As we prepare to open 1-2 homes in the year 2013, the Foundation has been busy networking and partnering with others in the Fall of 2012.
Many contacts were made with not-for-profit organizations working with victims of trafficking as well as private orphanages concerned for children who are reaching their teen-aged years with few options available. There is a state-run center for victims, however rehabilitation is poor and funds are low. The idea of prevention of trafficking (EW vision) is a relatively new one for the country. In this area, the best work in the country is being done by not-for profits inAlbania. Being in relationship is a huge advantage in sharing information and resources.
Encouragement from Department of State Social Services
From the beginning of its founding, EW has attempted to communicate clearly with the Social Services of Albania letting them know of our mission and vision and any changes we are making. They have always been extremely open to the work of the foundation. In October, Alda Dogani, Executive Director, and Fred Tahan, from Children and Families Together, who has been conducting training to social workers, visited the new director of the Department. When they told her about the trainings they were holding, she was very supportive. Alda reported these words from her. “What you are doing in Albania is very much needed. You will have all the support you need from DSS. In every event or training you will organize, we will give you the right to use the logo of DSS as a sign that we totally support your services in Albania. Please open these homes as soon as possible because there is this next generation of teens who will come out of orphanages and we don’t have any place for them to be.”
Training As mentioned above, some of the networking and partnering happened in October and November this year when consultants to the Foundation, Fred and Claudia Tahan with Children and Families Together came to Tirana to present training for those working in the area of Social Services. Eagles Wings helped invite and organize the trainings with over 75 people attending the sessions.
Fred and Claudia are experts in the Teaching Family model of care that Eagle’s Wings is adopting for their program.
Visit from a Short-Term Team In September, Eagle’s Wings hosted a team of 10 ladies fromRome,Georgia toAlbania who spent several days in Tirana learning about the ministry and seeking to understand the issues the Foundations faces.
One of days, the women divided into small groups to visit several locations. One of the small groups visited a Roma-gypsy area where many teens are at risk because of the extreme poverty, lack of education and resources there.
Another small group visited one of the “dorms” where orphans who are aged-out of state-run institutions sometimes end-up, simply because there is no other place for them to go. Though the state is supposed to support these teens $35-$50 a month, it is rare that they receive anything. The conditions in these places are deplorable. For example only cold water is available in the open hallways. The bathrooms are dirty and often there is no power. Teens as young as 15, girls and boys together with no supervision, can be sent there and some remain into their adult years. (For more info on this, see the web page on orphans)
The team was a huge encouragement to the Foundation. They brought medical and dental kits to be distributed by the nationals working in the poorer areas, they prayed and the women went home to share in their church in the US. Many continue to be in touch.
EW Executive Director Visits the US In November Alda Dogani, EW Executive Director, visited theUS to attend the Teaching Family for their annual conference. (see web page for more information on program) During the days inRichmond,VA, she met many people involved in the program which EW has adopted for their group homes. She attended seminars on 1. Safe Steps to Sound Hiring Decisions, 2. Treatment Management for Transitions & Successes, 3.Leadership Styles, 4.Using the TF model to work with sexually reactive children in group home and more.
After the conference Alda did a little site-seeing and made trips to GA (to visit the church of the Short-Term team above) and to SC to visit a Teaching Family site and see group homes at work, and she spoke in several churches. It was an encouraging trip for her as many people responded positively to the work of EW.
News from Liza Liza, the young woman remaining in the EW program under the care of Aida and Biku, is doing well. She finished the 11th grade and has had a good start to her last high school year. At this point she wants to continue her education at a university, perhaps in Social Work. She continues to mature and take responsibility for chores in the home, managing her finances and is growing in her faith. Of course there are still difficult times emotionally for Liza but we praise God for the progress she has made as she begins the transition into adult life
- EW is beginning the search for a new Program Director for the Foundation as well as new House Parents for the group homes. Please pray for God’s leading on this.
- Pray for energy and peace for Alda in all her contacts and the many tasks she is undertaking for the Foundation.
- The home in Priske is still not sold. Please pray that the foundation who is considering it would make a decision to buy!
- Pray for new and regular donors and continued support for the ministry.
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