recognition sent to the MSC on the occasion of Europe Day 1999.


·       From 15 October 1997 to 15 June 1998, MSC ran a project co-financed by the EC Tirana section. The project – ‘Starting Afresh from the Edge’ – was aimed at boys aged 12-18 with problems of quitting school and in some cases petty crime.

·       On 15 November 1998 MSC signed and launched another project co-financed by the EC (Tirana). Lasting ten months, ‘Protagonist kids’ aimed to intervene for boys aged 8-18 who live in problematic social conditions, school drop-outs, little education and first experiences of petty crime.

·       Festival of Europe, 7 May 1999, concert, poetry, painting, and games to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Council of Europe. Festival organised in co-operation with the Fier School Superintendence.

·       25 July 2001, the twelve-month ‘With open eyes’ project on children’s’ rights, with financing from the EC at Tirana.

·       07 August 2002, the twelve-month “Hello! Ready! Steady! Go!”’ project on children’s’ rights, with financing from the EC at Tirana

·       04.04.2007 Youths with and towards Europe (2007-2008)  Financed by the European Community


Youth Parliament


At the Murialdo Social Center on 9 April 2002, in cooperation with the European Community and the Fier School Superintendent, the Youth Parliament commenced for the first time. Made up of 40 delegates – middle school students of the city and villages, ethnic minorities, and figures from the world of work and sports. The Parliament’s objective is to encourage the youngsters’ sense of democracy to flourish, and to become aware and responsible for the rights and obligations of children and youths.


The Youth Parliament has launched a series of initiatives to raise awareness among young people. These festivals and meetings between different schools involve both city and surrounding villages.


On 30 May 2002, the Parliament organized a seminar on ‘involving young people in the cultural and social scene’ with the participation of students, teachers, parents, local authorities and representatives of several NGOs.


In July 2002 the Education Committee of the Parliament, in cooperation with the MSC, and the CRS, organised summer courses for youths with economic difficulties.


Repatriated Children


·       Since 18 August 1998, in co-operation with International Social Service, the MSC began a new project aiming to reintegrate unaccompanied children after forced repatriation from Italy.

·       On 7 December 1998 MSC launched a special course for electricians, an opportunity taken up by a number of recently repatriated youngsters.

·       2000-2001 special courses for mechanics and aluminium fittings.

·       1 September 2000, in cooperation with ENGIM and with financial help from the Italian Ministry of Social Affairs an 18 month pilot project entitled ‘Integrated support programme began for Albanian minors in hardship situations, with particular attention to repatriated youths.


      The work with repatriated minors in difficulty includes a meeting with the youngster, integration into a work activity group, the introduction of independent work activity, and care for other needs – not just work – such as social, educational, psychological, meetings with family, integration into an educational environment, and the various youth activities of the Murialdo Social Center.


·       24 / 28 October 2000, phase one of the ‘With Open Eyes’ project, which dealt with the problem of unaccompanied repatriated youths and specifically their chances of integration in Albanian society, was completed with the help of Italian experts and DAS on. April 2001, saw phase two underway.

·       From November 2001 began a special partnership with the Fier Police in order to open a first line of help ‘refuge’ centre for women rescued from the so-called ‘white slave trade’.


·       From 15 October 2002 to 31.December 2003 in collaboration with the ENGIM, the MSC has signed a convention with the Italian Minister of Social Affairs about the unaccompanied minors present in Italy. They have interviewed the families of minors unaccompanied present in Italy, elaborated reinsertion in cases of assisted repatriation.


·       From 1 September 2003, the Italian Ministry of Social Affairs refinance began a project entitled ‘Integrated support programme for Albanian minors in hardship situations, with particular attention to repatriated youths.’

·       Integrated support programs began for Albanian minors in hardship situations (2003 -2005) Financed by the Italian Ministry of Social Affairs. The work with at risk minors includes a meeting with the youngster, integration into a work activity group, the introduction of independent work activity, and care for other needs (not just work-such as social, educational, psychological meetings with families), integration into an educational environment, and the various youth activities of the Murialdo Social Center.



 Collaboration with Romania


ü  1999 was the beginning of collaboration between MSC in Fier, Albania and “Leonardo Murialdo Foundation”.

ü  In 28 October - 3 November two operators from MSC were in Romania, establishing the first steps of collaboration.

ü  From 23 - 28 April 2003 a seminar was organized in Fier for reciprocal experience and information sharing on youth related issues.

ü  May - June 2003, a Romanian operator visited Fier, and participated in our activities. These activities included educational courses, particularly with the street children and repatriated minors. Through this experience was born the idea to collaborate, according to their little knowledge in this field.

ü  From 10-18 April 2004 the coordinator of Fier projects, with the coordinator of Engim projects go to Romania for a exchange of experiences and for coordinate  common activities and project.

Youth in Focus


The emphasis on young people has allowed the MSC to launch projects putting youths at the centre of all activities, in different ways.


·       In May 1997 ‘YOUTH FORUM’ began, an initiative aimed at organising the various youth groups around Fier, to get to know each other,  and plan projects together for the benefit of young people. Right at the beginning, working arm in arm with various organizations, they organised a peace and awareness demonstration in the run-up to the 1997 elections.

·       The educational experience ‘Kids’ Summer’ – since July 1995 – has grown annually both in participation and interest, not only among the young volunteers who organise fun activities for the little ones, but among the kids themselves.


      Every year, young Albanians are joined by Italian youth who share the organisation, communal life and form friendships. Kids’ summer has become an experience of service, planning and meeting. It’s an important educational experience for Italian and Albanian young people alike.


      Each year the activities are characterised by a slogan, which aims to capture the educational message:

1995       I Love Life

1996       We Are Peace

1997       Young People – The Hope of Humanity

1998       We Walk Together

1999       Setting New Milestones, Today

2000       If You Have Peace In Your Sights

2001       Summer Beckons, Pinocchio

2002       Peter Pan

2003       Harry Potter

2004       Mother Teresa

2005       Leonardo Murialdo

2006       Shrek

2007       The Dance of the Friends Nations (Europe)

2008       Nemo


·       Since 4 May 1998, with co financing from the Italian Ministry of Social Affairs, as part of the work for Albanian youths, the ‘Youth Fellowship Project’ begins, which paves the way for the organisation and creation of a meeting centre for young people (the only one in Fier), with sport and free time activities, culture, art, theatre, recreation, music, workshop etc. This was in cooperation with other Albanian centres that took part in the same project.

·       The project financing was renewed on 1 September 2000 for a period of 18 months.

·       On 18 May 2000 the Youth Center was inaugurated with rooms for cultural activities, instruction, theatre, conferences, youth games room, and changing rooms for sports. Local authorities took part in the opening and over 1000 youth who use the center were present. 

·       The Sports Center is in the final stages of preparation, together with the recruiting of a coaching and training team. Particularly positive for Albania is the possibility for youngsters to meet other youth from other districts and towns, and the chance to visit other parts of the country. 

·       The MSC has always encouraged help from assistant-educators, and now counts on a small but proud team. They meet regularly for training, information sharing and planning.

·       Since 1995, Youth ‘Twinning’ Partnerships were encouraged between groups within Albania and with Italian youths, mainly those who helped with the summer activities. We believe that the help of trained and enthusiastic Italian volunteers is very important, as in recent years they’ve shared their time and efforts with us.

·       Youth Groups have been setup, according to area of interest and concentrating on that subject to draw up a plan of action, which may include voluntary experience.

·       Since 1996, one group of youngsters has organised the printing of one-off newspapers to mark certain occasions. Our centre is part of the editorial board of the journal ‘Fibs,’ put together by youth centres from eleven cities.

·       Another notable achievement is the Youth Music Group, which accompanies the various activities, events and festivals. Their debut was on the Day of Tolerance and Understanding, 10 December 98.


Group Events


The Murialdo Social Center has undertaken the organisation of group events for young people and children, always with the co-operation of local authorities and services.

In choosing these activities, the emphasis has been placed on Albanian tradition, as well as new event ideas.


·       Festival of Kites. This traditional Albanian celebration, on 19 March 1998, was undertaken again with around 500 children joining in. The local schools help the children to build their kites, and now every 19 March they fill the sky with colour.

·       In cooperation with the Fier School Superintendent, and involving all the city’s schools, a party and concert were organised for the Day of Tolerance and Understanding. Organised together with the youngsters, the day included cultural and sporting events, debates and seminars. Around 1000 young people took part in the demonstration, in the company of local authorities and the Albanian interior minister.

·       18 May 1999, to mark the naming of the street ‘Saint Leonard Murialdo, educator,’ a musical and games event was organised, with around 1000 youngsters taking part.

·       Festival of Children, 1 June 1999. Particularly aimed at the various collection centres for Kosovar refugees, a typical children’s party was organised, with songs, games, theatre and drawing. Around 1000 people took part in the activity, carried out in partnership with the CRS.

·       Festival of the ‘Bell of Peace.’ In co-operation with the Fier School Superintendent, on 9-10 December 1999, the famous ‘Bell of Peace’ was welcomed into Fier, forged from melted-down shell- and bullet-casings collected by children in the northern Albanian region of Zadrima.


·       Preparations for the festival included an awareness campaign, a writing contest, paintings, and informative TV programmes. Several villages were also involved. Around 4000 people participated.


·       Signatures were also collected to show support for schemes against the exploitation of Albanian children and youths in begging, prostitution, drug and illegal immigration rackets.


Use of Free Time


The MSC has always taken particular interest in the education of youngsters during their free time.


·       Involving youths in the care and entertainment of the younger ones, for example ‘Kids’ Summer,’ encouraging solidarity, care for others, volunteering, and to spend the summer doing something different and rewarding.

·       The centre’s facilities are used daily by over 300 children and youths, for study, sporting and cultural activities, and for music, theatre and homework courses. Also simply for making new friends, meeting new people and getting information about new activities.


      The centre is open to everyone, especially the little ones, the marginalised ones, so that all can find their own space and so that young people can be the deciding voice in their own lives.


·       One prized educational tool is the experience of communal life in the various camps undertaken every year since 1995.

·       Great importance is given to festivals, excursions, seminars, meetings with people from other cities and countries, sharing experiences and views in many different ways with Albanian and non-Albanian youngsters.

·       One very special moment was the participation of 40 young people from the MSC in the Jubilee in Rome from 12 to 22 August 2000, together with 2 million youngsters from all over the world.





The arrival of Kosovar refugees (1998) saw us employed on several fronts:


a.      Food aid. With a group of about 40 young volunteers, approximately 3000 refugees were cared for. In charge of distribution of the humanitarian aid were two Kosovar heads of family, guests of the MSC.

b.     Free Time Guidance. From the start, young Kosovar are integrated into the activities of sports, recreation and music, as well as a computer course, two English courses and one Italian course, with the cooperation of the CRS.

c.      Integrating the Kosovar children into the local state schools, and supplying them with pens and exercise books.


The main objective was to integrate young Kosovars as much as possible with the Albanian youngsters and children.


During all these years the Murialdo Social Center has created a series of relationships through its educative group, collaborators, and its relations to different institutions and other non – governmental organisations which are the basic structure of resource.


MSC has a long history in this field because in the year 1994 it has operated for VT, different trainings, mediating for employment, informing, advising, and solving different problems that relate to these things.  On 19-02-96 the QSM signed an agreement with the Albanian Ministry of Labour to set-up and run a professional training project. The agreement was also signed by ENGIM and by the Italian Ambassador in Tirana. According to the agreement, both parties are committed to achieving a development programme in the Fier area, in particular the Centre for Professional Training and associated activities in the social field for young people, especially those with limited economic possibilities.

MSC It has a functional network of collaboration with local actors, with employers of Fier and working methods that we have used and have been successful for course participants that have finished at this center, especially for secretary, foreign languages (Italian and English), electrician, mechanics. Participants that finish from these courses have been hired almost 100% of the time.  Specializations like Dural Aluminists, Carpenter, Welder, and auto electrician (this has started this year as an experimental course) are 6 month courses and 60% have been hired.


For the past decade the Murialdo Social Centre has conducted efforts in region of Fier, and carried out the following projects, some of which are still continuing. QSM has acted in the capacity of both leader and/or counterpart in all projects:


   Vocational Skills Development Center (1994 – still continues)

Construction of the Center. Purchased instruments and supplies, and educational activities management.

 Financed by ENGIM, Italy and QSM;


   Youth Center Project (1998 – 2002)

Establishment of a Youth Center with football fields, basketball courts, volleyball court, Music rooms and Games rooms.

 Financed by the Italian Ministry of Social Affairs


   Starting Afresh from the Edge (1998)

Was aimed at boys aged 12-18 with problems of truancy and possibly quitting school, and in some cases petty crime.

Financed by the European Community


   Protagonist Kids (1999)

Intervention aimed at boys 8-18 years old who live in problematic social conditions, school drop-outs, with little or no education, and first experiences of petty crime.

Financed by the European Community


   With Open Eyes (2001)

Project for children’s rights.

Financed by the European Community

   Hello! Ready! Steady! Go! (2002)

Project to raise awareness on Children’s Rights in the Fier District villages.

 Financed by the European Community;


   Kosovo Emergency (1999)

Free food aid, leisure time guidance and integrating children into the local State Schools for 3000 refugees, with the collaboration of 40 young volunteers.

In collaboration with ENGIM, CIAU, CRS, & some Italian, German, and Austrian Organizations;


   To Free the Steps (2000)

 Program of scholastic development and children’s Rights.

 Financed by ENGIM, Italy


   Integrated support programs began for Albanian minors in hardship situations, with particular attention to repatriated youths. (2000).

 A main project to help and reintegrate repatriated minors providing them with social and educational activities.

Financed by the Italian Ministry of Social Affairs


   Youth Information (2001)

A youth Information Office was created, for orientation and information on work possibilities, opportunities for training, and studying at university.

Financed by MOVIMONDO


   Convention on Unaccompanied Minors Present in Italy (2002 – 2003)

In collaboration with ENGIM, interviews were conducted with the families of unaccompanied children present in Italy, conduction of reintegration projects in cases of assisted repatriating.

 Financed by the Italian Ministry of Social Affairs;


   A Bridge Over the Balkans (2003 – 2004)

Information sharing between social operators in Italy and Albanian teachers. 

Financed by the City of Alba (Cn) Piedmont Region Italy, and ENGIM;


   Integrated support programs began for Albanian minors in hardship situations (2003 -2005)

The work with at risk minors includes a meeting with the youngster, integration into a work activity group, the introduction of independent work activity, and care for other needs (not just work-such as social, educational, psychological meetings with families), integration into an educational environment, and the various youth activities of the Murialdo Social Center.

Financed by the Italian Ministry of Social Affairs;


   It’s your dream!(2004-2005)  

Experimentation of a new method of scholastic reintegration for minors who have not completed primary school.

Financed by World Bank; Scholastic development and Literacy of the minors in risk (2005)                 Financed by Fier Municipality-.


   Together Step by Step (2005)

Financed by Usaid-Caaht-

The goal of the project is to prevent trafficking supporting civil society and more than that helping vulnerable groups especially underprivileged children by providing educational activities, vocational training, social activities, and supporting income generating and/or self-employment initiatives


   It’s your time (2005-2006)

Integrated support programme for minors in hardship situations, with particular attention paid to gypsy minors”.

Financed by the European Community


   Youths with and towards Europe (2007-2008)

Financed by the European Community


   Vocational Training: a challenge for Collaboration (2007-2008)

Financed by the European Community

    Continuing on Together (2007-2008)

Financed by Usaid-Caaht-



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