“Girls Club” – A New Space of Freedom and Empowerment in Albanian Vocational Schools

Initial vocational education and training
Being a teenage girl can be hard. And studying in a vocational school complicates matters more, because you need many life and professional skills to navigate both learning in the class and at the company. In addition to curricular activities designed to help students grow into functioning and confident adults, studies show that initiatives such as “Girls Clubs” can be useful to empower girls in vocational schools. That’s why, Skills for Jobs (S4J) is supporting the establishment of such space starting in the technical school “Gjergj Canco” in Tirana, where there are currently only 17 girls and more than 800 boys.

A blog post by the Skills for Jobs project, Albania.

How it all started:

It was an expressed wish of the girls in one of the meetings with their school psychologist. They felt they need a dedicated space to get together to understand better their teenage dilemmas, to support each other, to speak out, and navigate better an environment with mostly boys. Another reason was to help get more girls into Gjergj Canco. “We are very happy to be here, the school is new and beautiful, the cabinets are modern, and the teachers really qualified. It would be nice for other girls to experience this too” say Laura, a 12th grade girl from the ICT program.

What is this club all about?

The Girls’ Club of Gjergj Canco schools starts its journey today on 8th of March. It is not a coincidence, it is a tribute to Women’s International Day.

"We have thought it through, we have a lot of ideas. The girls are very enthusiastic, they all want to be part of the club. We will meet with sociologist and doctors to discuss openly about real issues, we will have life coaches to help our self-confidence, we will meet successful businesswomen to learn from their experience and we will promote our school to other girls"
Megi, member of the students' government 

“We will apply together and participate in many vocational competitions, it would be great, I am really looking forward to be in this club” – says Fluesa, another ICT student.

According to Enxhi Deda, the school psychologist, this club will be a forum for knowledge and education, for empowerment and  growth, but also for having fun.  

What’s next?

S4J will help this first “Girls Club” to grow and then use this initiative as an example for similar clubs in other vocational schools of Albania dedicated to increase self-confidence and life skills in students.

This blog is part of the Eastern Europe region blog series "Engaging with the people", where our team members from across the region share their experiences, learning, and vision for creating new opportunities in the countries where we work. 

Initial vocational education and training, Sustainable tourism
Skills for Jobs (S4J)
‘Skills for Jobs’ (S4J) is a project mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swisscontact Albania. It is part of the Economic Development Domain of the Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Albania (2018-2021), with specific focus on promotion of employment opportunities and skills development.