The first workshop within A voice for Tropoja on 27. March 2018 was a great success.
We had a full room of participants with diverse backgrounds – from architect, teacher, social worker, ex municipality representative to students, farmers, ex-soldier, many of them being unemployed nowadays. For most of the participants it was the first workshop in their life and their first encounter with drafting of a community development plan. Formerly perceived as an external document imposed on them from the outside, the community development plan becomes a promising tool for shaping the future of their communities and livelihoods.
The newly furnished room of The Organization to Conserve the Albanian Alps (TOKA) will eventually become a hub for meetings and engagement of locals, tourists and institutions. Therefore, before the workshop started, assembling chairs which had arrived on the previous day was the first team building excercise for some of the participants.
The workshop was lead by our expert from People in Need Slovakia, Danka Mareková, together with our local expert from TOKA, Catherine Bohne. The activities consisted of a joint mapping of locals’ needs and ideas, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, creating a vision for development of Tropoja a discussing further steps. Based on examples from communities in other countries, alternatives to hydropower plants and chrome mining have been discussed. By the end of the day, participants were grouped in teams of “researchers” to finish the mapping and SWOT analysis, “lobbyists” to develop strategies for activism and approaching decision-makers and “developers” to continue working on the visions of development for the communities of Tropoja.