Thanks to its history, mission and courageous efforts of visionary predecessors, Vatra is a recognizable brand at home and abroad. Expanding and building on such a valuable asset is a priority particularly at this time when so many organizations struggle to have what Vatra has inherited. With that in mind, Vatra as a non-political organization exists to serve and protect the interests of Albanians by uniting the skills and experiences of generations of its members.
My platform reflects my views as a second generation member and is informed by my involvement with editorial duties in two administrations: Dritan Mishto’s and Elmi Berisha’s.
While there is general agreement that there is a wide range of issues facing Vatra and indeed the whole nation, I am underlining some areas that demand attention and action:
– Mobilizing the community around the critical issue of a weakened opposition in Albania as a very present danger for a sustainable democracy. Vatra is in the unique position to campaign in support of strengthening democracy not any particular leader. The moment calls for engaging in meaningful discourse rather than in performative activism intended to increase one’s social capital. One effective tool is a social media campaign under the title “NJE VATER”, (ONE VATER) as a platform of opposing views and content to Albania’s current autocratic government.
– Effectuating a longer term campaign for coalition-building allows Vatra to have the support of and be supported by organizations and groups with similar mission and goals. There is an increased need to better coordinate and liaison within the organization itself. Recognizing valuable contributions and embracing transparency have been proven effective in strengthening the culture of communication.
– Achieve gender equality and empower all women – this point connects with my personal experience at Vatra. For four years, I work as the English Editor of Dielli without having access to it. I have been very vocal in calling out such discriminatory practices at work. I intend to continue to advocate for equal rights and fair treatment as Chairwoman and cultivate strong coworker relationships. ·
– With the exception of Dielli staff, Vatra is a volunteer based organization. Its model of community involvement, donating to neighborhood associations, government organizations and nonprofit groups is a lesson in civic responsibility and networking. But the lifeline of the organization is each member of Vatra regardless of their political views, credence, religious beliefs, party affiliations, age, gender or monetary means. Every Vatran can be proud of that legacy that energizes the new generations.
– Political advocacy is a trademark of Vatra’s proud heritage. It is imperative to keep building on the foundations as well as the great work that has been done in staying engaged in foreign policy issues and discussions involving Kosovo etc.
To advance topics of interest in this realm, I favor emulating the setup of last year’s online symposium on Albanian Diaspora, focusing on the crucial role of Arvanites in Greek independence. It was an academic event with lasting impact.
To sum up, the integration of coalition-building, equal treatment, community networking and political advocacy reinforces Vatra’s purpose and mission as an empowering force for the nation’s future.
- RAFAELA PRIFTI
Tel. 917 250 4473 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seasoned and reliable facilitator with extraordinary expertise in organizational abilities and an effective critical thinker. Able to work well independently with little to no direction or as a member of a professional team.
- Exceptional proficiency in advocacy
- Outstanding grasp of foreign policy and governmental protocols
- Excellent expertise in prioritization, research and organization skills
- Highly effective written and oral communication skills
Editor – English Language Desk Dielli New York 2017 to date
- Covered protests and rallies addressing a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues including war crimes in Kosovo
- Reported extensively on Congressional hearings, campaign events, fundraising, discussions on a variety of topics in connection with the Albanian American community
- Covered daily press briefing and conducted interviews with a number of state officials during the pandemic inquiring about the Albanian American community
Public Relations Manager Radio Television Kosovo 2000-2004
- Directed Public Relations and coordinated policy isues for the company
- Advised company executives and lobbied the international partners in coordination with Board members.
- Developed programs and grant proposals in support of the company
Independent Consultant & Researcher
Board member of Pan-Albanian Federation of America Vatra, The Sons and Daughters of Albania, The Martin & Mirash Ivanaj Education Foundation
Independent contractor with the US Department of State, United Nations, War Crimes Documentation Project, American Bar Association, CEELI, Immigration Court Interpreter, various domestic agencies.
Guest Speaker on the Barry Farber radio talk show, and panelist on issues of ethnic identity
09/1995 MA Cultural Anthropology
New School University, New York
07/1990 BA Albanian Language and Literature
University of Tirana, Albania
Awarded Fulbright Scholarship 1992-1994