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If you have been following my social media, you may have heard that I am involved with a new NGO here in Albania called Shatervan Idesh. I am so excited to be involved in helping the local communities here in Saranda and it finally gives me a chance to give back to a city I have lived in for the past year.
Shatervan Idesh translates to ‘Idea Fountain’. We are a team of expats and locals who are passionate about making a positive change within Albania. We are helping in a few different aspects including children’s services, animal welfare, economic development and environmental protection.
Unfortunately, Albania has had a rough past and still has many problems today. There is a significant number of children and families who live in extreme poverty every day.
There are cats and dogs that are being abused, that are hungry and that have no warm place to sleep in the winter. When it comes to the environment there are also many issues. With no recycling programs in place and the negative mindset of throwing garbage on the ground amongst the beautiful surroundings that Albania has, there’s a lot of room for improvements here. Without plans of action in place to help overcome some of these problems, Albania cannot move forward in these aspects.
Helping the strays in Saranda
Helping the animals is, of course, a big passion project of mine. If you know anything about me then you will know I love animals, especially dogs! I even adopted a street dog from Tirana and brought him here to Saranda for a new life. His name is Oreo and you can read more about that story here.
Unfortunately for the stray’s dogs and cats, there’s a big problem with abuse from the public and from above. These animals are poisoned on the streets and killed ruthlessly in time for the tourist season here in Saranda. Everyone knows it happening, but no one seems to be doing anything about it.
In fact, last year Oreo was poisoned when he ate some off the street during our walk. He was minutes away from dying and it was one of the most awful experiences I have witnessed. Luckily for Oreo he has a loving home and my partner and I who helped him. These animals don’t get a chance.
They are ripped off the street and killed. It can be hard for these dogs in Saranda because the tourist season here only extends for a few months and the tourists are mainly the ones who feed them. Apart from the exception of a few locals who are absolute angels and help feed these animals. So, winter is long and tough. By the time spring comes around these dogs are hungry and aggressive for food.
A bunch of expats here have been feeding any dogs we see over the winter but as you can imagine this is not a long-term solution. The long-term solution would be for these dogs to be vaccinated and neutered so they are not breeding to be killed by the local authorities inhumanly.
It’s a really tricky situation as many Albanians don’t believe in interfering with natures course and don’t believe in neutering. However, I don’t believe that killing dogs with poison or stuffing them in garbage bags and dumping them, is nature’s way either. If you look at the situation logically the only way to prevent aggressive dogs is to feed, neuter, vaccinate and stop the abuse and killing.
Projects at Shatervan Idesh
We are still quite new in setup and are finding our feet in the Saranda NGO world. But we are actively fundraising so we can start these future projects!
The children of 21st Century Albania are still playing on the concrete play yards from the communist regime. While the sad old playgrounds don’t seem to dampen the smiles on the children’s faces, the parks are old and unsafe. Together with local residents, artists and Ex-Pats, we will create bright, creative and safe playgrounds made from discarded tires turning the country’s trash into joy for its youngest treasures.
Trash cats and dumpster dogs
It is hard for a country that can barely take care of its people to look to take care of the animals. But we believe a country cannot mature without getting in step with animal welfare. We will create access to free sterilization for the stray animals, as well as filling some bellies and finding some homes. Follow this project on Instagram here.
If you would like to donate to any of these projects, then click the button below. A donation will help us immensely with our missions!
Another way that you can help is by following our social media accounts and sharing them with your friends. Make sure you go give us a like on Facebook and follow our animal welfare Instagram account here.
Join our team!
We are actively looking for passionate locals and expats who would like to be part of this NGO in Albania. If you want to make a difference with us then contact us here.
I will be posting a lot about more ways that you can help soon with future projects and fundraisers that we have lined up!
Other articles you will love:
- Albanian Weekly Aventurës 3 –The Good, Bad & REALLY Ugly
- I Adopted a Street Dog in Albania
- Albanian Weekly Aventurës 7: Independence and Goal Setting
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