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The FamFest audience at Mother Teresa Square in the city of Shkodra
In the front row are FFWPU-Albania President Manjola Vasmatics (wearing green) with UPF Europe-Middle East Co-Chairmen Jacques Marion and Dr. Katsumi Otsuka.
Ali Lacej, the coordinator of the Albanians’ Peace Council in the Balkans
A book table with autobiographies of the UPF founders and other publications
Young children are entertained at a supervised children’s corner.
Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, UPF co-chair for Europe and the Middle East (right), welcomes the audience. Arnold Grami, the coordinator of FFWPU in Shkodra, translates his words from English to Albanian.
Manjola Vasmatics, the president of FFWPU in Albania, and her husband, Gabor Vasmatics
Julida Peraj, a member of Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), gives a moving talk about lessons she learned from her family.
Young CARP members perform a lively dance to the song “Let’s Go.”
The audience enjoys the performance of Shkodra singer Myfarete Laze.
The emcees—Linda Doda Kavaja, a well-known journalist, and Arnold Grami, the coordinator of FFWPU in Shkodra
Linda Doda Kavaja and Arnold Grami present a certificate to Blerta Çaushaj, who won second place in a family-themed photography contest.
Blerta Çaushaj thanks the FamFest organizers for her photography award.
Young people march through Shkodra with signs and banners promoting the family.
The number of participants grows as passers-by see the message of the signs and join the march.

Shkodra, Albania—UPF co-sponsored a Family Festival, or “FamFest,” in a busy central square with the support of the Mayor’s Office.

The second edition of “Family as a School of Love” was held jointly by the Albanian chapters of UPF and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), an affiliated organization.

The festival was held to promote the traditional Albanian family—a family where grandparents are respected, where we are born from the love of our fathers and mothers and we learn from them how to love. Thus the family is the institution in which we are prepared for the world of tomorrow.

With the cooperation of the Municipality Hall and the local police, the Mother Teresa Square was reserved especially for this event.

All around the square there were photo spots, where everyone could “capture” memorial pictures.

The program was meant to bring joy to all generations and therefore included music from renowned local artists such as Myfarete Laze and Rezarta Smaja as well as new artists for the younger generation such as Eldis Arrnjeti and Feti Peraj.

For the littlest ones, there was a children’s corner, thus allowing all families to fully enjoy this celebration.

Moderators were Linda Doda Kavaja, a renowned Shkodra-based journalist, and Arnold Grami, the coordinator of the Shkodra branch of FFWPU.

Congratulatory remarks and inspirational messages were offered by the festival coordinators as well as the directors of UPF, FFWPU and other affiliated organizations.

During the event the winners of a family-themed photography competition were announced, with the first prize going to Rosela Lleshi, the second prize going to Blerta Çaushaj, and the third prize to Klaudia Filipi.

This competition was organized to celebrate the 20th anniversary of FFWPU being established in Shkodra.

The event reached its climax with all the participants, carrying pro-family signs and banners, marching along the 28 November Promenade until they reached Parrucë Square. They were joined along the way by numerous citizens who were inspired by the messages of the signs and banners. Together they called for the protection of the family against anti-family values.

At the end of the march, the participants launched paper lanterns to the skies, lit up with wishes for the family of today and that of tomorrow.

(Translated by Artan Kurti, UPF Europe and Middle East.)

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