The Mjaft! Movement, which was born out of a four-month awareness-raising campaign that targeted the key issues stunting Albania’s socio-political and economic growth, has set a new standard for Albania’s civil society sector. The Mjaft! Movement’s primary vision is to achieve a well-governed Albania with active citizens, strong communities and a positive image in the world.
The Mjaft! Movement deemed it necessary to develop and abide by a set of essential values in order to achieve its vision. Mjaft’s core principles are: democracy, active citizenship, the attainability of change, strong communities, equal opportunities, solidarity, volunteerism, and the irrefutable power of debate. A good democracy, proper governance and a prosperous society can only be constructed if tangible civic demand and participation is achieved. Thus, Mjaft!’s mission is to increase active citizenship, strengthen the sense of community, promote responsible governance and improve the image of Albania globally through: (i) encouraging citizen participation in decision-making by influencing and monitoring policies at both the local and national level; (ii) promoting volunteerism and improving cooperation within communities; (iii) rehabilitating the concept of protest.
The Movement has empowered communities nationwide and has stimulated public demand for the improvement of basic living conditions. Many observers agree that Mjaft has helped improve Albania’s image abroad and set new standards in regards to the ‘modus operandi’ of civil society groups and organizations. Given its physiology, the Mjaft! Movement enjoys a certain flexibility that allows it to focus on the concrete issues at hand – i.e., elections, environmental problems, energy crises -- whilst consistently applying and furthering its primary philosophy of combating civic apathy and promoting citizen participation. Currently, Mjaft! is Albania’s largest movement, with over 8,000 members, more than 1,000 volunteers, and branches in 18 cities country-wide that both serve as local government ‘watchdogs’ and employ civic lobbying to advocate for changes on the local level.
Mjaft! was awarded the annual United Nations International Award for Civil Society (Vienna, November 2004).