The project in Albania: “Toward reconciliation”

tropoja - kanun

The project in Albania “Toward reconciliation” was born thanks to the relationship developed between Italian and Albanian members of the Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII and families involved in the conflict has allowed them to get to know, monitor and denounce the phenomenon of blood feud. Afterwards, Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII, through the action of Operazione Colomba, has studied a strategy for the nonviolent resolution of the conflict, appropriate to the context defined by the phenomenon of blood feud. Operazione Colomba guarantees a constant presence in the Shkodër area since March 2010 and monthly presence in the Tropojë area since October 2010.

Project in Albania’s activity

Since more than four years, its Italian and Albanian volunteers have realized nonviolent interventions in order to mitigate and to overcome the conflicts triggered by blood feuds between families. In Albania, the aim pursued by Operazione Colomba consists in the fight against the phenomenon of blood feud and in its overall resolution.

To achieve this aim, the volunteers of Operazione Colomba conduct several activities:

paths to overcome the hatred and suffering addressed to the members of the families, victim of the phenomenon;

paths to mediate between families affected by the conflict in order to achieve a reconciliation between the parties;

raising awareness campaigns and nonviolent actions to guarantee the implementation of laws that discipline the issue of blood feud and to create a national reconciliation process that involve all social actors and that promotes the use of restorative justice;

monthly demonstrations in the areas mostly affected by the conflict to foster a nonviolent culture based on the respect of human rights;

round tables and public meetings to involve Albanian associations and civil society to submit proposals for the resolution of the problem;

the diffusion of testimonies of those who chose reconciliation rather than blood feud; nonviolent accompaniments to guarantee a greater freedom of movement and to allow the access to health services to the persons who risk to be subjected to blood feud;

networking with other associations which in loco work on the topic of blood feud to guarantee the victims of the phenomenon the access to educational opportunities;

monitoring and collection of data on the quantitative and geographic distribution of the phenomenon to develop a detailed and updated knowledge on the issue;

the promotion of nonviolent interventions realized so far.

The volunteers of Operazione Colomba visit every day the families involved in the conflict. The life in contact with these families allows the volunteers to share their difficulties, their needs and risks straightening in this way the credibility and trust in the work of Operazione Colomba. The nonviolent intervention is therefore addressed both to individuals directly involved in the blood feud and to the Albanian civil society, to the Albanian and international institutions in order to be united to overcome the phenomenon.