Study and Exchange Visit in Albania

The aim of this study and exchange visit was to establish a regional Disable People Organization (DPO) network, as well as partnership between DPOs and local and central authorities for promotion of equal opportunities for independent living.

The delegation from Macedonia included the following organizations:

Handicap from Tetovo, Association of people with disabilities “ Shpresa” from Skopje and Handicap Uniteti from Gostivar

The objective was to discuss with the DPOs for establishing network between DPOs from Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo. Such network would be useful for promotion rights and independent life skills and possibilities for people with disabilities. Joint actions in disability rights area have cumulative effect and are important advocacy tool. This visit aimed also to see the functioning of “National Council of Disabled People Organizations” in Albania which has been very beneficial for DPOs in Albania.

From this study visit we achieved to start dialogue, exchanging experiences and sharing the information about disability rights promotion. We also made steps towards establishing basis for the future cooperation in promoting capabilities of DPOs to address common challenges and to exploit common opportunities in building open societies.

During this study and exchange visit, the follow organizations/institutions were visited:

6 July 2006

Our first meeting was with Ms. Mybera Prizereni, President of the organization of people with quadra and paraplegia.

07 July 2006

Meeting with the President of the Albanian Parliament, Ms. Jozefina Topalli. The President of the Albanian Parliament welcomed this initiative for the visiting of Albanian delegations and for our meetings that we had organized as such with the sharing of ideas and experience amongst ourselves.

Meeting with Ms. Marjeta Zaça Deputy Minister of Work and Social Issues,

Meeting with Mr. Ferdinand Poni, who is responsible for decentralizing power in the state. In this meeting difference assessments and discussions of legislature were made from Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo.

Meeting with Mr. Vehbi Proda, president of the organization for people with disabilities that participate in various forms of art. This orgnaization’s president discussed events such as organizing concerts and art expositions; this organization gave the possibility for people with disabilities from all over the region to participate in these cultural activities.

8 July 2006

An important meeting for two delegations was the meeting with Mr. Sinan Tafai, who is the President of the Organization of the blind and President of the National Council, which advocates as an umbrella organization for DPOs.