On December 3, 2016, Ms. Beti Beno, Esq. was elected the new Albanian American Women’s Organization (AAWO) president. Ms. Beno was born in Tirana, Albania during the peak of the communist regime in Albania. In the early 1990s when communism fell in Albania, she and her family were able to escape Albania and come to the United States as refugees. In 1998, Ms. Beno received her Bachelor of Science degree, in Psychology, from City University of New York/Hunter College. In 2002, Ms. Beno received her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. In 2003, Ms. Beno was admitted to practice law in the state of New York. Ms. Beno is a founding partner of Marku, Beno & Tsamblakos, PLLC in New York, New York. Ms. Beno is a member of the New York State Bar Association, American Bar Association and American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Beno interned for the Brooklyn Legal Aid Society, assisting battered and abused women in divorce cases and various family court proceedings. This experience had influenced her decision to continue in non-profit work for Albanian American Women’s Organization “Motra Qiriazi”.
Ms. Beno has been a board member and subsequently the Vice-President of the Albanian American Women Association for approximately seven years. Ms. Beno has served in the past as a board member of St. Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church and is currently a board advisor of the Albanian American Success Stories.
Ms. Beno has stated “I look to continuing to serve and partner with the area’s nonprofit organizations in this new capacity. I am dedicated to this organization because it provides vital human services and cultural enrichment to our community.”
Ms. Beno is a wonderful mother to two sons and a dedicated wife to her husband, Isidoros Tsamblakos, who is also a partner at the firm.
AAWO kicked off the holiday season with a festive year-end fundraising event, at Arno’s Manhattan, attended by well over a hundred AAWO members and their friends, and honored guests: Albanian Ambassador to the UN, Besiana Kadare and Kosovo Ambassador Teuta Sahatqija.
December 3, 2016 marks a special benchmark for AAWO: the official creation of AAWO Florida Branch and the election of new AAWO President, Beti Beno, Esq. The passing of the torch was announced in a speech by Dr. Anna Kohen, who was elected President of The Florida Chapter.
Congratulations to our new AAWO President, Beti Beno, Esq. and wishing years of continued success to AAWO in serving the community.
During the festive luncheon, AAWO shared with its members The Golden Eagle Award, given to AAWO at the First Diaspora Summit, and touched on main achievements of 2016.
Happy holidays to all our members, friends and their families! Thank you for your generosity and support of our mission.
AAWO was honored with the Golden Eagle Award at the Gala event concluding the 1st Diaspora Summit in Tirana, Albania, on November 20, 2016. We take pride in our board, members, volunteers and everyone who has contributed over the years to sustain our mission, to be a place for women and girls to be inspired, to overcome difficulties and achieve success. The prize was accepted on behalf of AAWO by Mark Kosmo of MASS-BESA. AAWO President, Dr. Anna Kohen, sent a video message which was played live for the audience upon receiving the award. Further more, AAWO would like to thank the community in the US who has congratulated our organization on this well deserved honor. Thank you for your messages of support and encouragement of our work. We are very excited to share this special prize with you on December 3rd Annual Holiday Event.
Massachusetts Albanian American Society
Albanian American Women’s Organization – Motrat Qiriazi
Press Release: Establishing the Global Albanians Foundation
Supporting Albanian Not-for-Profit Organizations
August 11, 2015
The Massachusetts Albanian American Society (MAASBESA) and the Albanian American Women’s Organization – Motrat Qiriazi (AAWO) are proud to announce their partnership to develop the Global Albanians Foundation (GAF) financed by Albanians living abroad and others who wish to support not-for-profit organizations in Albania, Kosova, Macedonia, and Montenegro.
Why: The not for profit sector receives less and less support from the international donor community as the countries in Southeastern Europe develop. However, there is still a great need for financial and professional support in the not-for-profit sector so that pressing social and economic development needs can be addressed in the future in a sustainable manner. Without the support of Albanians living abroad, it will be very difficult to meet the needs of the not-for-profit sector and civil society in Albania, Kosova, Macedonia, and Montenegro.
How: We propose that creating a Foundation that initially focuses on giving small grants targeting many different not-for-profit organizations throughout the countries in Southeastern Europe where Albanians live is the best way to reach and assist a wide and diverse group of people and organizations.
Work Program: The work will be carried out in three phases over several years with only Phase 1 below being considered for financing at this time. Phases 2-3 are presented here to give an idea as to a possible long-term vision
Phase 1: August 2015-December 2015 — $10,000 for 10 grants of $1000 each
Phase 2: January 2016-December 2017 – same as phase 1 on larger scale
Phase 3: January 2018 and Beyond – Create Global Albanians Foundation
During Phases 2 and 3, larger grants than $1,000 would be considered, of course, depending on the amount of money raised. In addition, we would seek grants and financing from private and corporate foundations, Albanian and non-Albanian private individuals and businesses, and other organizations that might want to use the GAF as a conduit for philanthropic and charitable activities in Southeastern Europe.
Who: A Board of Directors consisting of five people will oversee the work. The Board of Directors will initially include two active members from each of our organizations plus one other person from outside of our two organizations.
The responsibilities of the Board of Directors will be to:
- Seek donations from Albanian companies, organizations, and individuals;
- Appoint an Advisory Board that will include 10-15 people and at least one person each from Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece, and Italy;
- Oversee financial administration of the work program;
- Determine which (if any) specific sectors or themes should be the focal points;
- Develop an online template for not-for-profit organizations to submit their proposals;
- Review grant proposals prepared by Albanian not-for-profit organizations in SE Europe;
- Select grant winners to be supported under Phase 1;
- Oversee Phase 1 grant implementation and review project results; and
- Develop plans for Phase 2 based on Phase 1 results and lessons learned.
Description of Phase 1:
- By September 1 finalize selection of Board of Directors and Advisory Board Members;
- By September 15 send out format that not-for-profit organizations have to complete to be considered for Grants;
- By October 15 not-for-profit organizations submit proposals for financing;
- By November 1 the Board of Directors reviews and approves grants for Albanian not-for-profit organizations; and
- By December 31 – Review status of grants under implementation and begin plans for developing Phase 2.
Benefits: We have selected a small grants approach to begin for several reasons:
- In addition to providing financial support we would like to develop a s wide of a network as possible with not for profit organizations so that synergies can be created through collaboration;
- We believe that Albanians donors living abroad will be much more willing to support a small grants approach that does not favor any particular region or sector;
- We believe that with a Board of Directors and Advisory Board comprised of people who are considered leaders and active members of the Albanian Diaspora that it will be much easier to convince prospective donors that the work will be carried out in a professional, transparent, and trustworthy manner
- Finally, we have to walk before we can run, so we think with a relatively small Phase 1 at $10,000 we can best build a successful effort slowly over time; and
- By coordinating these efforts with the Harvard Albanian Diaspora Program (which has already identified two possible partner organizations — Partnere Per Femijet and Yunus Social Business — that they would like the Albanian Diaspora to work with) we can also benefit in the short and long run through a formal collaboration with Harvard, the organizations that they propose, and the organizations that the Albanian Diaspora proposes.
Shoqata Shqiptaro-Amerikane e Masaçusetsit
Organizata e Grave Shqiptaro-Amerikane – Motrat Qiriazi
Deklarate Shtypi: Krijimi i Fondacionit te Shqiptareve Globale
Ne Mbeshtetje te Organizatave Jo-Fitimprurese Shqiptare
11 Gusht 2015
Shoqata Shqiptaro-Amerikane e Masacusetsit (MAASBESA) dhe Organizata e Grave Shqiptaro-Amerikane – Motrat Qiriazi (AAWO) kane kenaqesine t’ju njoftojne rreth bashkepunimit te tyre per te krijuar Fondacionin e Shqiptareve Globale (FSG), i financuar nga shqiptaret qe banojne jashte trojeve etnike dhe te tjere qe deshirojne te mbeshtesin organizatat jo-fitimprurese ne Shqiperi, Kosove, Maqedoni dhe Mal te Zi.
Pse: Nderkohe qe vendet e Europes Juglindore jane ne zhvillim, sektori jo-fitimprures merr gjithmone e me pak mbeshtetje nga komuniteti i bamireseve nderkombetare Sidoqofte, ekziston akoma nje nevoje e madhe per mbeshtetje financiare dhe profesionale ne sektorin jo-fitimprures, ne menyre qe nevojat sociale dhe ato te zhvillimit ekonomik te mund te adresohen ne te ardhmen ne nje menyre te qendrueshme. Pa mbeshtetjen e shqiptareve qe jetojne jashte trojeve etnike, do te jete shume e veshtire per te permbushur nevojat e sektorit jo-fitimprures dhe shoqerise civile ne Shqiperi, Kosove, Maqedoni dhe Mal te Zi.
Si: Ne propozojme krijimin i nje fondacioni, i cili fillimisht do te perqendrohet ne dhenien e granteve te vogla neper vendet e Europes Juglindore ku banojne shqiptare, eshte menyra me e mire per te prekur dhe ndihmuar nje grup te madh dhe te larmishem njerezish dhe organizatash.
Programi i punes: Puna do te zhvillohet ne tre faza pergjate disa viteve, dhe vetem Faza 1 me poshte eshte ne konsiderate per financim ne kete kohe. Fazat 2-3 po prezantohen me poshte per te dhene nje ide me te qarte te nje vizioni afatgjate te mundshem.
Faza 1: Gusht 2015 – Dhjetor 2015 — 10,000 USD per 10 grante prej 1,000 USD secili;
Faza 2: Janar 2016 – Dhjetor 2017 – Njesoj si Faza 1, por ne nje shkalle me te gjere;
Faza 3: Janar 2018 dhe me tej – Krijimi i Fondacionit te Shqiptareve Globale.
Gjate Fazave 2 dhe 3, grante me te medha se 1,000 USD do te konsiderohen, natyrisht ne varesi te fondeve qe do te mblidhen. Gjithashtu, do te kerkojme grante dhe financim nga fondacione private dhe ngakorporatat, individe dhe biznese shqiptare dhe jo-shqiptare, dhe organizata te tjera qe mund te deshirojne te perdorin FSG si nje ndermjetes per aktivitete filantropike dhe bamirese ne Europen Juglindore.
Kush: Nje bord drejtues i perbere nga pese njerez do te mbikeqyre punen. Bordi Drejtues fillimisht do te perfshije dy anetare aktive nga secila prej organizatave tona si dhe nje person qe nuk do te jete anetar i asnje prej dy organizatave.
Pergjegjesite e Bordit Drejtues do te jene te:
- Te kerkoje donacione nga kompani shqiptare, organizata dhe individe;
- Te caktoje nje Bord Keshillues qe do te perfshije 10-15 anetare dhe te pakten nje person nga secili prej shteteve, Shqiperi, Kosove, Mali I Zi, Maqedoni, Greqi dhe Itali;
- Te mbikeqyre administrimin financiar te programit te punes;
- Te percaktoje cili (nese ndonje) prej sektoreve/tema specifike duhet te jene kryesore;
- Te krijoje nje format online per organizatat jo-qeveritare qe te dorezojne propozimet;
- Te shqyrtoje propozimet per grante te pergatitura nga organizatat jo-qeveritare ne Europen Juglindore;
- Te perzgjedhe fituesit e granteve qe do te mbeshteten nen Fazen 1;
- Te mbikeqyre zbatimin e grantit te Fazes 1 dhe te studioje rezultatet e projektit, dhe;
- Te zhvilloje plane per Fazen 2 bazuar ne rezultatet e Fazes 1 dhe mesimet e nxjerra.
Pershkrimi i Fazes 1:
- Deri ne 1 Shtator, te finalizohet perzgjedhja e anetareve per Bordin Drejtues dhe Bordin Keshillues;
- Deri ne 15 Shtator, te dergohet formati qe organizatat jo-qeveritare do te duhet te plotesojne per t’u konsideruar per grante;
- Deri ne 15 Tetor organizatat jo-qeveritare te dorezojne propozimet per financime;
- Deri ne 1 Nentor, Bordi Drejtues studion dhe aprovon grantet per organizatat jo-qeveritare shqiptare, dhe;
- Deri ne 31 Dhjetor – Studimi i statusit te granteve qe jane nen zbatim dhe fillimi i planeve per zhvillimin e Fazes 2.
Perfitimet: Ne kemi perzgjedhur menyren e dhenies se granteve te vogla per disa arsye:
- Perveç dhenies se mbeshtetjes financiare, ne do te deshironim te krijonim nje rrjet sa me te gjere me organizatat jo-qeveritare ne menyre qe nepermjet bashkepunimit te krijojme sinergji.
- Ne besojme se donatoret shqiptare qe jetojne jashte do te kene interes me te larte per te mbeshtetur nje perqasje nepermjet granteve te vogla qe nuk favorizojne ndonje zone gjeografike apo sektor te caktuar.
- Ne besojme se me nje Bord Drejtues dhe Keshillues te perbere nga individe qe konsiderohen udheheqes dhe anetare aktive te Diaspores Shqiptare, do te jete me e lehte te bindim donatore te ardhshem se puna qe do te behet do te zhvillohet ne nje menyre profesionale, transparente dhe te besueshme.
- Perpara se te mesojme te vrapojme, na duhet te mesojme te ecim, dhe besojme se me nje Faze 1 relativisht te vogel prej 10,000 USD mund te ndertojme nje inisiative te suksesshme me kalimin e kohes, dhe
- Duke koordinuar keto perpjekje me Programin e Harvardit per Diasporen Shqiptare (i cili ka identifikuar dy (2) organizata te mundshme partnere qe ata do te deshironin te bashkepunonin me Diasporen Shqiptare — Partnere Per Femijet dhe Yunus Social Business, ne mund te perfitojme brenda nje kohe te shkurter dhe ne nje plan afatgjate nepermjet nje bashkepunimi me Universitetin e Harvardit, organizatat qe ata propozojne dhe organizatat e propozuara nga Diaspora Shqiptare.
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving Holiday, AAWO made the annual turkey donations to the parishioners in need of St. Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church in Jamaica Estates, Queens. Thank you to Fr. Nathan Preston and the Church Council Members pictured here with Beti Beno, Esq., for their enthusiasm and support of our annual turkey drive.
We wish everyone and your families a very happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for your support.
On September 22, 2016, AAWO Board and Volunteers had a very productive meeting with Her Excellency Odeta Nishani, First Lady of the Republic of Albania. AAWO members and Mrs. Nishani touched on issues close to their hearts: women and children. The dominant theme was how to coordinate the humanitarian work to benefit children in Albania suffering from leukemia, children in need of bone marrow transplants, autism and blindness, among others.
AAWO members spoke on the main programs implemented in our own community here in the US: the scholarship program, mobile mammography program, children heart’s surgeries in cooperation with The Rotary Club of the Bronx, our advocacy work and continuing to
support Albanian immigrant women and girls to fully integrate in society through job placement and referrals, English language resources, etc.
The dinner was held in a warm atmosphere at Ben & Jacks Restaurant in Manhattan.