Vjosa Explorer Association Trail Marketing Project Permet, Albania - Laurelin Haas, Elisjon Ndina
The Vjosa Explorer Association, founded in 2018 by a group of 11 community members, is an organization dedicated to sustainable tourism development. Friends of Albania funds will be used to purchase paint and a navigational sign to support a trail marking project involving local students for a 4-5 km trail just outside of the city of Përmet. The project will culminate in an outdoor hiking activity and environmental workshop with community members during fall 2018.


Transforming Nene Tereza School Through Sports Rreshen, Mirdite, Albania - Madison Moore & Dhurata Dodaj
The 9-Year Nr. 2 School in Rreshen is in desperate need of new sports equipment due to the lack of having funds to purchase new equipment in over six years. Friends of Albania funds will aid in the purchase of new sports equipment including several new soccer balls, several new volleyballs, an American footballs, several new basketballs, hula-hoops, and two ball pumps. One-hour lessons will be devoted to each class where all the students will learn how to properly care for the items along with learning how to properly use each item for what is made for, such as not using a volleyball as a soccer ball.


Thanksgiving Celebration for the Daily Center for the Elderly Vlore, Albania - Christine Torres & Alkida Vezelaj
Funds from Friends of Albania will be used to expand our American holiday celebration for the Vlora Elderly Center.  This year, we will again sponsor a food drive for the Elderly Center members, but will include a Thanksgiving Day lunch, a donation of board games and gifts of hand-made items from members of the American Corner Art Club. This food drive will be an annual sustainable activity that provides support for residents in need, involves other community organizations, encourages students and others to volunteer for the community benefit and presents a positive image of  US traditions to Albanian citizens.


Young Journalists Initiative Librazhd, Albania - Michael Black, Arlis Alikaj
Many young Albanians are studying journalism at university, or are interested in doing so. They have the desire to report on the issues affecting their community - issues that “everyone knows” are happening, but nothing is being done to improve the situation.Young Journalists Initiative is a voluntary project, led by Albanian activist/journalist Arlis Alikaj and American volunteer Mike Black, to provide these young journalists the skills and platform they need to raise their voices and create positive change.

4Artboard 10@2x.png

School Makes Art with Recycled Things (SMART)
Shkozet, Albania - Terri Marshburn & Migena Nako

Leveraging International Earth Day, CSDC will implement an environmental education project in Shkozet. Friends of Albania funds will educate student leaders about the environment, support a field trip to a recycling plant, and provide basic materials for a hands-on activity to make art projects from recycled things—thereby recycling already-recycled products. These student leaders will then take what they learn to the lower-grade students in their school. This project will directly impact about 220 8th- and 9th-year students, plus staff, in an under-served administrative unit of the Durrës Region. Indirectly, all students at the school (~1,000) will receive environmental education, which is vital to improving the health of Albania’s natural resources.

4Artboard 10@2x.png

Hiring and Promoting Two Youth Performance Groups
Peshkopi, Albania - Michelle Johnson & Nevila Manga

My counterpart, Nevila Manga, and I both work at the Tourist Information Center in Peshkopi, Albania, and are part of the planning and organizing committees for all cultural events in the community. We would like to include more local youth performing groups to be a part of these events, and to promote these groups within the community to encourage community engagement and appreciation for youth in the arts. Friends of Albania funds would help us by covering the costs of hiring the performers, and purchasing materials to aid in their promotion for the annual June 2018 Cherry Festival.

4Artboard 10@2x.png

Sportsmanship Summer Camp
Krume, Albania - Shanna Welch & Sejdi-Dida 9-Vjeçare

Students have been requesting a sports camp for several months. The school lacks equipment for gym materials.  Friends of Albania funds will be used to buy balls and other sports equipment to support development of a sports summer camp.


Hands-On Environmental Club Librazhd, Albania - Michael Black, Qendra Mjedisore për Studime dhe Zbatime
Arlis Alikaj, an environmental engineer, activist, and head of QMSZ, along with myself as PCV, will design and facilitate a 12-week environmental excursionary club for elementary school youth in Librazhd. Weekly sessions will bring the youth directly out into nature to learn about the local environment in a hands-on manner, utilizing session guidelines provided by the European Youth Foundation. Friends of Albania funding will support production of printed materials, purchase of crafting materials, and provide for a capstone day trip into the nearby Shebenik- Jabllanicë National Park.


Jacqueline Labrador, Durres  •  Adam Poeschl, Ksamil


Sho Tsubakiyama, Peshkopi  •  Quinn Hargitai and Jermanne Perry, Berat  •  Paulina Flores, Divjake  •  Teresa Anderson, Fier


Amber Wunderlich, Permet  •  Ansley Hobbs, Puke  •  Ian Fornshell, Kukes  •  James Smyth, Fushe-Arrez  •  Laurel Duncan, Gjirokaster  •  Sho Tsubakiyama, Peshkopi  •  Emilie Weisser, Bilisht  •  Heather Hilt, Corovode  •  Jennifer Clark, Bajram Curri  •  Katherine Avenetti, Vlore  •  Laurel Duncan, Gjirokaster


Daniel Shibley, Burrel  •  Danielle Nesmith, Shkoder • Emily Back,  Lezha  •  Joseph Bonk, Peshkopi  •  Liila Bagby, Permet


Jeff Knoche, Gramsh  •  Zoe Bambery, Rreshen  •  Brandie Lockett, Gjirokaster  •  Dennis Dias, Korca  •  Eric Czuleger, Bajram Curri  •  Casey Loving, Saranda  •  Connor Gary, Gjirokaster  •  Garrett Niemerg, Bajram Curri  •  Kyle Roberts, Fier  •  Melia Dunn and Luis Vivaldi, Elbasan  •  Sara Babb, Kavajë