This report is an evaluation of the partnership between Shpresa Programme and Solace Women’s Aid to develop a specialist service for Albanian Speaking Women experiencing violence in London.
The report found:
- Both organisations and stakeholders perceive that the project ‘opens a door’ into specialist support for Albanian-speaking women, as the link with Shpresa creates trust and Solace provide expertise on forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG).
- The project uncovered different forms of VAWG experienced by Albanian speaking women. Having started off addressing domestic violence, 1-2-1 support and the group workshops were expanded as women came forward for support with a range of violences. That the project is understood to offer support to women experiencing violence without specifying which form also enables women who have not yet named their experiences to access the service.
- The target for women attending the group workshops (ARISE project) was exceeded by 15 per cent.
- The target for individual casework (Empower project) was exceeded by 27 per cent; the provision of support clearly fills a much-needed gap for Albanian-speaking women.
- Developing and managing the partnership has required energy, time and willingness to have open conversations. It has been a learning process for both organisations.
- There is strong consensus across women who engaged with the service, workers and local stakeholders about the need for a specialist project for Albanian speaking women. It also clear that Shpresa programme should remain a key partner in the project, as they are anchored in the Albanian diasporic community.