AAI focuses its energies in five distinct areas.
AAI supports 5-10 university students each year. We are very strict, only giving full scholarships to students that maintain 7/10 scores in all classes. For very promising students, we sometimes provide more support.
From the time that Steve first went to Albania, he has worked with parents to send their girls to high school and university. Now after thirty years, there are many female role models for girls (and examples for their parents), so there is less resistance to send girls to high school and university. AAI scholarships have been the deciding factor for many of these students. We are exceedingly proud of our girls that have completed university.
2. Establish lending libraries in the five schools of the Shkrel School District and four schools in Kelmend School Districts
In 2002 when the Albanian Alps Institute was established, there were essentially no library books in any of the 11 schools in the Shkrel School District in Malesia e Madhe. Steve first took books to Boga in the winter of 2001. In recent years, the number of students has decreased and schools consolidated, so that now, in 2021 we are supplying books to five schools: Boga, Xhaj, Dedaj, Zagora, and Vrith. We give the librarians $25/month to buy books, their choice.
3. AAI teachers
We support kindergartens in Boga, Xhaj, Dedaj, Zagora, and Vrith. We pay for kindergarten teachers in Boga/Xhaj and Vrith. All of the supplies for these kindergartens comes from AAI.
AAI has hired an art/music teacher for Boga and Xhaj. She is the only art teacher in the schools in our district.
Aleks Ulaj, AAI English teacher has been with us since 2004. He has classes in Vrithi, Boga and Xjaj. He is integral to our mission. In competitions, his English students outperform those with state school teachers.
4. Pay for school repairs
AAI pays for some modest school repairs each year, mostly in Boga, where we provide upkeep for the school. We also supply playground equipment and supplies to all of our schools.
5. Volunteer Program
AAI has opportunities for volunteers to teach conversational English, art, and/or music. Volunteers usually go for two to four weeks and plan their own schedule for teaching. AAI makes arrangements including transportation to and from the airport, placement with a host family and access to the school. Click here for more information.