Earlier this week, Stephen Timms MP hosted the tenth anniversary celebration for the Shpresa Programme at the House of Commons.
The Shpresa Programme – which is based in Newham – was founded by Luljeta Nuzi, who came to the UK from Kosovo with her family seeking asylum. Now in its tenth year, it is a user-led organisation that promotes the participation and contribution of the Kosovan Albanian-speaking community in the UK. Since its creation, Shpresa has expanded to meet the changing needs and experiences of the Albanian community in London and further afield.
The celebration in the House of Commons was attended by the Albanian ambassador and included speeches from Shpresa trustee, Marnie Freeman; Emma Mortoo, Director of the School of Social Entrepreneurs; Mal Berisha, Charge D’affaires to the United Kingdom Albanian Embassy; Jonathan Ellis, an advisor to the Shpresa Programme; and Stephen Timms MP.
Speaking after the event, Stephen Timms said: “It has been a privilege to welcome the Shpresa Programme – along with their many volunteers and supporters – to the House of Commons this evening and to celebrate their achievements over ten years. I recall their successful campaign to enable Kosovan asylum seekers to open bank accounts – a significant victory at the time. They have enabled this entire community to become part of our wider community. Now, they are working effectively towards introducing an Albanian GCSE examination for schools.
“Shpresa’s dedicated staff and volunteers, led by the effervescent Luljeta Nuzi, will ensure the Programme is a success for many years to come.
“I look forward to working with Shpresa in the future.”