The Internationaler Bund (IB) has been implementing the European Union (EU)-funded project in Albania since June 2021, together with the long-term partner GOPA Consultants, to better and more sustainably link social protection, employment and education in this region. The aim is to help the southeastern European country to recover socio-economically. The project primarily pursues the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of "quality education" (SDG 4) " and reducing inequalities" (SDG 10).
Making a future possible for marginalized groups
Not least, the Covid pandemic has made visible the challenges Albania faces - such as inequalities in the education system affecting children from socially disadvantaged families. Therefore, social welfare services of all kinds need to be improved and made more accessible, better and more accessible social protection systems as well as more inclusive education are needed. Making people employable in order to give them a future worth living is of particular importance. This is especially true for marginalized social groups such as women and children, Roma and Balkan Egyptians, people with disabilities, and young people who do not work, do not study, and do not pursue any other kind of education or training.
Cooperation with regional institutions
The project aims to strengthen the Albanian government so that it can successfully implement social inclusion reforms. In concrete terms, the project focuses on reorganizing social care services, inclusive employment and pre-university education.
The national and international expert teams worked together with:
- key institutions (such as the National Agency for Employment and Skills (NAES),
- ministries involved in the action at the central level (such as the Ministry of Health and Social Protection), and
- the municipalities.
The latter are to be advised and supported in sectoral reforms. This is especially true for the National Social Protection Strategy (2020-2023), the National Employment and Skills Strategy (2020-2022), and the inclusive education measures in the National Education Strategy (2021-2026).
With this project, the IB is making an important contribution to the implementation of inclusive education, social services and the improvement of labour market services in Albania. This enables the people living there to develop their own future in their country, regardless of their personal health situation, social background, origin or religion - in line with the IB's mission statement: "Strengthening being human".