By Telnis Skuqi
It was an endless terror for the family of Haxhi Lleshi, from Kurtuman of Librazhd. Their only son’s wife, Oriola Lleshi, 28 years old, consciously smothered the 6-month old baby, last days of April, only due to the fact that the baby was born out of the legal marriage. The head of the remote village of Librazhd, Shpëtim Karaj, thinks that this serious crime would have been avoided, if specialized institutions have reacted on due time. “This serious crime that has never happened before in Kuturman village, could have been avoided, as the father of the son had already warn for this fatality”, says Karaj.
According to him, his co-villager, Haxhi Lleshi, had asked the help of the police to prevent the crime, as his assassinating daughter in law has openly displayed some depression signs. “Personally, I do not want to misjudge the police, but, I do think that the police does not have the right to take away the parental right without a final decision of the judiciary, even though someone has notified them on time”, says Karaj. To him, the guilt falls to the social service system, which did not react on time. “This was a concerning problem for the inhabitants of the village and I feel betrayed by the negligence of the State Social Service Office”, emphasizes Karaj.
Kuturman village, Librazhd
Gramoz Pafku, the chief of Librazhd Commissariat, says that it is true that Haxhi Lleshi had asked the support of the police one week before the crime happened, but the law does not allow this institution to undertake a self-judgment. “On the legal aspect, the head of household is correct with the law. He warned on the tragic event, however police could not pass the “red line” by doubling the justice system”, underlines Karaj.
The indolence of the state social service does not exist only in Librazhd. Some months ago, an orphan young woman from Saranda town, having a moderate mental disability, who was abandoned since a child from both parents, remained in crossed road as she did not find any support from the social service. Fatjona was temporarily sheltered in the Orphan’s House, but her older age became an obstacle for her continuity.
Adriana Kushta, the director of the Saranda orphanage, did the utmost to find a shelter for Fatjona. “We have to learn how to positively live with the bad and the good”, says Kushta, adding that “We all live with the aftermaths”. Kushta tells “about the black olive”, she had suffered with the specialized institutions dealing with the caretaking of the orphan children and those abandoned as well. “It took me three months to get a positive answer from the State Social Service”. Nowadays Fatjona lives in a safe environment of a social dwelling in Durres”, says Kushta. “Thanks to the reaction of the journalists, there became possible the speeding up of the process for Fatjona”, emphasizes Kushta.
Ardiana Kushta, Director of Saranda orphanage
This is a story that for the director of the Saranda orphanage will not be easily forgotten, because as she says, the social service system needs to be reformed. “The social service must act as a first-aid health service; the life of every individual is holistic”, expresses Kushta, adding that the case of Librazhd clearly identifies the need for a legal restructuring. This is also a concern coming from the chair of the communal council of Armen Commune (Vlora), Defrim Hoxhaj, who highlights on lack of specialists that can duly identify the social problems. Hoxhaj says that there are at least three cases of people with disabilities in his commune that are left alone, as they have not been identified by the social institutions. “How is it possible that the State Social Service has not shown any interest to take under protection three people with mental disabilities”, asks Hoxhaj. According to him, these people not only live in extreme poverty, but they are a risk for the community as well. “I am worried about the lack of procedures for the identification and the treatment with the economic aid of these people with disability, but what concerns me more is the lack of the social specialists, who show up only when a tragic event has already happened”, underlines Hoxhaj.
Furthermore, the chair of Armen communal council, says that according to the law the communal council is tasked to deal with the families with economical problems, but they are not supported by the State Social Service. “The economic aid that the commune delivers to the families in need is not at all a solution, but an added problem for the local governance. It is the time this service to be transferred from the local governance to more specialized institutions”, thinks Haxhiaj. Aristidh Hysenaj, the councilor of Armnen Commune, denounces a non precedent case, which to him is totally out of the normality. He tells the case of a person with mental disability who lives without the economic aid and social caretaking. “The local governance is responsible to show interest on the people with disability (mental disabled), but the later is excluded from the economic aid, as it is a competence of the supportive institutions (KEMP)”, says Hysenaj. According to him, this person does not have any financial possibility to travel from the rural areas towards the town, but he does not have the mental ability to do that as well. “Unfortunately, this person is left abandoned and for many years he has not gotten any support in order to benefit the disability payment”, emphasizes Hysenaj.
Ines Stasa, Director of the State Social Service, Vlora region
Ines Stasa, the director of the Regional State Social Service Office (RSSSO) in Vlora region, considers as ineffective the dependency of the local administrators from the local government, as this stimulates abuses and corruption with the foreseen funds for the category of people in need. “Currently, the social administrators are depending from the local governance units, at a time that they perform duties which are related to the state social service structures”, says Stasa, while underlining that this dual dependency leaves too much room for abuse, being identified in their activity for a considerably long time. “It is now six months that the Regional State Social Service Office of Vlora region is giving a new dimension to its function in compliance with the strategy that is being implemented by the Ministry of the Social Welfare and Youth”, she added.
Stasa emphasizes that RSSSO is working on concrete issues to expand their access and the capacities that they offer for those social categories that are in need. “Within the first six months of this year, there will be completed the calendar of the activities, to further continue with concrete activities for the groups in need, such as children with the status of the orphan, children of the orphanage, children of the Centre for the Development of the People with Disabilities, girls and women that are victims of trafficking and violence, children with the spectrum of autism, tetra-plegic etc.”, specifies Stasa. For these categories, continues Stasa, we will offer concrete support that aims at fulfilling the necessary standards for a normal living and a gradual integration in the social and communitarian society. “RSSSO, being an audit institution of the payments of the economic aid and disability, considers that they do not comply with the possibilities and capacities that this service has and must have. On this frame, the role and dependency of the social administrators that exercise their activity at the local government units, is considered to be very important”, concludes Stasa.
Noreta Kalcuni, a defense lawyer for the social issues in Saranda, says that it is urgent the reformation of a special legal package for the people in need. “Currently, the existing law does have many discrepancies and cannot fulfill all the needs of this society, which not only refrains the administration, but also hinders the solution to the problem”, is expressed Kalcuni. Kalcuni shows the story that she had undergone herself sometimes ago. An adolescent girl asked for the disability payment for her father. He had accidentally cut the left hand and the right leg while working, but the law did not enable to him this right as the law foresees the opposite, the right hand and the left leg. “I had never heard before such a legal handicap. I think that the law needs changes”, emphasizes Kalcuni, adding that the Ministry of Social Welfare is drafting a new law, simple in implementation and very strict towards the abusers.
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