The organisation’s history:
The association was established in 7 August 1991, and re-registered in 1995 as the branch of Independent Woman Forum of Albania, branch of Elbasan.
In 07.01.2000, WFE was registered as an independent association with Court Decision 4030 of Elbasan District Court and re-registered in 10.07.2003 with Tirana Court Decision 4030/1 conform the Albanian Law of Non-profitable organizations. Based on its status the organization is called “Woman Forum Elbasan”. The acronym is WFE. It was created as an association with membership. The organization spread its activities in Elbasan Region and has the right to extend them all over Albania.
Specific profile: The organization is mainly based on women problems and issues, especially on violence problems, on problems of various age-groups, on problems of different levels and beliefs from urban and rural zones, and on the increasing participation of the women in the public life, mainly in politics and decision-making. But at the same time the men are also part of the target group of the organization, as their presence influences in the treatment, in reducing and solving gender problems.
At the very beginning the organization had only one office given by the local government, simply equipped, with the contribution of its members and volunteers. It has no telephone number, no fax, no computer, no photo-copier, but only a type-writer. Today, the organization, due to the projects that it has implemented, it has completed furnished environments with all the necessary equipments for offices, as computers, photo-copiers, projectors, flipcharts, telephones, fax, e-mail address, website, face book, sky etc.
In order to strengthen the association/organization in organizational and financial level, besides the membership fees, other alternative methods are used, as, language courses (English, French and Italian), where about 140 women and girls learned one of these languages during the years 1992 and 1993. During the years 1993-1995 courses for driving of group ‘B’ for women, girls and their families, are organized.
At its very beginning the association had employed only one full-time employee. Later on, as a result of realizing several projects with different donators, the number of the employed was increased. Today, our organization has 8 full-time employees and some experts in various fields related to women problems.
The focus of our organization is offering concrete and specific services in favor of women and girls; in organizing awareness campaigns in the community; in trainings and building up capacities.
Main areas the WFE works are:
- Concrete services for the women/girls who has violence problems:
a. Counselling centre offers:
- Full anonimation;
- Emotional support;
- Orientation for taking a decission;
- Social/psichological and medical information.
b. Legal Aid Studio offers:
- Prepering documents for legal processes and for other institutions;
- Free legal counseling;
- Free compilation of juridical acts;
- Legal rapresentation before the court.
c. Day Care Centre offers:
- lodging between a few hours to 2-3 days for female victims & their children by giving an Immediate Protection Order (IPO) and receive them in the shelter;
- continue to receive psycho-social, medical and legal counselling, depending on the case they may even stay there;
- normal living conditions: food, clothes, and sufficient sleeping facilities.
d. Awareness campaign:
- Meetings in small group with women/girls or with mixed groups (men and women/girls). The aim of the meetings is: “Raising the awareness of women/girls for their legal rights aiming to defend with force these rights; information about association; the services offered by WFE etc.
- Meetings with mixed groups (men and women/girls). The aim of the meetings is: “to make sensitive and aware all the society about the equal rights in a democratic society”; the services offered by WFE etc.
- Campaign through electronic and written media. We broadcast different TV spots, talk-shows in which are discussed different themes.
- Preparation and distribution of awareness materials like leaflets, posters etc.
- Round tables about different problems with the participation of different actors.
- Direct individual’s contacts with women/girls who come to WFE and participate in different activities organized by WFE.
- Women/girls, beneficiaries of WFE services, who disseminate ideas and information on services, the rights, intervention manners to realize the chain of awareness method.
2. Women’s political participation
Woman Forum Elbasan has experience working with the issues of women in decision-making, women in public life. We have worked with KTK, USA Embassy, Global Fund for Women, UNIFEM and Westminster Foundation for Democracy to raise awareness in the community against familiar voting, to explain to voters their legal right to vote, to build capacities in women candidates and to support women candidates for the necessity to be visible in media.