By Telnis Skuqi
SARANDË – The orphan from Saranda, Kreshnik G., 19 years old, has his mind ‘dizzy’ due to a document he has submitted to the secretary of the Gjirokastra university in order to be registered for the first time to this important educational institution, in the southern part of the country. The document submitted by Kreshnik does not have any value to the university as it has not been released by the State Social Service, but under the logo of a non-profit organization that deals with the protection of the orphan children in Saranda town. “I do not know to whom I have to trust, to the organization or university”, says Kreshnik trying to contact with his mobile the chair of the Saranda Orphan Association.
Kreshnik has won the right to study at “Eqrem Cabej” University in Gjirokastra, at the faculty of Albanian Language and Literature. He has finished the pre-university education in the town of Saranda. He was grown up in the Saranda orphanage, as he was abandoned since his early age from his parents, whereas actually he lives in a charity centre in the same town. Despite the unexpected things, Kreshnik does not aim to withdraw from the university education. “I will find the money ‘at every port in a storm’ and I will not risk my studies at the university due to the lack of a single document”, expresses decisively Kreshnik, adding that the university is the key to him from where he can start his life.
In fact, Kreshnik is right. With this move, Kreshnik wants to convey a clear message to those people that his fate is not at the hands of the forgers. “For many years, I thought I was benefitting the status of the orphan, but suddenly I learn that the document that I have kept in my pocket is false”, expresses Kreshnik, at a time that his problem was solved by the rector of the university, the later contributed personally to the registration procedures for this orphan. Ilir Cumani, General Director of the National Institute for the Integration of the Albanian Orphans (NIIAO), being at the same time a lawyer, says that the orphans have been and are and will always be at risk from irresponsible people. “Unfortunately, there does not exist any auditing for these non profitable associations. During the last two decades these organizations have wreaked havoc with the fate of the orphans, something that is turned to an investigative object for the journalists”, says Cumani.
According to him, the falsification of the official documents is a penal act, even though no one has been penalized from the justice system until now. How long will these organizations play with the fate of the orphans?, asks Cumani, underlining that it is now the time for the state structures to dot the i’s. “The abuse with the orphans does not take place only in Saranda, but at every corner in Albania”, emphasises Cumani. Furthermore, the director of NIIAO says that the non profit organizations have turned out to be profitable by abusing with the orphans, such as in the cases of Saranda, Tirana, Gjirokastra, Berat, Korça etc. “The abuse with the issuing of the Status of Orphan is not a phenomenon, but unfortunately it has entered the system, this due to the law which has not been very rough with such abusive organizations”, emphasises Cumani, adding that “None of the organizations does have the legal authority to supply the orphans with the Status of Orphan, but this is exclusively a competence of the State Social Service, which depends from the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth.
To Çumani, these pseudo- associations, being frightened and in panic from their deeds that had harmed the orphans, are devilishly hurrying and asking to get the flag of the honesty after this battle which has no compromise with the badness. “It will be much better if these associations keep silent and disappear from the public, as we have enough documents, proofs and flagrant cases of abuse and thefts that they have performed towards the orphans in the last 24 years. They are at the disposal of the justice”, highlights Cumani.
Etleva Bisha, the director of the State Social Service, during an inspection in Gjirokastra town, assessed as concerning the issue on the institutionalisation of the Status of Orphan. She stressed that the Status of Orphan or whatever form, will be given only by the State Social Service. “I call to all the orphans to not trust the associations and moreover they have to stay away from them. The status and the control over these institutions have been and still remains an obligation and commitment of the Ministry of the Social Welfare”, said Bisha. “To each facilitation on the public services, education and health there is the structure of the State Social Service in Tirana and the other districts, the later being the only authorised structure by law that releases the certifications for a benefit or reduced fees for the services given by the law”, she adds.
Erion Veliaj, the Minister of the Social Welfare and Youth emphasises that the Status for the orphans, blind people, and people with disabilities is given only by the law and such a fact is certified by a written formal letter issued by the State Social Service. “Every association that keeps on issuing certifications that contain benefits of free services is violating the law and it will be confronted with the aftermaths of this action”, declares Veliaj.
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