Photo Savina

Savina - the 'architect' of women and children's rights

In one of the school classes where Savina studies, several paintings stand out. Beautiful, full of life, and painted with great love, these paintings convey the identity of the area. When gazing at them, one would assume that they are the works of a professional painter. In fact, some of the finest paintings belong to Savina. The 17-year-old high-schooler from Kurbin, besides being a promising painter is also a very good student. Her passion for sciences and her talent for painting has allowed her to shape her future.

"If in fifth grade you would ask me whether one day I would get involved with a debate group, I could have never imagined. I was shy, an introvert, and taciturn," the teenager begins sharing her story, as she talks about her dreams, her community, and school initiatives. Everything changed after joining the IMPACT youth club. Today she is not only a great communicator but also a powerful voice in her community. Savina and her peers have carried out significant initiatives with the support of the school and institutions. She prefers to talk more about gender equality and women's rights. 

"Women and girls must be heard and included in decision-making. We are equal only on paper, not in daily life. We want to raise awareness on gender equality, and make women discover their potential and not be afraid," she states.

It is around 14:00. Class is dismissed, but not Savina's and her peers' engagement on the school activities. We find them all together, discussing yet another initiative: internet safety. "The internet is an excellent source of information, but also a dangerous space. We want to help children, youth as well as adults on how to safely navigate the internet," shed explains, who adds that not long ago she was part of another initiative on children's rights.

Savina is busy all the time. She also loves journalism; thus, she is taking a course on youth reporting in Albania. "I enjoy writing and I hope to have an impact on topics of concern to the community. Being part of IMPACT groups has equipped us with skills to undertake various initiatives that have had a positive impact on our communities," she shares.

The teenager is an inspiring model. Talented, articulate, smiling, and active, she is trying to leave a life-changing imprint on her community. She fights for every girl and woman, every child and youth so that their voice can be heard. "I encourage my peers to engage. Our initiatives indeed aim at helping the community, but at the end of the day benefit us all. We must use our potential to improve our town's social and cultural life," Savina concludes with an encouraging message for all.

World Vision works with approximately 200 children and teenagers in Kurbin, who are part of 15 IMPACT groups. They are being trained in communication, innovation, and leadership skills to become active citizens and change agents in their communities.

Gender equality, children's rights, and internet safety are some of the initiatives undertaken by students, teachers, parents, representatives of institutions, and civil society.