Pamela is 15 years old and lives in a village in Shkodra. She has been part of the IMPACT club groups from World Vision Albania for two years, and for her, like many of her peers, participating in these groups is one of the only activities besides school.
Today in Albania, both in the countryside and in the city, there are few opportunities for children, adolescents, and young people. School and then technology are the main engagements. And when it comes to entertainment, the keyword is: internet.
Pamela has found a way to be somewhat more active and break the monotony¸ but also to learn, build self-confidence, and become a keen observer of issues pertaining to children and young people.
"The topics addressed by us makes you think and reflect deeply. I have learned many new things, and I have grown, enhancing my self-respect, and I have understood even more concerning the needs and challenges that my peers face," says Pamela.
Participation in the groups has made Pamela even more aware of the problems children and youth face in her community. She says that even though we are in 2021, girls are still not allowed to attend school after completing compulsory education. Another very worrying issue is bullying and its prevalence in schools and neighborhoods.
“There are two issues that concern me in the community I live in. The first is gender equality; the fact that girls do not attend school after finishing compulsory education. And the second is the issue of bullying that we encounter at school, in the neighborhood, etc.," says Pamela.
During her journey at the IMPACT club, Pamela not only gained knowledge about her own and other children's rights, but she also became more active, raising her voice about issues through activities.
"We have had the opportunity to carry out activities to raise awareness among other peers, parents, and people in our area. Participating in the IMPACT group has helped me be more active and believe that we can change things that are not going well for us children. I am confident that we can change things. We have no reason to comply with the things that trouble us as children and youth," says Pamela confidently.
During 2020, World Vision Albania worked with 109 youth groups, with the involvement of 2,100 children and teenagers, as well as 227 adult volunteers as leaders of IMPACT groups. Through the experiential learning approach, the volunteers have worked with children and teenagers through a curriculum that aims to enhance life skills, increase active citizenship, and promote young people as key participants in their community's social and economic development.