EU and UNDP representatives visiting the new community center in Shkoder


With EU support, new Multifunctional Community Center provides integrated community-based social services in Shkodra

Shkodra, 18 October 2018 – "For the Family",  a new Multifunctional Community Center  was inaugurated in Shkodra today to serve around one thousand families  including  those coming  from Roma and Egyptian communities.

The multifunctional community center, identified as a priority by the community living in Shkodra, aims to enable Roma and Egyptians and other neighboring populations to access a wide range of integrated community-based social services. Services include: psychological councelling, medical support, legal advice, employment mediation. Such services will be offered by a dedicated personnel backed by the Shkodra Municipality.

Thanks to the new model of  integrated community-based services piloted in Shkodra - but also in Tirana, Durres and Berat - around 650 citizens in Shkodra have benefitted services such as civil registration, health care, after school classes offered to children coming from vulnerbale communities, vocational courses and employment  mediation.

Around 500 Roma and 1,100 Egyptians living in the Shkodra Municipality face a number of challenges related to housing, access to social services, education. Through the Project "Economic and Social Empowerment for Roma and Egyptians – a booster for Social Inclusion"(ESERE), funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in partnership with Ministry of Health and Social services, a new case management support is offered to address those challenges and enhance the further integration of Roma and Egyptians into the mainstream society.

EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca, addressed the event and highlighted the importance of breaking the spiral of poverty and exclusion that affects the Roma and Egyptian communities in Albania. "From the EU perspective, this is a serious Human Rights issue. The protection of fundamental rights, including the integration of the Roma and Egyptian communities, are a key prioritiy in the EU's political agenda and Albania still needs to address these priorities in order to continue in the EU accession process," Ambassador Soreca said.

Minister Manastirliu highlighted: “The Government of Albania is implementing the National Action Plan for the Integration of Roma and Egyptians which embodies our government’s engagement to improve living conditions of Roma and Egyptian communities, access to services, as well as foster intercultural dialogue.”

UNDP Country Director Limya Eltayeb, present at the event, underlined: “Through this project funded by the European Union, UNDP works with municipalities to increase participation of Roma and Egyptians in local development processes, support mobilization and empowerment of Roma and Egyptians at the local level to enable communities become key actors in inclusive local development.”

The construction of Multifunctional Community Center “For the Family” was carried out in the framework of the ESERE Project which promotes the economic and social empowerment of Roma and Egyptian communities in Albania, focusing on the Municipalities of Tirana, Durrës, Shkodra and Berat.

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