Interview with Malin Persson Giolito

Malin Persson Giolito. Photo: Malin von Strauss.
Malin Persson Giolito. Photo: Malin von Strauss.

Albania (2018):

Malin Persson Giolito, Swedish author and lawyer

Hi Malin! Together with the Swedish television, you have visited a pre-school project which We Effect and Amaro-Drom is running in Albania, with support from Children of the World.

What are your impressions?

– I have never doubted that education is key to change the situation of the Roma community. It is about bringing children to school. That the preschool project makes a difference is clear. I was afraid I would go home again feeling down, but it’s the other way around. I feel very optimistic.

What were your thoughts ahead of the trip?

– Before the trip, I thought much about the situation of the Roma communities in Europe. And how we try to ignore the poverty and social problems we meet in our everyday lives, to be able to move on with our comfortable lives. I wanted to meet individuals to relate to. And as soon as I took their hand, I became so much more hopeful. It is striking how much people can do with only a little help. The people I met want to change their lives – and they do.

The project also involves the mothers, what do you think about that?

– It’s extremely important to include the mothers in this work. The children will only be able to get to school if their parents take them there. And children to happy parents are doing better. In addition, the mothers are young, they have their lives ahead of them. They are not a lost generation – nor do they resign. It is incredibly courageous to try to learn to read as an adult. I’ve met amazing women and it easy to relate to each other, even though we live different lives.