The Sunrise School in Bathore is a project of AMURT Albania. AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) is an international disaster relief and development organization that was founded in India in 1970. Originally working to help the victims of flood disasters on the Indian sub-continent, AMURT now has locally based teams in over 80 countries around the world. This network of teams is able to react swiftly to disaster emergencies as well as to carry out longer-term rehabilitation and development projects such as the Sunrise School in Bathore, Albania.
AMURT was registered in Albania in 1995. During the Kosovo refugee crisis (April 1999) we provided food and other relief goods to refugees and their Albanian host families. Close to 7,000 people received supplies from us on a regular basis during the crisis. We also sponsored a basketball league for Kosovar refugees. In June, 1999 we sent a contingent to the western part of Kosovo and reconstructed four war-damaged school buildings.
Following the Kosovar Crisis, we worked in the Quick Impact Program of the UNHCR, and helped to renovate and repair public facilities in Albania which were impacted by the influx of refugees. In September 1999, we began our work in Bathore, a squatter colony 12 km from Tirana. Our first project was the setting up of a micro-credit program which provided loans to small businesses. This program has been very successful, giving more than 30 loans with a 100% repayment rate. Along with the micro-credit program, an English language course for school pupils and young adults was set up by our team. The mico-credit progam and the English courses (both of which are still running) led to the start of the Sunrise School in October 2000. Our team in Albania is composed of Albanians and volunteers from other countries. Below is information about our current working staff.
|Manushaqe Mandri - kindergarten teacher. Manushaqe is the mother of two children. She is university educated and has a degree in agronomy. She has taught in the Sunrise Kindergarten for the past year (having taught in another kindergarten prior to that). She is skilled in traditional Albanian carpet weaving and was one of the first recipients of micro-credit in the AMURT micro-credit program for Bathore in 2000.|
|Vjollca Milloshi – kindergarten teacher. Vyollca is the mother of two children. She has a certificate in pedagogy and has taught in the Sunrise Kindergarten since its inception in October 2000.|
|Dylber Vrioni - member, Board of Directors, AMURT Albania- Dylber is 62years old and is university educated (mechanical engineer). During the 1990s he served in the Albanian Government as a Member of Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Governor of the Albanian Central Bank. He currently runs an independent company, Albanian Consulting, and works for AMURT as an advisor on a voluntary basis.|
|Donald Nelson - AMURT country representative and director of our projects in Bathore. Donald is 62 years old and was born in New York City. He is university educated and has worked in the field of international social service for the past 30 years. He has worked in Albania for the past three years. He works as a volunteer. His skills and hobbies include: editor, web page designer, yoga instructor, musician and song-writer.|
|Genci Muçollari - Coordinator of AMURT Albania. Genci is one of the founding Albanian members of AMURT. He is university educated (mechanical engineering) and is also the founder and president of Axionplus (an NGO which gives AIDS information to young people). He works for AMURT on a voluntary basis.|