Regional Pilot Grant Scheme: Improving the Lives of Local Communities in 16 Municipalities
In the northern town of Tropoja, the winter has knocked on door and the streets seem almost empty with few residents silently hurrying in their daily routines. From a secondary road connected to the main boulevard noisy trucks and construction machineries are entering the city kindergarten turned into a construction site. In the kindergarten the children are substituted with the shining vests and orange helmets of the workers who are moving fast, excavating and battening the walls with insulation and cement. We hear from the head engineer that the works should be finished by February to ensure that more than 100 kids of Tropoja enjoy a warm and safer environment for their everyday activities. According to the Mayor, Besnik Dushaj, the reconstruction of the city Kindergarten is a crucial investment and an important intervention for the children and parents of Tropoja and surrounding villages who will directly benefit from this intervention.
This is just one of the 16 projects being implemented in the framework of the RDPA Pilot Grant Scheme, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Austrian Development Agency (ADA). The scheme aims at supporting small-scale infrastructure interventions to the benefit of local communities in Malwsia e Madhe, Mirdite, Shkoder, Diber, Durres, Shijak, Tirane, Belsh, Kucove, Librazhd, Ura Vajgurore, Fier, Kelcyre, Patos and Vlore. The grants varying from 31 000 to 60 000 Euros targeting local communities and especially the youth and children supporting local solutions and contributing in the improvement of key educational, sport, tourism, social, cultural and community infrastructure in each of the cities. 46 Municipalities applied with concrete proposals addressing immediate local needs, which resulted in 16 awarded projects that better reflected interventions that improve the socio – economic conditions of the local communities.
Thus, in Malesia e Madhe, Belsh, Durres and in Mirdita the grants supports the development of tourism sector, more specifically in improving the touristic information, infrastructure and promoting quality local products. In addition, in Dukat Village, the Municipality of Vlora is implementing the project “Re-qualification of the center of Dukat village”, including the rehabilitation of the main square and reconstruction of the “Red School”, to be later adapted in a Museum for tourists and visitors. These projects are expected to boost the number of visitors and tourists by offering better services, access and information to tourists and visitors.