MP Esmeralda Shkjau: Albanian youth challenges on the highway to success
February 3rd, 2015
At the age of 31, already a member of the Parliament in the Republic of Albania, Ms. Shkjau notes that she has 8 years of experience in volunteering activities. “I never thought I was going to be an MP” she confessed during the open forum organized by Epoka University International Relations students Club. Faith in and respect for Albanian youth is well grounded, yet the challenge remains involvement. Young people should be open minded and willing to try internships/exchange of experience that is not paid but is important to build experience. Ms. Shkjau is willing to get together with Epoka students to contact the Ministry of Youth and Social Welfare and several businesses so that to build some plans of activities and to facilitate internships.
Voluntary work has negative connotations in Albania because it resembles Communism time. In fact now it is the right time to revitalize it. As a matter of fact Ms. Shkjau is still working with vulnerable groups. Activism and voluntary involvement help societies prosper. “Albania is an excellent country where youths can still pioneer as there is so much to do” she noted, bringing in the spotlight Vojsava Arapi case. As widely covered by the media, Vojsava was victim of domestic abuse. There are many Vojsava’s out there and they need help. As dedicated to the case, they are now making possible that Vojsava is offered a shelter, hope that is realized within April. Mrs. Shkjau asked for Epoka students to help with a business plan or a market study. Vojsava, she says, will open a shop and produce homemade pies to make her living. A student from Epoka offered to make a business plan for Vojsava’s business. The importance of the Members of the Albanian Parliament involvement in improving citizen’s life and specific cases of intervention such as Vojsava Arapi case, brought a realistic perspective on best practice of actions undertaken.
Instead of drugs youth shall choose sports. Educational services for against drugs should be covered on primary and secondary education. In these educational levels there are no psychologists or they are not active or functioning according to their role. The society is often indifferent to the community problems. Thus, Ms. Shkjau urged Epoka University to be the best example for the Albanian society. “Getting the knowledge is not enough, implementing is very important” she says. Students pointed out that alternatively of dealing with drugs, which to certain extend is a choice; a consideration to deal with poverty shall be made. In fact Albania has a very bad global index on poverty.
Ms. Shkjau started to work as a translator, not because of having studied Italian but because was fond of it and having learned quite well, worked for 3 years on a fashion firm. Studied Business Management and she was offered a scholarship in 6 months because she started coordinating many activities in the University. She has lived in Germany and conducted a radio show. According to Mrs. Shkjau experience, success is not necessarily related to knowing the right and/or powerful people; it is more about the positive impulse, hard work and perseverance.