OVER recent months we have had to significantly change the way we have been doing things in Albania.
Our usual feed programmes, serving a hot meal twice a week to the children, have been suspended, but we have been able to deliver food parcels to the families of the children we support throughout the pandemic. We have also been able to help other struggling families in the villages, thanks to the continuing sponsorship payments and generous donations from our supporters. This has been a real lifeline to these families and a blessing to our team, who have such a heart to serve the people.
For the past couple of years, as well as running our four centres in Katjel, Kotodesh, Rodokal and Homezh, we have also been reaching out to some of the more remote villages in the Mokra area of South-East Albania. Earlier this year we began to register children for sponsorship from one of these villages, Proptisht, and we are delighted to be able to expand that to three more villages this month – Dunica, Kalivac and Trebinja.
Here is a snapshot from one of our team of what the area is like:
‘Upper Mokra is a very isolated area and far into the mountains. The infrastructure is totally missing and the people in this area are very poor. The roads are really just tracks and only sturdy vehicles can make it there. During the winter these roads are filled with ice and mud and so access is very difficult. There has been no investment by the government in the area for many years. There are no job opportunities for the people in these villages therefore a lot of the families, especially the young generation, have moved away.
‘Upper Mokra is populated by over 1200 people – around 400 families. In the centre of every village is the school building and a few coffee bars or groceries shops. There is only one high school for these villages, in Trebinja, catering for 80-90 teens. The teenagers from Dunica and Kalivac have to walk for about an hour to attend school.
‘The houses of the people who live in Upper Mokra are built of stone and don’t offer comfortable living conditions. Many of the homes don’t have running water. The families own a little land and as a result, they are considered as employed because they deal with agriculture. All the work on the land is done manually. Ploughing is done with the help of horses, donkeys or mules. Often the lands are far from the people’s homes and they need to walk quite a distance to reach them. Almost every family has a cow or a few sheep and from these animals, they get milk, butter, cheese and yogurt. The men go to the mountain to collect firewood for winter as buying wood costs a lot and they can’t afford it.’
Life is very hard in these areas of Albania and the food parcels we are able to provide make a huge difference to their day to day lives.
To sponsor a child in Albania, please visit our website: https://uk.adopt-a-child.com/sponsorship