Albania is a small Balkan country in southeast Europe, situated on the coast of the Mediterranean sea. The country has a diverse landscape, which ranges from sunny beaches to snow-capped mountains.
Recent economic progress has led to a significant improvement in the living standards for many of the 2.8 million people who live here. However, many children, young people and families are in need of extra support.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Albania since 1995.
Poverty in Albania has decreased in the recent past, but many families at risk continue to live in hardship. 30% of children in the country are at risk of poverty.
Unemployment continues to affect many families, with many parents unable to afford suitable housing or daily necessities for themselves and their children.
The difficulties of life in poverty can often be too hard for families to cope with, and these families need extra support so that they can stay together.
Violence and abuse of children is still an issue in some parts of Albanian society. Children are exposed to violence at home, at school and in the community.
Not only is there a risk to children’s safety, but there are serious long-term effects on their physical and emotional development.
Efforts have been made to raise awareness and stop violence, but 1 in 2 children have still been subjected to psychological or physical aggression.
Unemployment is a widespread issue in Albania, but young people are at a particular disadvantage: 26% of young people who are actively looking for a job are unable to find one.
Young people do not have many opportunities for further vocational education or training. For young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, these opportunities are even more limited.
Without the right education, young people in Albania are unable to reach their full potential.