Kurbin residents protest against poverty and discrimination

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 24, 2017 10:20

Kurbin residents protest against poverty and discrimination

Story Highlights

  • Protesters say their town has 76 gambling places but no cultural centre, while the public library has not been updated with new books in 20 years

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KURBIN, Nov. 21 – Hundreds of students, residents and parents of schoolchildren protested this week against poverty and discrimination in Lezha’s Kurbin municipality, northern Albania.

The protesters claimed their province, which has not been properly looked after for years now, needs more attention and care by the responsible state institutions.

Students of all Kurbin’s schools and their parents, in particular, have taken to the streets holding signs expressing the abundant lack of rights and services in their lives, hoping to grab the attention of state authorities.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Albania, Ambassador Romana Vlahutin, joined the youth’s protest backed by the World Vision organization, in a sign of support of the community’s rights and requests.

Kurbin’s youth mainly protested against discrimination and human trafficking, as well as against the various difficulties the town’s youth faces through their daily lives. They raised their voices for their rights in a town that is home to 76 gambling places but no cultural centre, while the public library has not been updated with new books in 20 years.

“Those promising that they want youth to study are not giving us material basis, as if sending us to war without weapons – this is the equivalent of not filling libraries with books. And I feel disappointed in many occasions, because you may happen to be a youth that wants to move forward, and this chance is not given to you. But I am certain that if we all gather together and make our voices heard, there is no option for them but to listen to us,” Brajan Dukaj, a student and youth organization activist, told the Voice of America in an interview.

In this context, the youth also submitted a petition to the Kurbin Municipality, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Protection. The petition requested the establishment of a youth centre for cultural activities, more investments in educational institutions and better healthcare for Kurbin’s youth.

In addition, protesters asked for their voice and opinion to be heard and considered from decision-making entities that choose for them, and to monitor the implementation of youth state policies.

“Among the various problems I can mention the work of youth and children, the lack of hope, apathy and laziness in an environment that offers no proper ways to spend the time, their exposition to often dangerous situations, violence, threats, mockery and mistreatments. The main message forwarded by the youth and children today was that if we want to see change, we have to bring change together; when youth raises its voice, asks for its rights and becomes involved in the creation of a just society,” Eliona Elmazi, from World Vision, told VoA.  

Kurbin is one of the poorest areas of Albania, whose economic hardships have closely influenced the socio-cultural aspect of life and rendered it weak.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 24, 2017 10:20