Activity 5: Access to Information and Story Telling

This Activity was originally planned as a 3 day mentoring activity, to be hosted by a V4 expert from the Polish Green Network. Two days were planned to work with local businesses and development advocates, to focus on storytelling for purposes of promotion. It was anticipated that we would also create 3-5 ‘success stories’ in suitable online format, to be used for promoting tourism and/or advocating for community concerns. The third focus of the mentoring was to be one day spent on very practical exercises on how to access information, as a result of which a simple leaflet would be produced. The overall aim was to engage community members in environmental decision making and in promotion of their region.

As usual, we got a little carried away . . .

Part of the mentoring on accessing information was achieved in combination with the Activity 4 training which was held in September 2020. As a result of this, TOKA produced an online guide to how to access information under the Albanian law on the Right to Information, and actually used the strategy in October to launch a successful campaign to stop illegal sand extraction on the Valbona River in the Bujan area.

We put a stop to this – the illegal extraction was halted, and the developer fined!

Also in summer 2020, a group of young people came together to address the troubling local issue of waste pollution, and were mentored by TOKA – using techniques learned during this project – to produce the following video which went ‘viral’ in Albania.

The second part of the mentoring occurred in July 2021, when 30 diverse community members met to share stories and discuss new ways of combining and telling stories. The lead mentoring was provided by PGN expert Maike Brinksma.

One particularly interesting new story telling technique introduced during the mentoring was the ‘ArcGis Story Map’ format, which has been used extensively to create new promotional online material throughout this project!

Activity 12 Data Collection story map presentation

These new techniques have also been used to create new profiles of several local businesses and agricultural activities, which are presented on the website JourneytoValbona.com

  • Aste Guesthouse
  • Afrim’s Horse Heaven
  • The Annual Chestnut Harvest
  • Stay in a Stan : Accommodation with traditional Alpine Shepherds

Finally, a 4-page gatefold pamphlet on how to Access Information was created and printed, and distributed with members of the new regional network.

How to Access Information Pamphlet – click for pdf