Open Society Foundation for Albania
The Open Society Foundation for Albania (OSFA) is a nonprofit organization established in December 1991 as part of the Network of Foundations created and established all over the world by the investor and philanthropist George Soros. The Network of 30 Foundations operates in 70 different countries. The Network of Foundations works to build strong, vibrant, democratic and tolerant states, whose governments respond to the needs of their citizens. The mission of the Network of Foundations is to support the justice system and human rights, the freedom of expression, the right of education and health care
Since then, OSFA has helped to promote democratic reform, support efforts to resolve conflicts, develop the rule of law, build institutional capacity, and create transparent and efficient public institutions in Albania. Both a donor and an implementer, the Foundation addresses the negative consequences of economic and political change such as decreasing poverty, diminishing social status for groups of citizens, and threats to individual rights. OSFA’s education and training programs assist some of the excluded and marginalized groups, and the foundation helps communities cope with economic and social distress by developing local, nongovernmental associations and other organizations.
The OSF Scholarship Program has operated within the Local Foundation since 1993, and it is composed of various scholarship schemes, with several donors: OSF, University of Oxford, Staffordshire University, Sussex University, DAAD, Roma Education Fund, American University of Albania and OSFA. The administration, facilitation, promotion and coordination of these schemes have been the main activities of the OSFA Scholarships Program for the last 20 years. These Scholarship Schemes have represented one of the best opportunities offered to Albanian students for undergraduate and postgraduate studies abroad, and has made it possible for at least 400 Albanian students to study abroad: full time studies, exchanges, fellowships, research, etc. Based on the data of the OSFA Alumni, many of them are placed today in key positions within academia, government, civil society and international organization. OSFA has a specific program supporting Roma inclusion with a strong focus on community empowerment and education.