Who is Shpresa Programme?

Formed in 28th November 2002 and registered as a charity in 2005, Shpresa Programme (Shpresa) promotes the integration – with dignity – of the Albanian-speaking community in the UK. We provide and facilitate education and training so that our members and service users can live full and active roles within their communities.

“SHPRESA INSPIRES PEOPLE TO HELP OTHERS AFTER GETTING HELP THEMSELVES.”

Shpresa service user

We want:

  • the Albanian heritage to be strengthened and valued
  • prejudice and discrimination towards and within the Albanian-speaking community to end
  • young Albanians to feel confident and valued, and relations between them and older members to be mutually respectful and supportive
  • an end to domestic violence and abuse, with men and women thriving equally
  • strong and productive links between Albania and Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Çameri and Presevo Valley.

To achieve this, we help the Albanian-speaking community in the UK to be:

  • Informed – with a greater understanding of their rights and responsibilities
  • Empowered – by feeling less isolated and with a strong support network, members have improved health and wellbeing (both physical and mental) and increase their skill set.

And to experience:

  • A sense of belonging – through a stronger and more positive cross-cultural Albanian/British identity
  • A sense of security – through their relationship with Shpresa, as we are trusted and respected by providers and policy makers; working effectively for real and lasting change.

Our Story

“Shpresa is not the story of a professional, slick NGO – although Shpresa is both professional and slick – but the story of some impressive women (and it is almost exclusively down to women), struggling themselves with their new life in the UK, making their own way successfully and then being determined to use this experience to help their fellow community members. And then having accomplished this task, being ready and open to offer support and encouragement to other newly arrived communities in the UK.”
“The most impressive migrant support organisation I know in the UK.”
Alastair Wilson,
Chief Executive, SSE

Why is Shpresa Needed?

In the early 1990s, many people from Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia fled persecution, with some seeking asylum in the UK. The fall of communism in Albania in 1991, and the political conflict in the Balkans (especially the war between the Serbian state and Kosovans from 1997) led to huge violations of human rights across many communities in Albania and Kosovo.

“If you want something done, you ask Shpresa! Their unity and willingness to achieve and make a difference is commendable. They are keen to help the Albanian and wider community integrate and be part of the community.”
Councillor Saima Ashraf
Deputy Leader of the Council, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Working Together

Although Albanian speakers found asylum in this country, they experienced real difficulties settling and integrating here. Support and resources were sparse, and there was no notable Albanian community presence to help familiarise and orientate them. As a result, the barriers they experienced – including language, lack of knowledge of UK society and its systems and unrecognised/no qualifications or access to employment – caused immense problems.
One charity set up to support the Asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, including the Albanian-speaking community in East London, was RAMP. Shpresa Programme’s Founder, Luljeta Nuzi (Luli), volunteered for RAMP to help provide for her community’s basic needs. While volunteering, Luli and her fellow activists were offered training that proved to be extremely effective. In particular, The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), Citizens UK and TELCO taught these local leaders to be more active and effective in their approach – and gave Luli the confidence and knowledge to establish Shpresa.
In November 2002, 120 people took part in a community consultation and the organisation was listed with Companies House on 11th March, 2003. In August 2005, Shpresa became a registered charity.
“Amazing people who create rapid solutions to pressing needs. Shpresa has an ability to work in partnership to cause immense impact and empower all who they come into contact with. They are miraculous.”
Jerry During
CEO, Money A+E
Since then, Shpresa’s scope and remit has expanded from Newham into other London boroughs and, since the coronavirus lockdown of March 2020, across the UK. We have supported thousands of individuals and families through our services and raise awareness and advocate through our projects.

If you would like to know more about Shpresa then we’d love to hear from you! Please get in touch today.

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