Empowering Communities: A Journey with IOM's National Goodwill Ambassador in Kukes

Albania, 11-12 April 2024 – IOM National Goodwill Ambassador, the successful diaspora entrepreneur Mirela Sula, visited Albania on a mission field trip to meet with local communities and IOM Albania staff. 

We kicked off the GWA journey in Kukes – a city deeply affected by outmigration – with a visit to the local artisan shop of mother and daughter Hate and Mikaela, a local business fully owned and operated by women, specializing in traditional handmade rugs. They have not only grown their business but also empowered other women by providing employment opportunities. 


The visit continued with a heartfelt discussion with women beneficiaries of the New Perspectives Project, the UK-funded flagship project aimed at creating opportunities for businesses and young people in the north of Albania. Ambassador Sula exchanged positive experiences with the other women and discussed personal and community well-being. She led a sincere and motivational talk on the challenges and opportunities faced by migrant women and encouraged participants to pursue their visions and aspirations.

At the end of the journey, Mirela said that meeting women and girls entrepreneurs of Kukes reminded her of her difficult journey from Puka, but their resilience and determination made her reflect on the power of dreams to change their lives and the community they live in.


On the 12 of April, the visit moved to Tirana for a meeting with IOM Albania team members where we exchanged ideas on engaging the GWA in public advocacy and communication campaigns to highlight migration challenges and connect with diaspora and migrant communities to amplify their stories and promote safe and dignified migration. We discussed the Goodwill Ambassador Program's objectives and highlighted the power of collaboration to impact the lives of migrants and vulnerable communities positively.


SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 5 - Gender Equality
SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals