Dress for Success Tirana’s Executive Director Talks About The Recycling Project

For Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the empowering women that work at our affiliate locations all around the world. These ladies are making an impact in someone’s life every single day and we thank them for their commitment to the organization. Throughout the month of March we will be featuring the women who are truly making a difference at their affiliate locations. Women’s History Month is all about recognizing the achievements of women and we plan on celebrating every day. Women helping women is what Dress for Success is all about and we see that power of women coming together impact a number of lives. We asked 12 women from 12 different countries about Women’s History Month and what motivates them to continue to do what they do for Dress for Success. Come back to our blog throughout March to get to know the ladies that make it all happen behind the scenes. Meet Irena Qorlaze, of Dress for Success Tirana.

Irena Qorlaze, Executive Director

Dress for Success: How many years have you been with Dress for Success?
Irena Qorlaze:
3 years

DFS: What bold action have you taken to make a change or a difference?
Dress for Success Tirana during the last year has implemented a project, The Recycling Project. It’s a pilot model of employment for women, through recycling and upcycling of clothes. This project aims to create a small business model, where non-used clothes are recycled and then repurposed into new products that can be sold in the market. This creates revenues to unemployed women involved in the project.

One of the handicrafts that women realized during the process of execution of the models was a frame. Through it, women broadcasted a message to anyone who would see it, entitled “We can find our own path to success.”

DFS: Can you describe a moment when you helped someone at Dress for Success that moved you or special achievement that you’ve accomplished during your time at the organization?
IQ: One woman from the program told me, ‘I never thought I would be having an opportunity like this in my life,’ said Viktoria Behaj, a girl from community. ‘This project gave me self esteem [and] I feel that I can be independent to produce items from home and to sell it mostly online.’ With our program on recycling and upcycling clothes, Behaj gained new skills on creating a small business model combining her crochet work with recyclable materials.

DFS: Who do you thank or recognize this IWD that have helped make the advancement of all women possible?
IQ: We have to thank our donors, Democracy Commission small grants, U.S. Embassy Tirana-Albania and the Albanian National Agency for the support of Civil Society.

DFS: What motivates you to continue your work at Dress for Success?
IQ: The opportunities and chances that we give to each woman that we serve. When we see hope in the eyes of women, it makes us feel inspired and determined to continue the fulfillment of the mission of this organization.

Visit tirana.dressforsuccess.org for more information on how you can get involved on a local level.

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