My name is Edison FRANGU and i am from Lis-Mat, Albania for those who don’t know Albania – Albania is an amazing country that lies in the southwestern portion of the Balkan Peninsula bordered by
Montenegro to the northwest
Kosovo to the northeast
Macedonia to the east
Greece to the south and southeast
And It is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy across the Strait of Otranto that connects the Adriatic to the Ionian Sea.
I am an Atlas Corps Fellow serving at the Open Gov Hub here in Washington DC
I have around 15 years of experience in non-profits where I have worked and served in different non-profit organisations in Albania and abroad and I also have around 6 years’ experience in the Public Administration in Albania working in local authorities as an Specialist in Coordination and Development Programs and after I was Appointed Mayors Senior Advisor and I have lectured in the some Universities in Albania, like the Private University LUARASI in Tirana, University of Tirana – Faculty of Law, Aleksander Moisiu University in Durres- Faculty of Education
I have joined Open Gov Hub in September 2017 to assist with events, communications, and research as an Atlas Corps fellow.
I am Graduated from Faculty of Law, University of Tirana where I have earned a Bachelor’s of Law and on January 2012 I earned from the National Chamber of Advocates of Albania the Title Lawyer and During the studies and my work I have been seriously concerned with the programs connected with “Human Rights”, different youth exchanges and educational programs in order to create new areas of involvement of Albanian youth doing de-facto integration of the Albanian reality in European Union and beyond. I have been engaged in several youth organisations with a wide scope of activities including human rights, environment, governance, and social care programs under the leadership of organisations like, Beyond Barriers, British Council, Eden Center and Walk Together. These experiences equipped me with a vast knowledge concerning social phenomena, versed me with organisational, managerial and leadership skills to promote, maintain and achieve longstanding objectives on behalf of communities in need.
In 2013 I have entered in the public administration service as a specialist of Foreign Relations in the local municipality of Kamza, Tirana. After that I was appointed as Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Klos Municipality in Albania. These two official governmental positions have provided me with the opportunity to learn and understand fundamental problems from within the Albanian public administration, and to be doing grassroots work. I am passionate about reforming the public administration of Albania, helping improve the social polarisation and inequality in rural zones and empowering youth.
How does the rural-urban divide promote inequality?
There will always be a level of inequality between rural and urban societies.
Both the rural and urban youth communities inherit the problems and advantages given by their ancestors. In this everlasting gap between the rural and urban societies the state can play an important role by constantly reducing the level of differences.
The level of inequality can cover a wide range of areas like:
- Health care
- Public services
In all these areas the state can find many alternatives to reduce the huge gape of differences for example by promoting economic growth in rural areas, supporting businesses, increasing the public services and most importantly the quality of health care. In my opinion the state should find ways to increase the exchange of contact between the rural and urban areas in business, entertainment, career, products, etc. An increase in the level of contact and interaction between to societies has a huge effect in decreasing the gap between them.
What repercussions does polarization have?
Polarization in every society brings conflicts between the classes, parties, groups, etc.
The conflicts can spread simultaneously in different areas like politics, economy, education, business, etc. and the conflicts can also be transformed into a violent nature.
Having a polarized society for a long period of time will certainly produce violent social and political crisis. To maintain the balance the state then needs to move or to transform itself from democracy to a sort of dictatorship because pure democracy is unable to hold a polarized society. Thus as conclusion we can say that the polarization of society destroys democracy.
Both of your work focuses on empowering youths. Why do you specifically focus on advocating for young citizens?
The youth are like an uncontaminated land where the seeds that you throw have the best chance to produce the intended fruits. The other land may be already contaminated by social, political, economic or criminal interests.
The power of the youths is always used in driving forward every good intention and the youths can also bring up a political revolution.
If we don’t work with the youths while they are young someone else will work on them and that someone else might not have good intentions.
To give some context, what do you view as the biggest social issues in your countries? What would an ideal government look like to you?
The social issues are almost the same in all the countries like Albania.
For this reasons the United Nation has transformed the Millennium Goals into 17 Sustainable Development Goals
Among these 17 Sustainable Development Goals I would refer as very important for my country:
- Decrease of poverty
- Good health and well being
- Quality education
- Reduced inequality
- Justice and strong institutions.
An ideal government should just focus into implementing a well detailed plan on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
What have you learned, and what do you hope to learn from the Atlas Fellows Program?
Atlas Corps is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that was started in 2006 and their moto Is Change your perspective. Change the world
I believe that it is a Unique Opportunity for young leader from the ages of 22-35 to be part of a great fellowship program in the USA for 6, 12 or 18 months.
This network includes more than 600 professionals from 89 countries and this July will be welcoming Atlas Corps Class 31 and I am proud to be part of this Network
During my fellowship:
- I have learned how to organize variety of events
- I have learned how to use the funding opportunities and how to search them and share with the others
- I have made a large network of cooperation in the Hub and Outside the Hub helping and coordinating with them in several projects.
- I have learned how to cooperate with local, national and international delegations hosting them and how to setting up virtual exchanges ,*( First International Mayors Study Visit)
Your can check the Facebook live interview at : https://www.facebook.com/StateDRL/?hc_ref=ARRWMxkGoMHIBp1hvKZnMnKIBtzzB__NFrnlB7v4GcCt8pkM-FAHxEFyeW7t57gAQpA