By Cristina Uguccioni
Founded in 1993, it includes a school from elementary to high school, a Vocational Training Center, an oratory, a daytime center for street children, and the parish of Mary Help of Christians. Its staff includes 80 teachers, instructors, animators and educators in various capacities, and from Christian and Islamic faiths.
Despite decades of hardship and suffering under the communist regime, faith has never flagged in the heart of the Albanians. Indeed, “the forced distancing of God by the regime unintentionally gave the opportunity for the faithful to strike a deep bond with the Almighty,” says Evis Myftaraj, 31, an Italian-language teacher.
"After the fall of the regime, Christians and Muslims showed their desire to rediscover the treasure they secretly guarded. Now we have entered a new phase: maturity and consolidation of faith. For Catholics, and more generally for Christians, this implies the effort to have one's daily choices conform to evangelical teachings,” says the Center's Director, Fr Matteo Di Fiore, 67, 19 of which spent in Albania and Kosovo.
Western consumerist models also affected Albanian youths. “For this reason, structures such as ours in Tirana are important: because they offer a solid system of values to young people," says Orieta, Secretary of the Salesian Vocational Training Center.
The Salesian education system, which demands professionalism and moral strength from its educators, to act as role models to students, is also appreciated by Muslims.
And the example of truly religious people, of different religions, who live and work together in harmony and peace, can teach “mutual respect, love, and tolerance,” concludes Elona, a teacher of Albanian language and literature.
The mission of teaching so practiced, attentive to the quality of education and not simply the efficiency of education, builds the bonds between generations and between people, even of different faiths.
Source: La Stampa