Liljana Luani, the teacher educating blood-feud children selected among top 50 teachers of the world

Liljana Luani, the teacher educating blood-feud children selected among top 50 teachers of the world

The Global Teacher Prize selects the teacher who won the Albanian National Teachers’ Prize to continue her competition to the final

Tirana, 13 December 2018 – Liljana Luani, the teacher who won the National Teacher Prize "Teacher of the Year 2018" in Albania, was selected among the 50 teachers’ finalists in the world competing for the Global Teacher Prize.

Luani, a teacher from Shkodra, in north of the country, competed this year in the category "Teachers advocating for the Right to Education" and was voted the “Teacher of the Year 2018” in Albania. As the winner of the Teachers Prize in Albania she also decided to compete for the Global Teacher Prize of Varkey Foundation.  Global Teacher Prize, who has been evaluate by the media as "Nobel Prize in Teaching", is an initiative taken by the Varkey Foundation, which assesses the teaching profession and reveals thousands of teachers’ stories who have contributed to the transformation of children and youth lives. Global Teacher Prize expresses gratitude for the work that millions of teachers do across the globe. The Global Teacher Prize is a prize of $ 1 million USD, which is award to a teacher who has made an extraordinary contribution to his profession.

The Albanian Coalition for Education (ACE), Child Rights Centre Albania (CRCA), and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, congratulate our winner for making to the 50 finalists of the competition.



Liljana  has  been  working  as  a  teacher  for  37  years,  and  since  2005,  she  has  been  a  major  force  in  the  education  of  children  whose  families  are  involved  in  blood  revenge.

Blood  revenge͟ is  a  tradition  of  pursuing  redress  according  to  old  Albanian  laws,  mostly  used  by  families  in  the  highlands.  If  a  member  of  your  family  is  killed  by  someone,  these  traditions  allow  you  to  kill  a  member  of  that  person’s  family,  who  may  be  entirely  unconnected  with  the  killing.  Children are not exempt from this harsh custom. This means that if  blood  revenge  is  intended,  children  may  have  to  be  confined  in  a  safe  place,  unable  to  attend  school  freely,  which  in  turn  leads  to  a  lack  of  education  and  socialisation.  In  addition,  unemployment  and  the  lack  of  integration  and  healthcare  are  serious  problems  for  these  families.  In  Dukagjin  highland,  where  Liljana  teaches,  blood  revenge  is  a  serious  issue  –  perhaps  the  biggest  problem  in  the  community.  However,  Liljana  is  convinced  that  the  education  of  these  children  is  the  strongest  weapon  in  the  war  against  this  misfortune.

Since  2005,  Liljana  has  volunteered  her  own  time  to  educate  children  whose  families  are  involved  in  blood  revenge. 

She  started  collecting  information  about  confined  children  who  did  not  attend  school,  and  after  work,  went  from  door  to  door  teaching  them  voluntarily.  It  was  not  easy,  as  Liljana  also  had  obligations  to  her  own  family,  and  the  work  required  a  good  deal  of  travelling  on  minibuses  and  boats.  Sometimes  she  has  had  to  walk  for  hours  to  work  with  sad,  nervous,  stressed  and  frightened  children,  who  were  often  sick.  Despite  these  circumstances  she  has  tried  to  created  warm  and  welcoming  conditions  for  pupils  to  develop  and  actively  learn.

Liljana has  also  collaborated  with  the  police  and  government  in  an  attempt  to  give  the  confined  children  almost  the  same  privileges  as  others.  The needs  of  these  children  have  been  heard  for  the  first  time  by  the  government  due  to  Liljana’s  insistence,  and  many  children  have  been  able  to  take  exams  under  police  escort  due  to  Liljana’s  efforts  when  they  would  not  have  been  able  to  do  so  otherwise.

In 2014,  the  New  Horizon  Centre  in  cooperation  with  the  Ministry  of  Education  awarded  Liljana  the  Golden  Rose  for  her  contribution  to  educating  confined  children;  and  in 2017  the  US  Embassy  awarded  her  the  ͞Woman  of  Courage͟.  If awarded the Global  Teacher  Prize,  Liljana  will  open  a  multifunctional  centre  where  she  will  educate  confined  children,  orphan  children,  and  other  children  that  don’t  attend  school  regularly.  This centre will  have  technology  classes,  computers,  sports  and  art  classes  that  will  allow  all  children  to  improve  their  talents.

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