WSA has not performed any miracles, or big, sensational achievements during the years of its existence. It has rather performed attention, care, support and assistance to women working with the livestock at their house or small farm, harvesting production in house-yards, planting crops in the field, fighting with the drought to save plants, or with the flood to save whatever they can. This is the type of support WSA is mostly about, which is difficult to outline in a bullet type description. However, in the formal perspective, some of the most significant types of activities carried on by WSA in the past include:
• Trainings with women groups in the villages of Petrele and Peze of Tirana District, in Zogaj and Koplik of Shkodra District, in Gjinar of Elbasani District, and many other rural communities (2006-2010). These meetings have made possible the bringing into place of contacts and cooperation opportunities with various groups of active women, and have promoted as well their level of motivation to organize in small groups and discuss various issues about environment, agro-tourism and so on.
• Under FAO auspices, WSA co-organised “The 21st FAO/ECA experts’ meeting on the Gender Aspects of Rural Development” - “Out of the Shadows: Making Female Labor in Agriculture Visible”, Tirana 2008.
• WSA has participated actively in National and International events addressing gender perspectives and organized by foreign agencies, such as; The UN-Women, FAO, USAID, GTZ, SNV and MADA, in cooperation with the line Ministries of Labor Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Economy, etc.
• Since 2006, WSA has become an active part of the activities organized by FAO-Budapest, which is very important in the field of food and agriculture. There is ongoing cooperation with The Gender Department and Agricultural Research, and Biotechnology Department, which is very important organization in the area of food and agriculture.
• WSA is part of NGOs that receive capacity building support from GIZ Albania, in frame of SARED Project, “Cooperation and Support for Agriculture in Rural Economic Development”.
• WSA is co-founder of Albanian Network for Rural Development.
• WSA provides ongoing expertise in capacity building activities organized with rural women in regions, where Agri-net Albania Foundation has located own activity.
WSA has carried out several initiatives in the recent years that are briefly listed in below:
“Capacity Building of Extension Service Structures on gender aspects of environment and the impact to agriculture and rural development”. Ministry of Agriculture, 2013
“Capacity building for women in Local Government Units of Dibra, Shkodra and Korca Regions. SNV, 2013.
“Promotion and Marketing in supporting the free initiatives of women and young people in rural areas”. Mountain Area Development Program. MADA, 2014.
“Collection, conservation and processing of wild berries and other autocthone fruits in the Communes of Qerret, Qelez dhe Gjegjan of Puka Region”. (Identification with label and logo of food products quality processed at home). MADA, 2014.
“Inclusion of women in rural areas of Shkodra Region in activities generating sustaiable income, through collection and cultivation of medicinal plants”. Small Grants Democracy Commission Program, US Embassy, 2015.
“Institutional Support and Capacity Development for WSA”. REC Albania, in frame of SENIOR-A, 2015. The project provided support to enable the follow up of WSA activities, in frame of its development plan and organization institutional strengthening. More harmonized approximation of environmental issues with agricultural and rural development ones, aiming to address in more efficient and complete way the needs of rural women communities. Capacity building towards completion of requirements posed by the legal framework set out in The New NGO Law.
“Support to Agriculture and Rural Economic Development in Disadvantaged Areas of Albania” (SARED)
SARED is co-funded by the German Government and Danish Government and implemented by GIZ. The project implementation period comprises four years (1st June 2014 to 31st of May 2018). The Project is positioned within Albania’s EU accession process supporting Albania to modernize and restructure the Albanian agri-food sector and support rural development. The aim of the joint German-Danish Program (Module-Objective) is to increase the viability of the rural economy in disadvantaged mountainous areas in such a manner to generate broad based impact. The SARED program strengthens the competitiveness of the rural economy (in disadvantaged mountain regions) – defined here as increasing employment and incomes and thus reducing poverty. In order to support agriculture and regional, rural economic development the proposed Program seeks to combine the value chain (VC) approach with that of territorial development. The promoted value chains are as follows: fruit trees/nuts, livestock/small ruminants, medicinal and aromatic plants and rural tourism.
The program will cover six regions, namely Shkodër, Kukës, Dibër, Elbasan, Berat and Korçë. The program builds on four pillars with the immediate objective:
Pillar 1: Higher investment and strengthening of capacities for access to financing
Pillar 2: Strengthening of the income basis and creation of employment
Pillar 3: Horizontal and vertical integration within the selected value chains
Pillar 4: Improved business climate at the local level
Fruit Tree & Nuts sector vision:
Develop a competitive (low cost, high quality, sizeable and reliable supply), diversified and fair value chain to meet both domestic demand and improve performance at export markets.”
MAP sector ( Medicinal and Aromatic Plants)
Vision: “Develop a competitive and coordinated sector oriented towards increased volume and value added of products which can meet the market standards and requirement preserving biological diversity and contributing to social and economic sustainability of rural families”.
Initiatives on Capacity Development activities along: The Fruit Trees & Nuts- and MAPs- Value Chain:
Project Component 1: Encourage the women group to improve handicraft fruit processing, Berat Objectives: Improving the handicraft fruit processing technology for market supply, in order to create income generation possibilities.
Target groups ( 2 groups)
Output: Up to 2 women groups in Sinje, Galine/Mbreshtan villages (minimum 15 in each community) preferably if exists together with managers of guest houses and / or restaurant-managers are established during 2 months after their 1st meeting.
Project Component 2: Incomes of MAPs procedures through the improvement of knowledge (know how) and information Shkoder
Incomes in the MAPs farms are Increased through improvement of knowledge (know how) and information.
Target groups (2 groups) Koplik and Kastrat
Objectives: Women, MAPs-s growers, have increased capacities of harvesting, drying and processing of MAPs organic production in the areas. Women farmers, have increased their economic potential.
Output: In Koplik Qender and Kastrat, up to 2 groups of at least 15 MAPs female pickers and groups of female cultivators (15 cultivators each group) should be established during 10 weeks after their 1st meeting, representing the communities to be involved and who agreed to improve their production-, post-harvest-procedures and to meet agreed market orientated standard amongst the individual group members and throughout all groups, including a commitment to provide the necessary inputs, or investment.
WSA has been active with projects supported by foreign donor agencies and state institutions. It has participated in many national and international events addressing gender issues.
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