Winner: Elton Kalica
Category: ‘I am part of IT’ – small organisations/individuals
After finishing high school in Albania, Elton emigrated to Italy where, with no money or job, he got into trouble and ended up in jail. While there he joined the team at Ristretti Orizzonti (“Limited horizons”), a press agency that work with prisoners to produce magazines, videos and music.
Before starting this project, Elton had never used a computer. He undertook a series of computer courses including Word for writing, FrontPage for building web pages, QuarkXPress for page layout, AdobePhotoshop for editing images, FileMaker to manage databases, FinalCut for video editing and Audacity for editing audio files.
After few months, Elton took on greater responsibilities for editorial, graphics, computer maintenance and he also assisted other inmates with any technology issues. He oversaw much of the activity including two websites www.ristretti.it and www.ristretti.org, the weekly news Tg 2 Palazzi (on a local television channel), a weekly radio transmission Ristretti Radio (on a local radio station) as well as the weekly page in Il Mattino di Padova (a local newspaper).
He felt inspired by his achievements and decided to return to his studies. He enrolled at the university for distance learning and spent his time juggling work and study, often hiding away in the bathroom where he could find some peace to read and revise. He received a degree in Political Science, with a course in “International Relations and Human Rights”. He later completed a two-year second level degree with a course in “Institutions and policies for human rights and peace.”
When Elton finished his sentence, he was sure he would struggle to find a job, but managed to secure employment with the Ristretti Orizzonti project. He does the same job he was doing inside but is now free.
“Being able to use the technology today has allowed me to get involved in the world of work, despite the difficulties related to my past and to the economic crisis. My future is looking much more positive.”